Monday, 20 January 2014

Hong Zhou

Regional Chinese cuisine

Hong Zhou restaurant in Wan Chai, a Michelin rated restaurant is a little different to the usual Chinese restaurants you would encounter outside China, it offers regional cuisine in the style of Eastern China by the coast, from Hongzhou and Shanghai. While rice is hardly on the menu and well known for its very robust and rich flavours cooking. It is a popular place for dinner among the local politicians and governors in Hong Kong, so wondering what is the big deal about Hong Zhou, a group of us ended up there after a gathering for a late dinner. 

We started off with a cold dish: Lotus roots stuffed with glutinous rice, the texture and taste were fine but I really didn't get what is the deal with the sugar syrup covering the whole dish, lotus roots and rice already has certain sweetness so with the syrup on top it resulted in a overly sweet dish and it tasted like a dessert dish rather than an appetizer dish. Steamed dumplings stuffed with minced pork, a Shanghai classic also failed big time, the skin was thick and all four dumplings were inconsistent shapes.

Lotus roots stuffed with glutinous rice
Steamed dumplings stuffed with minced pork
Hangzhou spinach

The rest of the evening proved to be better with each dish, fried stinky bean curd, a street food classic with green soy beans had a lovely aromatic spicy aroma, the bean curd was very intense with a sweet and earthy taste. Stir fried shredded cuttlefish with Hangzhou chili was not as spicy as I expected, in fact the chili was bitter and sweet which worked well with the tender cuttlefish. The house special braised pork belly with steamed bun was the best dish on the night, the pork was really moist and contained all the lovely wine, spices, vinegar and sugar elements which made up the sauce, served with a hot steamed bun we have one of the finest pork sandwiches from China. 

fried stinky bean curd
stir fried shredded cuttlefish with Hangzhou chili
braised pork belly with steamed bun

At the end of the day the price was very reasonable but I do not understand why it is such a "hot place" for politicians considering the fact that, while it was pleasant, it was hardly anything special. It managed to pull off the regional style in a very traditional manner on its main courses but the dumplings was just awful. I doubt I will return as Wan Chai is full of other quality places that serves similar cuisine.

Food 5.5
Service 4
Ambience 5
Value 6

£11  per head with tea

1/F,Chinachem Johnston Plaza,178-188 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

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