|Taste ||Environment ||Service ||Hygiene |
Value for Money
|Alcoholic Drinks||Phone Reservation||Parking|
Worth a try! Jan 09, 2011
I've always want to write food critics but never had time before....It was not the first that I went to Jasmine, somehow friends and family like to pick this restaurant when we dine out in Kowloon Tong. We didn't have to wait for the table although the restaurant was pack, and there was a corner closed for wedding banquet that night.
The restaurant was nicely renovated, however all the tables were very closed to each other and there were not a lot of room to move around. The service was top notch. 這裡餐牌款式很多, 而且很多健康選擇好似蔬菜,豆腐,海鮮之類, D dishes 份量不太大, each dish is enough for 4 people. However we have 8 people that night, so every person may only get a piece or two for each dish, 味道相當不錯, 但頗貴. Since one friend was taking care for the bill, we didn't order a lot of food; at the end we had to eat dessert elsewhere. I would go again next time, with a smaller group so that I can try more.
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)
Date of Visit: May 31, 2010
Spending per head: Approximately HKD200(Dinner)
Value for Money3
八月花 Jasmine Jul 04, 2009
It was the 1st of July and everywhere seemed to be so crowded. Good that we booked a table otherwise the waiting time would have been over 30 mins. I have been to Jasmine 八月花 @ Festival Walk many times already but usually for lunch only. This time I can try out some of the dinner items and maybe I can figure out why this place is always so crowded. Before I go into the food items, I wanted to express how I enjoyed reading its menu. Similar to its sister restaurant House of Jasmine 八月居 @ TST, the menu was very well designed with a touch of artistic feel to it, especially with the transparent pages in between. Unlike the usual menu items with some plain background, this one adds in a theme to the who menu reading experience.
We ordered the following: Starters - (1) Eggplant with sesame sauce 醬麻茄子 (2) Marinated ox cheek with sweet bean 家傳甜臉珠 (3) Crispy BBQ suckling pig 脆皮BB豬, Main - (4) Steamed Egg white fresh crab meat with lobster sauce 龍蝦汁鮮蟹肉蒸蛋白 (5) Shrimp pastes lettuce in hot pot 三蝦唐生菜 (6) Signature crispy fried Chicken (7) Stir-fried scramble egg with conpoy 桂花炒銀芽 (8) Guava Sweet and Sour Pork 石榴子咕嚕肉, Dessert - (9) pan-fried sticky rice cake with black sesame 香麻煎軟餅. We ordered traditional dishes rather than many of their fusion offerings because they are just not tempting enough even with their pretty pictures. Maybe I will try those fusion dishes next time.
(1) Eggplant with sesame sauce 醬麻茄子
A fair dish in general, the eggplant was well prepared to my liking. It was slightly chilled (as a starters) to give it the right texture. The sauce was good with rich sesame taste while not too thick. Sometimes it is the simple dishes that most satisfy your taste bud in my opinion.
(2) Marinated ox cheek with sweet beans 家傳甜臉珠
This item was in the special menu and Chinese name made me ordered this dish. However, no surprises at all, a bit disappointed actually due to the high expectation perhaps. It tasted just like any thinly sliced beef brisket with tendon. On a positive note though, I like the sweet beans because they were not the soft types, they were the really hard type which I think is the traditional way to prepare it. In either case, I like it the way this way.
(3) Crispy BBQ suckling pig 脆皮BB豬
This is one of their so-called signature dishes; however, I do have some reservation. Yes the skin layer was very crispy and thin, but somehow I found it a bit fatty still as a whole. Maybe it is from the very fatty layer in between the skin or it has been left out in the cold for a period causing extra fatty oil to solidify. This little baby pig was definitely an overweight pig. My suggestion is that if you are coming here in a big group, I think you should try ordering the Crispy BBQ whole suckling pig because it can ensure it is freshly prepared.
(4) Steamed Egg white fresh crab meat with lobster sauce 龍蝦汁鮮蟹肉蒸蛋白
In my opinion, this dish should be called steamed lobster bisque on egg white. Why? It was because there were so much lobster sauce and that it was so rich it tasted like lobster bisque. Egg white itself has no taste in general (or light taste), but with this sauce, the egg white served as a complementary items to give the dish the texture it needed. That was all.
