Chilled bean curd sheet with shredded duck meat in chili sauce (井岡山腐皮火鴨絲) - definitely pretty yummy. The shredded duck was very tasty with just the right amount of spiciness, and a very nice bite. What a great way to start the meal.
Chilled drunken pigeon (太白醉香鴿) - the meat was pretty tender, and the taste of the Chinese wine was fairly prominent.
Stir-fried fresh shrimp with egg white (海生蝦炒蛋白) - very much like the Shanghainese imitation crab (賽螃蟹), prawns were de-shelled and stir-fried, then topped with a layer of soft egg white that wobbled. Vinegar added some additional flavors to the otherwise bland egg white, as one would do with the Shanghainese original. The deep-fried Indian mustard (雪菜) was good...
Braised shredded winter melon and mashed carrot accompanied with broccoli top with egg white (珊瑚素心燕) - this was actually very interesting, and pretty good. The yellow topping was not real crab roe, but made of carrots and egg white to achieve the same look. The winter melon was tasty.
We reached the turning point of the meal, where things went very wrong. We were on a schedule as some of us needed to leave by a certain hour, and for some reason the kitchen stopped sending dishes our way for about half an hour. They were clearly told to pace the dishes at intervals of around 15 minutes each, and we got pretty upset. The manager came to apologize, and said that the kitchen was extremely busy and overworked. That may be, but everyone else around us was getting dish after dish - except for us! This is certainly not the way a Michelin-starred restaurant should run its kitchen, and there were 4 chefs present at the table...
The next dish that showed up was the stir-fried sliced garoupa with assorted mushrooms and dried shrimp roe (蝦籽鮮菌麒麟斑). My first couple of bites were wonderful - the mushrooms were very tasty, as was the Chinese cabbage. The garoupa, however, was a total disaster. The taste was very muddy, as least to me and a few others. I debated about whether or not to swallow what I had put into my mouth, and eventually regretted not spitting it out. I'm pretty sensitive to muddy fish and I found it mildly nauseating, and I was surprised that a Michelin 2-star restaurant would be serving poor quality fish like this. We complained to the manager and ask the staff to taste the fish. The restaurant decided not to charge us for the fish.
Stir-fried pigeon eggs with crab meat, scallop, egg white and yellow oily crab roe (芺蓉蟹粉白鴿蛋) - this was much better, and actually pretty delicious. Definitely liked the very young pea shoots, and of course the combination of crab meat, scallop, egg white and crab roe was right up my alley. I've never had pigeon eggs before, and the translucent egg white was pretty interesting.
Crispy fried chicken (朗豪炸子雞) - special request was made to "age" this live chicken for 3 days after killing it. The result was very tender and juicy meat, and I had a large piece of the breast! Very well done.
Stir-fried giant garoupa stuffed with shrimp paste in soya sauce (龍皇披金甲) - a pretty interesting creation, where garoupa fillet was inset into a layer of shrimp paste. It would have been nice, except that once again, there was a hint of muddiness in the garoupa. By this time I've pretty much had it with this place.
Osmanthus jelly and mango pudding (桂花糕/芒果布甸) - this was comped by the restaurant for the poor service, and arrived with the dry ice presentation. Taste-wise the jelly was a little too tough and chewy, and probably the worst version I've had in a while.
Steamed custard buns with egg yolk (明閣流沙包) - the signature dessert certainly did not disappoint. The salty egg yolk filling was very runny, and incredibly delicious. At least the dinner ended on a very good note.
While the meal turned out to be fairly cheap - thanks to the fish being comped and some additional discount privilege we were able to use - I think it will be some time before I would have the desire to go out of my way for a revisit...
original blogpost with pictures: http://chi-he-wan-le.blogspot.com/2010/07/muddy-waters.html
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)
Date of Visit: Jul 24, 2010
Spending per head: Approximately HKD200(Dinner)
Value for Money4
Keep it up!