Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tung Po 東寶小館

The last time I was here was about two years ago on a hot summer night. I guess it is about time to try this place again. Booked a table for 4 @ 7pm and we arrived at 7:05pm. The place was fully packed already and I approached the staff notifying him of our booking. "You are late Mister! You dare to be late !? Brave indeed!" said the staff; and I replied , "I am sorry, we got lost, we rushed up as fast as we can already." Apparently our table was already taken over by someone because we were 5 mins late but the staff nonetheless pointed us to the only remaining table for 4 on the side. As I walked past the staff, he said to me, "Don't be late next time, be on time!" I would not considered them as rude but rather being sarcastically friendly I guess. Once you try to get them to talk (through ordering and chit chatting), they are actually very friendly and helpful. To my understanding, this place is run by members from the same family but each one of them has their own style and unique appearances. One with punk hair, one with long hair and one with Urban Afro style. An interesting scene indeed.

We were approached by different brands of "beer girl" but instead of trying the usual Carlsberg or Tsing Tao beer, we opted for a German one named Erdinger and shared the beer using the special "Fighter Bowl." Although there were only 4 of us, we ordered alot! Most of the dishes are famous dishes. It seems there are so many so-called famous dishes that there are still a few we did not order. (Sorry for those who cannot read Chinese, I will try my best to find the English translation for the dishes below, forgot to take a picture of the menu)

(1) 豉椒炒蟶子 (2) 黃金蝦 (3) 風沙雞 (4) 墨汁墨魚丸意粉 (5) 金銀蛋唐生菜 (6) 鴨汁荷葉飯 (7) 椒鹽九肚魚 (8) 炸榴槤 (9) 薑汁涼粉 ... o my, 9 dishes !

(1) 豉椒炒蟶子 (Bamboo Clams / Razor Clams)
For some reason, there seemed to be more shells than the actual meat inside. Maybe it was my incorrect perceptions due to the dark sauce. Overall, it was a nice dish to start with but I think the sauce was abit too rich that it overtook the taste of the fresh clams.

(2) 黃金蝦
This dish is known for its high cholesterol content but eating it once in a while is fine! I like the way how they prepared it because unlike many places which claim to be famous with this dish, extremely thick batter are used to fried the shrimps and they are usually so salty. The way they prepared it here seems different, a very thin layer of batter and not too salty while maintaining a very rich taste of salt egg yolk. Two thumbs up !

(3) 風沙雞
My perception of a good 風沙雞 is to have a very crispy skin and ALOT of fried garlic. However, I am not a big fan of those fried garlic so I usually would shove those aside. The 風沙雞 we ordered did not come with tons of fried garlic as I would have expected, instead there were just little sprinkled over the top. Although the skin was not particular crispy, the fact that it came with little fried garlic made me really happy.

(4) 墨汁墨魚丸意粉
Another famous dish from this place; however, I wanted to know why. Is it suppose to taste like that? I mean is it suppose to have no taste to it even though the dish is entirely black? O well, aside from the taste issue, the squid balls were pretty good. I was surprised about how chewy they were and I liked it..

(5) 金銀蛋唐生菜 & (6) 鴨汁荷葉飯
Nothing special about this dish besides the fact that it was huge ! Should have ordered a smaller vegetable dish instead. The 鴨汁荷葉飯 was another HUGE dish. The four of us could not finish this rice so I had to pack the rest home. The rice The taste was good with the the mushroom and duck meat; but if there were more 荷葉 flavor it would be way better. If you eat / chew the rice slowly, you would come across something rather crispy, something like apple slices. I am still not sure what those were, but my guess is that they added diced pear to make the rice abit sweet and to give the rice a different textures in every bite.

(7) 椒鹽九肚魚
A surprisingly well made dish. I like it without the sauce and spices, just plainly fried. The outer layer was crisp and extremely soft inside. Actually abit too soft as if in liquid form. Not sure if that is the right texture fish, but I am okay with it.

(8) 炸榴槤
This dish was supposed to be the highlight of the night for me and my friend but were we disappointed indeed !! It is basically durian paste wrapped inside a very thick pastry. We were expecting more, way more.

(9) 薑汁涼粉
I forgot to take a picture for this last dish. For fans of ginger, you will definitely love this dessert because of the very strong / rich ginger taste. After just one spoon of it, the taste of ginger would stay in your mouth for a long long time. Not only was the taste remained in your mouth for a long time but also the stimulating ginger effect. I wonder how much or what kind of ginger syrup they used. humm ....

Tung Po
2/F Java Road Municipal Services Building
99 Java Road, North Point
Tel: 2880 5224



cutieviv said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cutieviv said...

Is 墨汁墨魚丸意粉 similar to the squid ink pasta? The ones that I had in Italy had a lot of taste, so if they are using the real ink, you should be able to taste the squid in the pasta!

Jason said...

It is suppose to be squid ink pasta but maybe they diluted it or something, no taste at all. The one I had at Su Casa (the oyster place reviewed) was better for sure. Sigh ... now i really want to go to Italy to give it a try !

cutieviv said...

Venice is the best place to enjoy squid ink pasta/risotto - it's their regional specialty!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason, you are absolutely right about the abundance of shells in the razor clam dish. This is true of every restaurant that I've ever been to when I ordered this dish. At a 大排档 in Temple street, shells outnumbered clams 3-1. It was quite a sight. Really enjoy your reviews!

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