Last week my wonderful dad who is at work very diligent and capable has brought home with good news — a promotion!!!!! *Dad, we are super proud of you :D*
Immediately we thought of celebrating and honouring his hard work — the most practical and feasible way? A dinner; his favourite cuisine? Shanghainese; where to dine? Let’s try something new!
So after some online searches we decided to go for Hong Kong Old Restaurant and booked a table without hesitation. It joined the hotel one year after its opening in 1992, and this year it is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. I held expectation upon my visit because to me, dining places has to be of top-notch to survive under fast-changing trends in a city like this.
What added confidence in us was the menu as we flipped to the back cover to find out it was the original printed version. Not 100% sure but if that means the restaurant has been operating for two decades without having to modify its content, it has marked a certain degree of success!
The dinner kicked off with Smoked Eggs with Walnuts. The presentation was simple and beautiful with half-cooked yolk of a rich texture and smoky aftertaste that lingered. However, only half of it can cream our upper and lower palates together, that’s why sweetened, crispy walnuts had to be there!
Then our choice of side dishes arrived in one platter, with Crispy WuXi Eel that were truly crunchy to snack on, Drunken Chicken with a prominent taste of wine, and Pork Aspic was a cold appetizer that was literally a combination of time, skills and effort.
For mains, we always love to have either Plain or Dragon Well Stir-fried Shrimps. That evening we opted for the simpler one as recommended, and it did not disappoint at all. The shrimps were the size of thumbnails, clear and firm with a hint of flavourful sesame oil.
Then a heavier dish of Braised Pork Knuckle. The meat was super tender and juicy, and its layer of skin was thick, spongy and melted with heat in your mouth(!) No matter how aware you are with health, you must take at least one bite with both parts together. Pleasure certainly overrides guilt here, trust me! 😉
Casserole Mix has milky white soup from with essences of chicken and the pungent Jinhua ham, added with fish maw, sea cucumber, Chinese mushrooms, Chinese cabbages and egg dumplings that are really traditional and hard to find. Very delicious and, just a spoonful of the soup can be more satisfying than ever.
We had decided to add a veggie dish: Stir-fried Amaranth with Broad Beans. It was cooked to perfection, looking and tasting green and young, the only problem is it was too oily.
Then one of my all-time favourites — Soufflé Balls with Red Bean Filling! Similar to western soufflés (that I like making a lot) they were adorable and fluffy and I felt like a kid while eating this tennis ball sized-dessert 😀 You have to eat it with the white sugar to feel the textural contrast and additional sweetness.
We’re happy about this place, including the dishes that respect its Shanghainese roots (and with a twist to better suit local diners’ palates), the services brought by attentive and friendly staff, and the environment that is old-fashioned yet heart-warming.
This time, spontaneity brought us here with good surprises but not dishes that require pre-ordering 24 hours ahead (AWWWWW!). Next time, we are definitely going for its famous Peking Duck!
Friendly reminder 🙂 Newton Hotel is close to Fortress Hill MTR station (yes, though the address says North Point, the 1km long Electric Road actually spans from the South in CWB to the North in North Point).
Hong Kong Old Restaurant (香港老飯店）
Basement, Newton Hotel Hong Kong, 218 Electric Road, North Point
Tel: +852 2508 1081
— Ed has recently opened his own blog (http://edyeah.blogspot.hk/) too in Chinese, covering nice eateries as well as fashion, music and advertising. Enjoy!