Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Kitchen Patrol

Food and travel guest blogger hkLifestyleGeek gives us her next scoop on fantastic restaurants around town and travel tips. Contact her at hklifestylegeek@hkfashiongeek.com 

In the 2011 Michelin guide Hong Kong Macau, Tim's Kitchen was awarded two stars and it's not hard to see why.

Chef Tim has fine Cantonese cuisine down to an art form and as long as you stick to the specialities, you can't go wrong. And honestly with its Sheung Wan location and pretty good service staff, you are mostly paying for good food.

The decor isn't particularly elegant, more modern contemporary, with glass showcases presenting paraphenalia from Cantonese opera stars which sort of seems like an odd combination for this restaurant. But as I said, you're coming here for the dishes and it's best to stick to the recommended ones mentioned below. Other items on the menu may not be as good.

With winter here, do try the supreme snake bisque, a hearty bowl of various ingredients including snake meat, wood ear fungus, pork and fish maw. It comes with the typical garnishes you can add such as chyrsanthemum petals, coriander, julienne kafir lime leaves and deep fried crisps.

Another winner is the steamed whole fresh crab claw on a bed of steamed egg white. It's absolutely divine. The crab claw is very meaty and fresh, cooked to perfection, the egg white is smooth in texture, flavoured by the thickened chicken stock. There is another crab claw dish with winter melon, but the one with egg white is better.
The Crystal king prawn looks like a fluffed up prawn, accompanied by a slice of Chinese ham. The two need to be eaten together with a fork and knife, otherwise the shrimp seems a bit on the bland side, but not by much.

A delicacy that may seem strange to non Chinese foodies is the braised pomelo skin with shrimp roe. This dish requires a lot of preparation beforehand, and a tedious one at that. The skin must be soaked for several days, and the water changed each day. Then it is braised for a long time before it becomes an almost melt-in-your-mouth sensation. This one at Tim's Kitchen hits the spot topped with tiny shrimp roe for a contrasting texture.

Then there's the crispy chicken that really does live up to its name. The skin is a gorgeous dark golden brown and the meat is tender and hardly dry. You can order a half portion here, as you have to order a whole one for salt-baked chicken.

Pea shoots are in season for winter and we had them cooked in a soup base that was not too oil and very light.

Unfortunately desserts are not Tim's Kitchen's forte, but its standard sweets are OK, just don't order the sago puff pastry which I made the mistake of doing once before. The almond soup with egg whites is fine, though a bit on the sweet side.

All in all make an effort to get to Tim's Kitchen and splurge. Your stomach and taste buds will love you for it.

Tim's Kitchen
84-90 Bonham Strand
Sheung Wan
2543 5919

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