3/F Langham Place,
8 Argyle Street,
Mongkok, Hong Kong,
Food type: Chinese (Dim Sum)
Food rating: 6/10
Nearest tube: Mongkok
Phew! I’ve been back from Hong Kong for a couple of days now although I decided to take a few days off before updating my blog. I need a holiday from my holiday – going on holidays drains a lot out of me… I don’t know whether it is all the walking or just the actual travelling itself. After all, my trip began ominously with me deciding to stay up all night to watch the England-Croatia game and about 2 hours sleep total during my car journey to the airport and the flight to Hong Kong. Things weren’t better at KLIA airport with some shocking food at one of the dining outlets called ‘Noodle’. The gist of the story is that they served me undercooked chicken with blood oozing out no less and made no effort to rectify the situation.
Anyways, after arriving at HKIA at 1 pm (and refusing any of the plane food) we were feeling rather peckish. After quickly checking in to our hotel, we were off for some Dim Sum. Now you are wondering, why am I eating Dim Sum for lunch. You see in Hong Kong, Dim sum is pretty popular for lunch and afternoon tea. In fact, most places offer discounts if you dine after 11 am, if you can last till then that is.
Guangzhou Garden is located in a shopping mall in Mong Kok (air conditioning is of vital importance for me, what with the heat wave in HK during the summer months). The restaurant is popular for its different varieties of soups which is claimed to cure different ailments. Of course, my visit here was for their dim sum which included some contemporary takes on dim sum (their so called signature dim sum) as well as the tried and tested fare. The restaurant also boasts a respectable wine list although it focuses on high end French wines.
Dim Sum in the Cage
Shark’s Fin and Bamboo Pith Dumpling, Steamed Abalone with Shrimp and Pork, Steamed Shrimp and Bamboo Shoot Dumpling
Bird Nest’s Egg Tart, Deep-Fried Egg paste with Cinnamon Honey Sauce and Golden Turnip Puff Pastry
A good item to start off with is their ‘Dim Sum in the Cage’ which offers a variety of their signature Dim Sum consisting of Shark’s Fin and Bamboo Pith Dumpling, Steamed Abalone with Shrimp and Pork, Steamed Shrimp and Bamboo Shoot Dumpling, Bird Nest’s Egg Tart, Deep-Fried Egg paste with Cinnamon Honey Sauce and Golden Turnip Puff Pastry. Wow… what a mouthful. While there were innovations in the Dim Sum (for example adding bird nests to egg tarts and abalone to shrimp and pork dumpling) I felt that in most cases the addition did not add anything to the dim sum other than to make them more luxurious (and no doubt more expensive). Nevertheless the quality of the dim sum was very high and well made and they still score highly based on taste. (5/10)
Baked BBQ Pork Bun
One of my favourites during this meal was the Baked BBQ Pork Bun with fluffy light bread encasing the pork which was moist and covered in all its glorious juices, waiting to burst into (hopefully) your mouth when you take a bite of the bun. (6/10)
Har Gao Wong
Har Gao or Steamed Prawn Dumpling is one of the staples of dim sum dining. Here, they served Giant-sized Prawn Dumplings also known as Har Gao Wong. This dumpling is equivalent to 4 regular Har Gaos! The dumpling was packed full of fresh, crunchy prawns steamed to perfection although I found that the skin to be perhaps a tad too thick.
We also had the Minced Pork Dumpling Soup which was served with some Chinese Black Vinegar. The soup was packed full of dried scallops giving it a clean and lovely base. As I only tried a spoonful of the soup (and none of the pork dumpling) I am unable to comment on this dish.
Steamed Flour Roll with Barbequed Pork
Steamed Flour Roll with Shrimp and Smooth Egg
Cheong Fun or Steamed Flour Roll is one of my favourite Dim sum items. However, getting this simple dish right can be an art unto itself as oftentimes the flour roll ends up being too thick, starchy or coarse. Like the perfect lasagna, the flour roll has to be thin and silky smooth, sliding down your palate with ease. Both the Steamed Flour Rolls here (Barbequed Pork and Shrimp with Smooth Egg) were technically sound although the barbeque pork fared much better. (6/10 for BBQ Pork, 4/10 for Shrimp with Smooth Egg) I honestly don’t understand the addition of the smooth egg – if anything it only detracted from the silky smooth flour rolls. A nice touch was the soy sauce was served in a separate pouring cup which prevents the flour rolls from becoming stodgy and drench by the time it reaches the table.
Steamed Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf
Some Steamed Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf fared very well. Unlike the humungous parcels which are served in London and Malaysia, the rice came in dainty little parcels with about 2 tablespoons of rice. The rice is wrapped around lotus leaves to infuse it with the fragrant aroma of the leaf. Small amounts of condiments such as minced barbequed pork, dried scallops and chopped chinese mushrooms were also added to enchance the flavour of the rice. Again the timing of the rice was spot-on with the gentle fragrance of the lotus leaf not-overpowering the subtle flavours of the rice. (5/10)
Steamed BBQ Pork Bun
What would Dim Sum be if you did not have a nice Char Siu Bau (Steamed BBQ Pork Bun) and some tea to wash it down with. Much like the Baked BBQ Pork Bun, the Char Siu Bau featured good bread with moist juicy pork. (6/10)
Dim Sum at Guangzhou City was a very pleasant affair with efficient and prompt service with food flowing seamlessly from the kitchen. Dim sums here are individually priced between HK$18 to HK$138 with an additional 10% service charge. Another thing to take note off is that no MSG is added to any of the food served here. Dim Sum is served on Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays) between 8-11am and 2.30-4pm.