It must have been more than 15 years since my last visit to 滿貫廳 before I moved to Canada, and I was a kid back then. My father used to visit here quite often not because he liked horse racing but more because it was a good place to serve his guests. Their service was always professional, and they were used to serving foreign visitors. It's also not as noisy as most other Cantonese restaurant, and relatively easy to get a table for dinner. When I revisited with my friends last week, all the memories of my family gatherings, with my dad, mom, and the 3 naughty kids kept popping into my head.
While there were numerous luxurious dishes, from shark fins to abalone, to choose from, we were just looking for simple homey dishes among close friends. The vegetarian goose was adequately prepared, but our attention was quickly switched to the BBQ items. 燒味 at 滿貫廳 was still excellent like I remembered. The super tender meat of char siu 叉燒 was lavishly smothered with honey glaze and sauce which I enjoyed very much (though others might find it a tad too sweet and too much). While my health-conscious friends picked the skinny parts and declared that they were not a bit tough and dry, my sample of the fatty portion was succulent and juicy without being overwhelmed by greasiness. A very high quality char siu indeed.
燒肉 was another wonderful appetizer, with the skin super crispy despite served at cold temperature. I didn’t notice any dryness, with the pork fat layered nicely in between the meat. The pan-fried tofu 煎豆腐 was another well-executed simple dish, with the velvety tofu encased in the slightly crispy skin and softened by the saucy and zesty meat toppings. Steamed scallop over egg white custard 帶子蒸蛋白 went well with rice, though the egg white was a tad too dense for my taste. My friend kept going for the double egg vegetable 金銀蛋莧菜, and I “graciously” let them enjoy all the vegetables they wanted. The manager caught the fresh grouper 海班from the tank in front of us, and so before it came we knew it would be big. This 蒸海班was perfectly steamed, with the silky flesh very juicy and tender. We chowed down the whole plate, and there wasn’t a single stringy piece. Quite expertly cooked for a fish of this size.
Due to our non-stop chatting, most of the desserts were sold out when we placed our orders. We settled for 桂圓糕, 紅棗糕, 馬蹄糕, and 蓮蓉西米布甸. 馬蹄糕 was pan-fried to a warm temperature and the most delectable among all, while the sago pudding 西米布甸was already cold and dry when served and completely killed the texture and flavor.
While I know it will never be the same picture like my childhood visits, with high quality food, courteous service, great horse-field view, and most importantly my dear friends, I am sure there will be more visits to Moon Koon.