Gordon Ramsay's London House
After letting that pork and duck settle in me for about six hours, I decided to try London House, a high-end pub owned by Gordon Ramsay, right near my hotel. Overall, the quail Scotch egg and shepherd's pie I had were great. It would've been more enjoyable without that house band playing, but that's OK. If I lived in the area, I'd easily return to this joint somewhat regularly to get high-quality, non-Asian food.
The Scotch egg is prepared with breaded, ground sausage surrounding the soft-boiled quail egg; the whole contraption is then deep fried, just what the doctor ordered.
The shepherd's pie tasted of ground beef (as opposed to authentic ground lamb) and was really perfect. The seasoned layer of mashed potatoes on top had shaved parmesan which turned crispy, orange brown when baked. I think the carrots were minced making the whole dish just very easy to eat. I would've asked if the meat used was beef or lamb, but I wouldn't have been able to hear the server over the Rick Astley playing.
Both app and entree were washed down with a pretty horrible glass of Pinot Noir...a Burgundy no less. Note to self: maybe 2013 really was a pretty bad year.
I can't believe I left my earplugs in my other pair of jeans.
Quail Scotch eggs:
Hole-in-the-wall barbecue shop
Well, I tried going to Hong Kong's last remaining night market; it's on Temple Street on the Kowloon side. When I got there I saw more souvenirs and kitsch for sale than I did street food. And what few stalls I did see were forgettable. One place had a woman turning meat skewers, which certainly piqued my interest. But when I walked over, I immediately said to myself, "why does it smell like elephant crap here?" And so, I immediately headed back in the direction of my hotel knowing I'd find something else on which to snack before grabbing a late dinner. Only a few minutes later I walked by a couple of storefronts selling barbecue pork and duck. They were adjacent to each other, and I actually made my purchase at the store not depicted in the three photos above; this joint just had the better photo ops.
I bought a duck leg quarter and some pork loin for about $6.50, half of what it costs in Chinatown. Both were excellent, juicy, tender. I just didn't eat very much of the duck because it's so rich. These barbecue shops aren't ubiquitous in town, so if you come across one, give it a try right then and there.
Anyhow, while terrific, I didn't taste any nuances separating them from what I've had elsewhere.
December 26, 2017
Shrimp & shark fin dumpling in soup:
I once again lucked out with the kitchen serving what turned out to be my best selection last. The shrimp and shark fin dumpling served in a clear soup with vermicelli noodles was terrific from beginning to end. The large dumpling wrap broke easily enabling me to eat it in parts while I lapped up the soup and noodles at a similar pace. The shark fin gave you that nice textural difference; when I've had it in the past, and not just at Chinese weddings, it's usually been tough, cartilaginous. And it's not so easy to find from what I've observed. Three human tongues, all the way!
Up next were fried pork & veggie buns. These were nice and small like those incredible pork buns from Tim Ho Wan, though these were pan fried. Was I about to partake in another unforgettable bite-sized pleasure? Unfortunately, the dish was pretty bland with the exception of that soapy, perfumy herbal flavor I so dislike along with many other people...cilantro. That it cooked made the scent and flavor ever present in the dish. Regardless, the buns were very greasy and the pork bland. I'd give it zero human tongues, but both the dough and the insides were tender and moist. OK, I'll give it a Lick.
Fried pork & vegetable buns:
These steaming hot shrimp dumplings were deep fried and served with what looked like a dollop of mayonnaise which didn't add anything to the dish. Most every place serves this kind of dumpling, but I couldn't blame anyone for ordering it each time.
Fried shrimp dumplings:
I overcame my jet lag this morning enough to go for a dim sum brunch at a joint called Canton's Kitchen very close to my subway station. Like you often do in Chinatown in NYC, you have to go down a flight of stairs to get to this place. I was happy to have dim sum so soon after Tim Ho Wan since those dishes were still fresh in my mind. Today was costlier than yesterday's Michelin-Starred lunch, though still cheaper than in NYC. And look whom I saw sitting to my right by herself. Funny, I ordered five dishes to her two, but...I needed the extra calories for my training.... Anyhow, she had a "real" camera so maybe she's blogging. Hmph...bring it on, sister!
This ha jiao was good, but it wasn't as jam-packed with shrimp and juice goodness like what I had at Tim Ho Wan a day earlier.
Canton's Kitchen Dim Sum Expert
My third dish was crab roe shrimp dumplings. The roe added nice crackle to each bite, as well as some brininess. But if you take that away, you're pretty much left with a steamed shrimp shumai. Though it might look like it, I didn't taste crab meat, unfortunately. The dish deserves one Lick.
Crab roe shrimp shumai: