Monday, October 18, 2010

La cuisine de Tim

What a gorgeous meal! I was lucky enough to be invited to join a couple of my professional foodie friends for dinner at Tim's Kitchen (84-90 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, HK). I had heard a lot about this place and had wanted to pay it a visit for quite some time. Foodie websites are packed with ecstatic reviewers raving about this restaurant, and I was only too happy to be given the opportunity to sample some fine Chinese dining in no less fine company...

Preserved eggs

These promptly landed on the table after we were seated. For most Westerners, preserved eggs are an acquired taste (which very few acquire at all actually) but for me, they have always been love at first sight (or should I say, at first smell, as I cannot resist ammonia in whatever for it may come...). These were excellent - perfectly gooey and smooth yolk, and of course plenty of ammonia. The ginger was welcome to clean the tastebuds though, as one of the guests had been kind enough to bring some good Froggie wine for us to sip over dinner, and these delicacies tend to pair horribly with any wine...

Stir-fried giant glass prawn

This is one of the signature dishes, and it was absolutely delicious. The giant prawn was extremely fresh, perfectly cooked, very sweet, and coated with a drizzle of pretty fragrant peanut oil (in which it had probably been cooked). It came with a little sliver of yunnan ham, which was topped by a sweet and fruity glaze. Extremely simple and yet so refined - a brilliant example of the elegance of Cantonese cuisine.
Braised whole crab claw with winter melon

Resting on its little pillow of winter melon, a huge and succulent crab claw, covered in a delicious starchy sauce flavoured with some umami-esque yunnan ham. Classic Cantonese flavour pairing, flawless execution. Brilliant dish.

Snake soup

This was (finally !!) in season again, so I could not resist having a bowl, which came with all the traditional condiments (coriander leaves, chrysanthemum petals, fried crackers and thinly shredded kaffir lime leaves). So delicious. I would have ordered a second bowl straight away if it hadn't been for all this food that had yet to come our way...

Braised pomelo skin with shrimp roe (murdered by the waiter before I had time to take a shot of the whole piece... grrr)

Braised pomelo skin with shrimp roe

Another delicious combination, perfectly executed. The starchy sauce was full of roe flavour, and the pomelo skin melted in the mouth. I always wondered how many hours of careful braising are needed to bring the white spongy skin to this wonderful texture...

Roasted baby pigeons

This was all crispy skin and tasty meat. I went straight for a drumstick, followed by a couple of wings. I particularly enjoyed the wing tips, which were super crispy yet not burnt. The breast was delish as well but I have always been more of a dark meat person, so I focused on the extremities instead - at this point of the meal I was already optimising stomach space...

Stir-fried tripe with mixed vegetables

The tripe was suprisingly mild but has a bouncy-chewy texture which I enjoyed a lot. The play on the textures in this dish was fantastic - crunchy veggies and fruit, bouncy tripe and pine nuts. So good - I couldn't stop munching on it.

Braised goose web and pork tendon in oyster sauce

I left these extremities to my fellow diners (feet... eeek!!) and focused on the tendon, which was de-li-cious. Sticky-full of collagen goodness. I am sure my complexion looked noticeably better when I walked out of the restaurant :-)

Steamed jujube pudding

Very sweet and quite smokey, as if strong smoked tea had been used to prepare the various layers of jelly. I liked this a lot - the jujube flavour was very nice and this was quite fun to eat.
Was this really sago puff pastry ??

The pastry was very dry and crumbled to pieces at the first bite, no sign of anything puffy  here... no sago in sight either, as the filling was some sort of lotus seed paste with pine nuts. The taste was not bad but the texture needs A LOT of work (even this humble Sunday cook can do better than that...)

1 comment:

  1. Froggie,

    To improve the taste of any wine, first take a bite of the century eggs, swallow, and then sip the wine. Try it and let me know if you think it works...