Saturday, 2 April 2011

Old School Cantonese Food

The decor at Lin Heung has hardly changed over the years

There's a restaurant in my neighbourhood that's considered a Hong Kong institution in terms of serving authentic Cantonese cuisine.

It's called Lin Heung Lau (蓮香樓) and it doesn't try to modernize its dishes -- it just does them the way it has always done them -- take it or leave it.

And seeing by the numbers of people waiting on the stairs for a table is proof this old school restaurant is popular with locals.

The restaurant's name is printed on the dishes
For starters you have to rinse your own tableware, and there are also spittoons for those who are so inclined to show off their other oral skills.

During the day it's a dim sum place, but it's not my cup of tea as it's practically impossible to get a table, let alone a seat and the waiters are surly old men who don't seem to care about treating customers well.

However in the evenings, the atmosphere has calmed down and the waiters are much more friendlier and less stressed.

Tonight we celebrated a large family gathering with some special dishes that had to be ordered in advance.

Eight treasure duck
To start off the meal, giant white tureens were brought to each table and it was a soup made with pig lungs and almonds (HK$400). It's a tedious soup to make, as the pig lungs have to be cleaned properly and almond juice is made by blending the almonds with rice and then put through a strainer. A relative explained this soup was very nourishing for the body, which would help stave off coughing when sick or strengthen the lungs.

It was a creamy white broth, with lots of small cubes of pork and had a delicate taste with no MSG.

Next came the eight treasure duck called Lin Heung Special Duck (HK$180), which is stuffed with lotus seeds, glutinous rice, beans and salted egg yolks. It's then deep-fried and then stewed. We all liked this dish and pretty much massacred the duck, the meat very tender and all the flavours combined together very well.

Braised garoupa with dried tofu skin
We also had giant king prawns (HK$160) that were panfried, a plate of water spinach served in a broth with roasted garlic and preserved eggs and salted egg whites (HK$100). Another signature dish is the crispy chicken ($180) served with shrimp chips that the kid inside us all love to munch on. The skin was a beautiful shiny dark brown colour, not dried up, and the meat very tender. There was also a braised garoupa with vegetables and dried tofu skin (HK$330).

To finish the meal we had the in-house dessert, a sweet soup of beans with coconut flavour and malai goh, or steamed cake that wasn't too saccharine.

Lin Heung is great for dinner, but you need a big group of people to eat all the food, thus the special occasion.

Lin Heung 蓮香樓
160-164 Wellington Street
2544 4556

1 comment:

  1. it is great for the owners of lin heung to maintain certain old traditional standards in chinese cooking rather than being influenced by foreign tastes.