Dining in the world’s first Chinese restaurant that was recognized with the coveted Michelin three-star rating, retained for fourteen consecutive years so far…..and still counting, is the right choice that you could have made when visiting Hong Kong. Lung King Heen dazzles you with its exquisite seafood and delicate dim sum that is what you are craving for together with its quick and slick service that would complete your haute dining experience for a taste of refined Cantonese cuisine. mylifestylenews writes.
The Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong is one of the pre-eminent luxury hotels in the city of lights and gourmet delights and it is also one of the few prestige hotels that has multiple Michelin-starred restaurants, which is not an easy feat. By retaining its 3 Michelin-starred title rating for more than a decade is never an easy task to upkeep the ultimate quality of standard from its infamous refined Cantonese cuisine, thanks to the utmost dedicated culinary team led by multiple awards winning veteran Executive Chinese Chef Chan Yan Tak who strives to deliver the unforgotten Canton flavour from his handling of relishing local master dishes.
With over a century of accumulated experience, Master Chef Chan may not think that the grass is always greener on the other side to become a culinary star. Being a native Hong Konger, the highly respectable Master Chef Chan in the culinary scene has spent his entire life in the city discovering and sourcing the best suited ingredients that magically transform to his culinary skill in the only open secret that has won him multiple starred recognitions especially being awarded the first Chinese chef in history for three Michelin stars with Lung King Heen. Hence, dining in the esteemed Lung King Heen with much anticipation and expectation is to savour the star-awarded culinary delights and to explore the successful story behind the show is more like a pilgrimage to dedicated foodies and gourmands.
A restaurant with such starry accolades would usually lead one to think that it is going to be an exciting arrival experience, but it was not exactly as we had thought, as there was zero “WOW’ factor in its understated luxury interior design which failed to make an impression by lacking any grand eye-catching decorative object or ornament that would instantly become your most-talked-about subject even before being seated.
As the dining room has a very low ceiling which may place limitations on what they can do, with a location facing the harbour on the fourth floor, you may angle a table with a a direct view of the Victoria Harbour overlooking straight across to the Kowloon side and with great natural lighting from the large windows. You could argue it is all about the view, we felt something was missing in that moment of being seated and taking in the surroundings.
Perhaps a dramatic floral arrangement may help to brighten the dull interior and make it stand out as the restaurant appearance seems to not have an uplifting renovation for a very long time. A mix of dated oriental Chinese chairs doesn’t seem to make a real statement juxtaposed with some clunky old style brown chairs and the ballroom banquet style wallpaper wrap around stimulates a more western dining fit-out than to remind you that you are actually in a typical classic Chinese restaurant. It is rather a confused mix, visually and does not really quite fit in to a well-deserved 3 star Michelin rating, at least not to our liking and subsequently, we found it under-whelming.
Besides, due to the exposed floor boards in the main dining area and vaulted ceiling treatment, the room had a lot of echo, so the above ordinary lunch chatter was being amplified and we found it very noisy – immediately turned into a more canteen-like dining than a high end restaurant.
However, dining in Lung King Heen is about that umami experience and they do find ways to dress to impress and dining the true Cantonese way whereby the whole focus is on food. We were quickly presented with a menu and decisions were made from the classic set menu for which they have become renowned.
Our lunch was kicked off by an appetizer of stir-fried string beans with caramelized shallots that was quite a savoury taste with a delicate flavor and palate opener together with a strong dark and thick pot of Pu Er tea.
<Steamed Shrimp Dumpling with Bamboo Shoots & Steamed Mushroom Dumpling with Preserved Vegetable and Chinese Celery>
This steamed dim sum duo came in a steamy bamboo basket laid on a thin slice of carrot to prevent the delicate paste wrapping getting too soggy or sticking onto the basket during the steaming process. The shrimp dumpling was light and a whole fresh crunchy prawn was enhanced by the bamboo shoots and an elevated hint of sweet flavour on the palate while the mushroom dumpling was equally tasty and with the added delight of the refined diced Chinese celery. The fillings were so tasty and gave a very nostalgic childhood memory in all aspects which were expertly put together. Both dumplings were delicately handmade with the right thin flour paste that is never too chewy on the palate and was a perfect mouthful size. You may savour this delicate dim sum with their very homemade condiments of mushroom sauce that was a highlight. The only disappointment for this sampling order was it only came in one piece each tempting you to crave for another serving.
<Baked Barbecued Pork Bun with Pine Nuts>
It would be a shame if you were to miss out by ordering this delicious savoury which is by far the best baked barbecued pork bun that we have ever tasted in Hong Kong! Light crusted top in golden color, it is utterly delicious and well baked with very tasty fillings of a very refined style of proper chunks of barbecued pork. This is an absolute true savoury winner.
