Sunday, February 20, 2011

Oinkfest! Kimberley Chinese Restaurant

The view from behind
I'd been wanting to go Kimberley for quite a while, thanks to the delicious accounts on Diary of a Growing Boy and stumbling upon intriguing photos on Openrice - I mean, who can resist a copper-toned piglet stuffed with glutinous rice, rolled up into a gleaming, skinny cylinder? Gluttonous as I am, there was still no way I could finish that on my own. So when the #fatty crew came to Hong Kong (@eatnik, @cloudcontrol), it was the perfect opportunity to round up a bunch of piggy pals, new and old (@par_lor, @wasabi_inferno, @snarkattack, @alexlobov, @coffeemeow and more) for a pigfest.

Hey there, Kimmy
Let's start with the main event - the pig (because chronology is for Swiss watchmakers - oh wait, that's horology...). Take a suckling pig and fragrant sticky rice, stuff the latter into the former, stitch the piggy up and barbeque pretty much like a normal Chinese BBQ pig, and you have a delicious, pork-fat-tinged 'sausage' of sticky rice with an exterior that's crisp like mutiple micro millefeuilles stacked and slightly compressed together, or a porcine wafer of sorts.

Between the rice and the crispy skin is a thin layer of fat - like a well-buttered baguette. Pigs feature heavily in Cantonese cuisine, but it's the first time I'd had it made this way - gee, what took me so long?

Ok, with that out of the way, I'll go on to the rest. The above was just a snack they set on the table - of interest only because it was the first time I'd seen nuts with puffed rice in a Chinese restaurant.

Beef in lemongrass gravy
I don't know where the lemongrass was, but this was so good. The gravy/sauce was hearty and rich, and the beef just fell apart when I squeezed it with my chopsticks. If you like slow-cooked beef tendons, this is your dish - gelatinous, tender and chunky. Beats anything I've had at beef noodle shops around town. The turnips, which were more like Japanese daikon than the usual Chinese ones, were soft and sweet. This was the kind of stuff that would make heater-less Hong Kong winter nights bearable. (I know it sounds stupid, but winter in HK can be bad - we don't have indoor heating, so being indoors doesn't mean you can take your coat/cardigan off, and a lot of apartments have marble/tile floors that would be perfect for tempering chocolate, but not walking with bare feet).

Steamed garoupa of sorts
Steamed fish - a Canto classic, a personal fave and a special request from @cloudcontrol. We got a nice small one (just under 1.5 catty). I'm really bad with fish names - this one's called 瓜子班, which I suppose is a garoupa. The flesh was slightly firm and easy to pick up, yet tantalisingly slippery and finished off with the quintessential combo of heated oil, soy sauce and spring onions.

Pork belly with fermented tofu
Another claypot dish, this time with thick cubes of pork belly in a thin coating of sauce made with fermented tofu (南乳 nam yu). Not as exciting as the beef pot, but still pretty damn tasty. In Canto we have a saying for rich sauces like these - 好送飯 - goes well with rice. So yeah, order up some rice and lap it up.

Kimberley Chinese Restaurant
M/F Kimberley Hotel
28 Kimberley Road
Tsim Sha Tsui
Hong Kong
+852 2369 8212

n.b. The pig requires pre-booking of at least a day ahead, plus a deposit of HK$500.

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  1. That poor pig - to die for you and then to be shown bum first in your post :)

  2. I wouldn't mind if my bum was that cute! :P

  3. Nice blog. Can I just check: is this a BYO wine place, do they provide glasses and how much is corkage, if any? Or do they have a good (reasonable) wine list? Thanks for the information!

  4. Hi Lizzie, thanks. I'm pretty sure they charge corkage, can't remember exactly but it was probably around the $100-150 mark. Their wine list is pretty dire. BYO for sure.