(5) Shrimp pastes lettuce in hot pot 三蝦唐生菜
Compared with Victoria City 海都海鮮酒家 dish, there is still room for improvement. Taste wise it was good, rich in shrimp paste and it came with dried prawns and crayfish (I think) as well. However, it wasn't "dry" enough resulting in the generation of excess water in the pot while eating. Wished the lettuce can be a bit more crispy as well. I think the reason was the type of clay pot they use, just a wild guess.
(6) Signature crispy Fried Chicken 炸子雞
Whenever possible, I would rather order one whole chicken because it would have a higher chance to be freshly prepared. The half portion we ordered should be a half from a freshly fried chicken based on the skin texture which was crispy. However, it was a bit too salty even without the sauce and spices. Overall a fair dish I guess and it is rather hard to make this dish badly.
(7) Stir-fried scramble egg with conpoy 桂花炒銀芽
An interesting serving presentation. Usually this dish is served without those white pancakes but it was an interesting combination especially when mixed with the OX sauce that came with it. The scramble egg was slightly overcooked but it was acceptable thanks to the texture of the bean spouts which overtook the focus of the ingredients. Worth trying it especially eating it with the pancakes and OX sauce.
(8) Guava Sweet and Sour Pork 石榴子咕嚕肉
A common dish in a Chinese restaurant but by no means the an easy dish to make. Luk Yu Tea House 陸羽茶室 is one of the places I have tried so far that can really make a good sweet and sour pork. Usually the sweet and sour pork is prepared with pineapple, but once in awhile you will see various combinations such as strawberries or lychee (ie: Luk Yu Tea House). Here they used diced Guava (inside a transparent flour batter) which was refreshing indeed. Plus, the fried pork itself was not bad at all, batter was thin, meat was tender even after being fried. A surprisingly good dish.
(9) Pan-fried sticky rice cake with black sesame 香麻煎軟餅
The sticky rice layer was too thick but the sesame paste inside was a surprise. Instead of using plain grinded sesame paste, it used a mixture of paste and whole sesame. The whole sesame provided a crispy texture to the chewing sensation and gave off an extra aroma as well. Only if the stick rice layer was thinner than it would be very nice indeed.
- Stir-fried scramble egg with conpoy 桂花炒銀芽 (especially the pancake + OX sauce)
- Pan-fried sticky rice cake with black sesame 香麻煎軟餅 (especially its use of sesame paste + whole sesame mixture)
- Guava Sweet and Sour Pork 石榴子咕嚕肉 (refreshing combination of using Guava)
- Contemporary Menu
- Fusion style steamed egg white with "lobster bisque" requires much improvement
- Relatively small portions for a Chinese restaurant
- Food served too quickly + possibly a lot of them are pre-cooked
Date of Visit: Jul 01, 2009
八月花: When "Fusion" becomes "Confusion" Jun 01, 2009
For the past few weeks I found myself having group dinners at restaurants skillfully disguising themselves as more chic in style and more contemporary in food when compared to their parent company. I am not a stickler on absolute tradition or authenticity, but I believe that "fusion" should be done to improve the taste of the food rather than the reverse, albeit all the efforts to enhance the appearance or appeal. So how many restaurants are really successfully in finding the balance of modern chic and deliciousness?
Browsing through the menu of Jasmine 八月花 is actually quite entertaining, since it has such beautiful portrays of their signature dishes. I have been to Jasmine quite a few times, for dim sum and for dinner, so I was fully aware of the small portions and decided to order a few more dishes to sample. I have always enjoyed their appetizerBBQ Suckling Pig 脆皮BB 豬, which came with four pieces of crispy suckling pig ribs and some mesclun salad. Although this time the meat was a little chewy, the skin remained crispy like crackers. Definitely one of the better dishes of the night.
