Monday, November 13, 2017

Hung's Delicacies - Hong Kong

While on a layover at the Hong Kong Airport we spotted a sign that caught our attention: "The World's Best Airport Restaurant...CNN - 2013 & 2014." It also stated: "Michelin One Star Restaurant in 5 consecutive Years Since 2010." Further, "Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Awards 2012 Best Airport Food & Beverage Reflecting 'Sense of Place'". When you're in an airport and looking for food, how can you pass that up?

We looked at the menu and it looked like they had some fun dishes to try. The restaurant itself is not large, or fancy, but pretty nice for an airport setting. 

Note that prices are in Hong Kong Dollars which are worth a little less than $.13.

The owner, Wai Hung Lai, also known as Ah-Hung, began as a cook at age 17. He apprenticed at Yung Kee, one of Hong Kong's iconic restaurants, later was head chef at Maxim's in Beijing and later was Maxim Group's head chef in Hong Kong. Over the years he developed expertise in marinade-braised dishes and roasted meats and then opened his own restaurant. 

Several of the dishes we looked at were identified as "Lou Seoi." Lou Seoi is a special marinade used in Chiu Chow dishes from the Guangdong Province of China. So, for example, unlike the traditional Cantonese crispy-skinned roasted goose, Hung's "Lou Seoi" goose is braised with a combination of herbs and soy sauce which gives it a golden-glazed appearance and the meat stays tender. Judy ordered it and it was pretty good.
Goose is a dark meat and it remained pretty moist. 
I ordered a combination plate of goose's kidney in Chef Hung's Lou Seoi, pork belly in Chef Hung's Lou Seoi and layered pig's intestine in aspic. 
The kidney, at the front, was not helped much, if at all, by the Lou Seoi. It was rigid, very chewy and did not have much taste. Very unforgettable, or memorable in a bad way.
I love pork belly, center, but this pork belly was cold and pork belly is too fatty to be eaten cold. This was a real downer for me as I usually love pork belly. 
The layered pig intestines in aspic was the saving grace. Aspic is a savory jelly made with meat stock, set in a mold, and used to contain pieces of meat. This site gives a "how to" on layering pig intestines. It is multiple layers of intestines stuffed together, which you can see in the picture. By layering the intestines you get a "bouncier and chewier texture." I'm assuming that the layers were lined with the savory jelly and when braised gave it additional flavor. 
This close-up gives a better view of the layering. 
The layered intestines were the best part of the meal, even better than the goose. They were juicy, very savory, and had great mouth feel. 

I'm kind of wondering how I got here from there. By that I mean, I grew up in a family that did not eat offal. I remember being traumatized when I was forced to eat liver on a family vacation to Italy when I was in 9th grade (I ordered it by pointing my finger to an item in a non-English menu and my father I insisted I ate what I ordered). Later that same day, in Italy, I was traumatized again when I had a tripe dish (again, unknowingly) at the recommendation of my cousin. 

I realize more and more than our appetites are influenced hugely by our culture and that cultural mores prevent us from enjoying some very wonderful foods. Eating foods from different cultures is one of my favorite aspects of travel. In that regard, the visit to Hung's was a success. 

1 comment:

  1. It was interesting to look around and see what other customers (all of whom appeared to be Chinese) were eating, interesting also to think of such a high-level restaurant in an airport. It was a fun dining experience.