Friday, May 27, 2011

Retour à la Cuisine de Tim

After my first amazing experience at Tim's Kitchen (84-90 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, HK) last year, I was very happy to be able to join a dinner organised by a friend for her out-of-town guests. As there was more than 10 of us in attendance, we were able to order many dishes and get a good sampling of the Chef's skills. It was mostly gweilos around the table (one of them vegetarian), so the ordering veered on the safe side of the menu, but the food was absolutely delicious throughout, better than I remembered even (if that is possible...) and the service was remarkably attentive and efficient (rare enough to be mentioned, particularly as far as Cantonese restaurants are concerned). I will definitely be looking forward to my next visit as soon as snake soup is in season again...

Preserved eggs

These were as good as I remembered - perfectly gooey and smooth yolk, and of course plenty of ammonia. I normally never do this, as they are quite filling, but tonight I decided to have a second helping :)

Honey glazed roasted pork

I joked with a fellow diner that for once it was good to see char siu that does not glow in the dark... The nice caramel brown colour revealed plenty of sweet flavours and the meat was tender and juicy without being overly fatty. Very good.

Roasted pork

Served with its traditional mustard dip. The skin was nice and crispy, but the meat was a bit too fatty for my taste. The flavours were excellent though.

Stir-fried giant glass prawn

I rarely try to impose my way on group dinners, but tonight I did insist we order this. I think some of the diners might have missed the point of this understated dish,  but the spectacular prawn certainly did earn a few points with others. The peanut oil flavour was less present this time, but the dish was still amazingly delicious. The prawn was firm and cooked to perfection, and its sweet and delicate flavour was brilliantly complemented by the yunnan ham-infused glaze.

Braised whole crab claw with winter melon

Another dish I suggested we order... this had to be the biggest crab claw I had seen in a very long time! It was just enormous. Expertly deshelled and cooked to perfection. The melon starchy glaze was delicately flavoured with ham, and the execution of the dish was just absolutely flawless. Wow.

Now tell me... what kind of person orders 3 sorts of chilli sauce in a Cantonese restaurant, exactly??

Answer: a Singaporean :o)

Seasonal soup with pork and lotus root

A cloudy soup with mild and slightly sweet flavours. Very nice.

The soup ingredients - lotus root, pork belly and a mysterious rhizome...

Pomelo skin with shrimp roe

I think my insistence to order this dish proved a bit too adventurous for quite a few of my fellow diners... oh well, more for me then :) I had to stop the waitress in her tracks before she proceeded to massacre it with a spoon in order to be able to shoot the thing whole ...

Hello yummy, come see mommy... :)

Stir-fried scallops with vegetables

Nice flavours and good execution but nothing too adventurous here...

Stir-fried Australian beef with asparagus

I found the asparagus interestingly astringent, almost bitter, which paired nicely with the sweet and slightly fatty beef. The meat was tender and juicy. Not an overly original dish but very well executed with nice, clean flavours.

Roasted chicken

Perfectly brined, with an awesome crispy skin, and plenty of wing tips for me to munch on :)

Egg white in tomato sauce

This was one of the few dishes we ordered for our veggie guest, and it was surprisingly good. The tomato sauce was very fruity (think - like a good passata), slightly thickened with cornstarch and veering on the sweet and sour with a nice onion kick. This dish paired deliciously with the fried rice...

Fried rice with egg white and scallions

Firm grains, neatly separating, not too oily and with nice texture from the egg white and flavour from the scallion. Pretty nicely done.

Stir-fried Chinese lettuce with fermented bean paste

This veggie is normally stir-fried with shrimp paste, and was surprisingly good. The fermented bean sauce was very flavourful.

Spicy deep-fried tofu

I love deep fried tofu, and this version was particularly yummy, all the more so once smothered with the Sriracha sauce we asked for earlier (as the spiciness of the tofu itself was, in true Cantonese fashion, quite mild).

With such a feast, there was no hope of even attempting to squeeze dessert in, and we gently rolled back home.

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