Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Celestial Court Chinese Restaurant 天寶閣中餐廳 (Hong Kong)

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After my recent quest for suckling pig at the Kimberley Hotel, not only did I dream about it in a delicious way, I kept on thinking of returning soon. We named the little pig "Pepe the Piggy" for those interested to know and we were all looking forward to name another piggy asap! Some of my friends returned soon after and met "Kimmy the Piggy". While I am still planning for a return visit, I had the honor the meet "Cici the stuffed Piggy" at Celestial Court. It was a short encounter but a much needed one for me to realize how much I miss Pepe the Piggy.


Unlike the one from Kimberley Hotel, the Roasted suckling pig stuffed with pearl barley, black truffles, glutinous rice and wild mushrooms consisted of a more sophisticated stuffing especially with the black truffles and pearl barley. While the think layer of skin was crunchy and flavorful, the fillings were rather moist, too moist in my opinion. The black truffle flavors were indeed very subtle to a point that I think it would make no difference with or without it. I like my rice stuffing to be a bit more dry, a personal preference I suppose. I still think it is worth a try for what it is.

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The Braised bean curd sheet rolls filled with mushrooms and vegetables was one of the famous dishes here.One side was the stuffed bean curd roll and the other side was the layered bean curd ... cake? The firm yet tender texture of the layered cake was quite interesting. Next ...

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Yet another decent but unexciting Pea Shoot in Broth. I posted it because I liked the presentation of it.

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Chicken and Frog Legs in Hot Pot. Interesting combination but flavors were quite strong and salty. Some people may be disgusted or perhaps offended somehow by Frog legs, but one should know that it has been a common working class ingredients throughout the Chinese culinary history if I recall correctly. The same item has been treated as delicacy several thousand miles away west of the Middle Kingdom. If we look closely in the world's culinary history, the use of frog legs have been quite common in regions of Spain, Caribbean, parts of eastern Europe as well as many Southeast Asian countries. In other words, it is not that uncommon. While it is perfectly fine with feeling uncomfortable with certain use of ingredients in different culinary cultures, it is rather inappropriate to judge a culture based on one's own disapproval of that certain ingredients. One should at least try to understand the history of the cultures before jumping to conclusion in my humble opinion. (although perfect valid, the environmental issues should be set aside when discussing food / culinary anthropology)

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Papaya stuffed with Stewed Beef Briskets (木藏牛) was indeed a pleasant surprise. All our eyes focused on the huge orange papaya. Wonderfully presented and it was a dish that would silence all conversations.

Papaya stuffed with Stewed Beef

As the name suggested, there should be beef briskets somewhere right? No worries, the staff revealed the secret hiding inside! To be honest, I wanted to do it myself but since I needed to capture a few action shots,  I can only give myself an excuse to visit again soon!

Papaya stuffed with Stewed Beef

Once opened, more sauce flowed out and revealed the beef briskets hiding indeed. Very flavorful and tender, perfect to go with white rice. The sweetness of the papaya went quite well with the beef. Papaya is a very good natural tenderizer thanks to the an enzyme called papain which breaks down the connective tissues of meat when in contact.  However, it is often raw un-ripe papaya that is used to achieve that, perhaps they did tenderize the beef with raw un-ripe papaya before. In any case, it was a very well prepare dish that I would definitely order again.

Papaya stuffed with Stewed Beef

Likes: 
  • Papaya stuffed with Stewed Beef Briskets (木藏牛) - well presented and great combination of flavors.
  • Roasted suckling pig stuffed with pearl barley, black truffles, glutinous rice and wild mushrooms - crunchy thin skin but the rice fillings were a bit too moist for my liking. 
Dislikes: 
  • Chicken and Frog Legs in Hot Pot - Rich flavors, quite salty. 

Avg Spending: HKD 200 - 300 per person

Celestial Court Chinese Restaurant 天寶閣中餐廳 (Hong Kong)
2/F, Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers,
20 Nathan Road, TST, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2732 6991




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5 comments:

This is Hina... said...

My oh my... It feels like your eating 24/7!!!

Jason said...

@Hina: No la, I dun eat 24/7, I just eat ... 3 times a day? HAHA

Mochachocolata Rita said...

papayaaaa...my biggest enemy!

furnished office said...

Beef briskets stuffed in a papaya tastes great.

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