Things quickly turned downhill after. The Marinated Sour Lotus Root with Red Date 酒香酸蓮藕 was immersed in a pool of cloyingly sweet syrup (桂花?) with no discernible wine flavor. Apparently the “syrup” was just poured in before serving as the sourness of the lotus root was not in anyway integrated with the sauce. This plate was left untouched after one bite! The Crispy Fried Beancurd 椒盬脆豆腐 was indeed crispy outside and silky inside, but where was the seasoning? How could the fried garlic taste so timid? Somehow the Master Soy Stock Marinated Egg and Tofu 鹵水蛋豆腐 became normal by comparison, but was by no means outstanding, despite the intriguing “Master Soy Stock” in its name.
After a pretty long wait one of our entrees, the Pan Fried Scrambled Egg with Crab Meat 蟹肉玉子燒 arrived. A direct comparison with the Japanese kani tamagoyaki might not be fair, but how could you not with that presentation, especially with the hajikami (the pickled ginger stalks)? The deep yellow colored egg was soft yet surprising weak in egg flavor, and the crab meat was just a batch of tasteless shredded meat (sort of remind me of canned crab meat) . More appalling was the strawberry sauce on the side, which didn’t belong anywhere on this dish and an utter failure of fusion attempt. At $90 I really shoud have saved the money and went to 一門 for this dish instead .
The Fried Cod Fish with Spicy Sauce on Crispy Rice 鍋巴醬爆銀雪魚 was a big disappointment as it was suggested by the waiter as one of their signature dishes. The dish was lukewarm when arrived, and the cod fish, a fish that I thought could hardly be overcooked, was fishy and totally dry! Undoubtedly low-quality frozen cod fish, so thin that no matter how you cook them they would turn out dry and dreadful. It was so bad that Triple O’s new cod fish sandwich actually trumped this dish by miles (and I am not kidding!)
After a series of unsatisfactory dishes, our last two dishes didn’t come until half an hour later as the waiter obviously missed the orders of both. The Flaming Veal Shank with Chestnut and Red Date in Whisky Tomato Sauce 火燄威士忌栗子紅棗燴牛仔膝 luckily came before we were starved to death and it turned out to be the best dish of the night. The enormous veal shank consisted of fat, tendon, and meat was very tender, easily cut through with a knife. The thick sauce with chestnuts and dates, while not exceptional and lacking any whisky flavor, went well with white rice (or perhaps we were just too hungry at that point) . This was the only dish that we could polish off the entire plate.
The last dish, Steamed Asparagus with Pumpkin Sauce 蘆荀伴南瓜醬汁, did not come until we asked for the fourth time and more than an hour after we placed the order. Then I realized two of the same dishes were brought out by the waiter, so apparently they wouldn’t cook it until multiple orders of the same dish were placed. No wonder some dishes came so slow despite easy preparation. And this dish was just unmemorable, with skimpy toothpick-sized asparagus swimming in bland pumpkin sauce. Forget about it.
While we were waiting for the asparagus, we ordered two bowls of dan dan noodles 擔擔麵 which somehow were ready in 3 minutes. The noodles were cooked fine and the broth was strong in peanut taste, though weak in spiciness.
We ended the meal with two desserts, the Tofu Mousse Cake with Blueberry Sauce 豆腐慕絲蛋糕藍莓汁 and The Mango Three Ways 芒果三弄. These two dishes were the closest to the images that they portrayed in the menu among everything we ordered, and they met our expectation flavorwise. The tofu mousse cake was of the right custardy texture, but the blueberry sauce was unable to rescue the slightly bitter taste from the tofu. The mango dessert, consisted of mango pancake, purple sticky rice with mango, and mango and sago sweet soup (芒果班戟+黑糯米+楊枝甘露) was the best of the bunch with each component full of mango flavor.
Among my numerous visits to Jasmine, this had to be the most disappointing one. Based on my past experiences, I would have probably given them a smiley face or ok face. It seemed that the blend of appearance and fusion flavor was much better balanced in the past while nowadays the focus was shifted too much to presentation alone. The “fusion” flavors were no longer unified and became “confusion” to my palate instead. The service was down right horrible and really ruined the dinner. I know this would be my last visit to Jasmine, as least for dinner. I hope they can at least maintain their dim sum quality, or else this resaturant will really become a place of gimmicks rather than food.
Recommended Dish(es): 脆皮BB 豬, 火燄威士忌栗子紅棗燴牛仔膝,芒果三弄
Spending per head: Approximately HKD220(Dinner)
Value for Money3