<Superior Pottage with Shredded Chicken>
While a warm broth or soup will warm your heart, this superb thick and rich pottage (not a soup) has truly paid homage to the unwavering respect for tradition. Lots of chicken was used to boil and extract the essence from reduction to get the thickness in consistency which is so flavoursome, with an elevated use of vegetables and fungus that overall creates that winning flavor and texture. Let the pottage speak by itself to delight your palate. Very heart warming and satisfying as every mouthful is heavenly!
<Chef’s Signature Trio Appetiser>
This delectable Chef’s signature trio appetiser consists of the Crispy Suckling Pig with Chinese Pancake sat on a mulberry leaf that made the centre piece on the plate. Light and crispy golden brown layer with skin which creates that desirable crackling sound with a gentle bite. The meat laying behind the crispy skin was just a little too dry and lacking that moist juicy flavor that we were expecting but the Poached Chicken with Mashed Ginger and Spring Onions was very delicate and delightful, due to the juicy silky skin (fat reduced) and finely minced ginger and spring onion, with the chicken meat poached to perfection and was the perfect accompaniment of the entire combination. While Jelly fish may not be everyone’s cup of tea, Chef Chan’s version of Marinated Red Jellyfish in Sesame Oil is an absolute must have to enjoy for its aromatic sesame oil that is never too oily nor pungent that brings out the best crunchy texture of the bland (if cannot be anything but in its natural flavour) Jelly fish.
<Baked Sea Bass Fillet with Sweet Soy Sauce>
Beautifully presented in a generous serving portion. The meaty sea bass was deliciously baked and sat on a sizable bed of poached spinach that absorbed all flavours from the delightful sweet soy sauce, delicately garnished with shredded ginger and sprinkled with golden crispy whitebait. The sea bass was expertly cooked and exactly of how a good flesh of chunky fish meat should be treated as it was still firm to touch and juicy in the centre. Each morsel was to die for and had a few different levels of complexity on the palate with the shredded ginger juxtaposed with the crispy whitebait and young spinach leaves well balanced with the gentle touch of sweet soy sauce. A stunning dish!
<Poached Seasonal Vegetables in Supreme Soup>
Simplicity at is best! This clear consommé with intense flavour extracts from the premium ham and chicken stock to create this supreme soup is the highlight, garnished with fine julienne supreme ham that goes well with the not overly poached vegetable and is the perfect palate cleanser after some complex favours of palatable dishes that were previously served.
<Lung King Heen Fried Rice with Assorted Seafood>
There are many variations of fried rice one can have, but this one was done for the best. This rendition was a picture of fluffy rice texture well wok-fried with lobster, prawn, crab and scallop and the use of the prawn head to permeate the rice with that umami taste that you can actually ‘taste the sea’. Simply divine and satisfying at this point in our lunch culinary sojourn.
<Chilled Mango and Sago Cream with Pomelo>
Light and creamy, the mango pomelo sago was chilled in perfect coolness and super refreshing and packed with full pureed mango flavours, well balanced with the coconut milk and the chewy sago pearl and juicy pomelo serves as a great summer dessert or soupy drink. It was then followed by Chinese petits fours that consists of one piece of aromatic almond roasted biscuit and a sweet-scented soft waxy osmenthus cake. Less is more in Lung King Heen, either from the esteemed carefully crafted menu or the right size bite of dim sum as well as its picturesque presentation that all comes into a thoughtful consideration to delight you in all aspects with the authentic taste of traditional Cantonese cuisine. With all the extra touches, we found some great refinement from the food that is excellent in taste.
Fast paced service was delivered yet if a little more focus oriented on engaging with guests instead of a robotic delivery with the coming and going approach is an area that could improve. There is no doubt that the kitchen team is talented, so finding ways to match this in the front of house should be equally a priority. The lunch crowd during our visit were mostly locals and it was clear that their focus was just on the food, whereas we were looking for that elevation on all counts of Lung King Heen’s recognition and accomplishment. Greatness never ends, but evolves with experience with the pinnacle of quality gastronomy in the promising hands of Master Chef Chan at the helm among his dedicated culinary team. By withholding all the details, if you can’t find a dish that you want to eat here not only to enjoy at its best, there is a fair chance that you just don’t like food, because there is so much to enjoy!
Tried & Tested:
Design & Decor: 3.5/5
Food & Beverages: 5/5
Value For Money: 4/5
Design & Decor: 3.5/5
Food & Beverages: 5/5
Value For Money: 4/5
8, Finance Street,
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 3196 8882
Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.
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