Monthly Archives: March 2012

Tao Heung 稻香 – Tung Chung

LUCKY ON LANTAU?

tao heung - tung chung

When I said I would meet a friend for dinner in Tung Chung I never thought it would end up being a hotpot dinner! Life’s funny like that.  Serendipitous I would call it (nom nom). Tao Heung as it turns out is a chain of restaurants in HK specialising in Cantonese cuisine, dim sum and hotpot!

Pros

  • For a Wednesday night it was relatively busy but it still felt pretty relaxed and lacked the frenzy of similar establishments. A generous window seat for four gave the two of us room to maneuver and cook easily.  There was a family to one side and another couple to the other but we hardly noticed them.
  • The staff were very friendly and helpful.  They explained the specials, told us what wasn’t in season and were pretty attentive throughout.
  • The menu was BILLINGUAL! Always a plus in my books meaning we could happily order whatever we fancied rather than what morsels we could muster.  Tell a lie – my dining companion is fluent in Cantonese, but what I’m saying is a non-Cantonese speaking person could happily have ordered here.
  • Beautifully crafted dumplings – ‘gau choi gau’ (pork and chive dumplings) – tasted pretty good too!
  • After 9pm – most items drop in price by 50%.

'gau choi gau'

Cons

  • The soup – unfortunately not their strong point.  We asked for a yin yeung – half pork bone/winter melon (came with CORN!) half má là.  Both very watery and lacking in substance.  The má là wasn’t even oily! The pork bones gray and dirty looking – we took them straight out.

disappointing

  • The beef – we ordered the ‘premium US beef’ (the best I could see on the menu) but at $48 per order I shouldn’t have held out much hope.  It was fine but only consisted of about 8 very thin slices.
  • No loh bat OR dong gua – are you kidding me?
  • Worked out more expensive than I was expecting.  I know hotpot for two is seldom economical but $500 for 1 plate of beef, 1 plate of dumplings, tofu, veggies, mushrooms, noodles etc seemed steep at the end of it.

Would I go again – sure – it was easy and pleasant and if I were in Tung Chung again and in need of dinner I would certainly head back.

FYI – Wow – just found out the Tao Heung Group has over 60 different restaurants in HK!

No.3, Podium Level 1, Coastal Skyline, 12 Tung Chung Waterfront Road, Tung Chung
2947 7488
http://www.taoheung.com.hk
 
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A bit on the side

DONG GUA & LOH BAT

Last night the winds picked up, the humidity lifted and the temperature dipped (just slightly).  I was already meeting a friend for dinner so the obvious choice became hotpot (like we needed an excuse).  I had wanted to give Calf Bone King another bash only to be told they were experiencing a power shortage and to return in 2 hours. Aiieyah. What to do? We decided upon a large restaurant round the corner that happened to be part of the Star Seafood Group.

The hotpot was average and certainly not worth a review (the soup second-rate – need I say more) but in the midst of this mediocrity laid a gem or two.  Among the regulars we ordered, my dining companion suggested loh bat (daikon/white radish) and then dong gua (winter melon).

“Do you mean which would I prefer” I asked.  “No” was the reply,  ”I think we should order both”.

Against my better judgement, we went ahead and ordered both, and well wasn’t that the best idea.  They were probably my 2 favourite items of the entire meal – unusual for a staunch meat eater like myself!  The dong gua cooked in the broth until meltingly tender, the texture almost silky, the flavour subtle yet distinct.   In contrast the loh bat held its form and kept its bite.  The rich radishy flavour mixed with the broth resulted in something meaty yet almost sweet, and very morish – I couldn’t believe it.

Later that night as I was fondly recollecting my new found favourites,  it occurred to me that they were both yin foods, in other words, cooling.  With our chosen soup being a Sichuan ‘má là’ (surprise surprise) and hotpot being naturally ‘yeet hei’ (heaty) was it any wonder we found the melon and radish so soothing and so enticing at the same time?  Because that’s what it was like – I was compelled to eat more.  Perhaps it was my body’s way of telling me to balance out the meal or possibly it was just the perfect conduit for spicy soupy goodness on a chilly evening.  Whichever it was, loh bat and dong gua are unquestionably very “cool” and definitely more than just a bit on the side.

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