My last post on Hong Kong. It’ll be back to the recipes after this but I hope you enjoyed a little tour of Hong Kong. It wasn’t really a travelogue as I normally like to do since I didn’t do much research before or after of the places I saw nor is it any kind of bakery or restaurant reviews of the places I ate at. Regardless, I like to document some of my travels this way, not really so much as a reference for any other travelers but as a reminder to me of what I’ve done and where I’ve been, which, for me, always translates into local food and what I ate there.
For our last night in Hong Kong, our host took us to a Michelin star restaurant called Loaf On Cuisine. After our tour of the wet market, we were turned loose for an hour to wander around the various stalls, some selling non-edible items such as clothes, backpacks and bags and various trinkets. But when the time was up, we boarded a shuttle and were driven over very verdant hills and valleys and entered what seemed like a different world than the one we had just left. I don’t have much of a geographic sense of Hong Kong Island or Kowloon so all I know if we ended up at the water’s edge, at a place called Sai Kung, along a boardwalk that housed restaurants and shops. It wouldn’t be accurate to call it the Hong Kong version of Sausalito but it definitely had a more affluent and distinctively other-worldly air from the wet market and the more crowded business district of Hong Kong island.
I was a bit concerned about attire since we went straight from the wet market to the restaurant and I was in shorts and a tank top since the day was so hot and muggy/humid. But I was assured the restaurant was pretty casual, Michelin star and all. After arriving, I wouldn’t say the restaurant was casual as much as “we care about our food, not what you look like and so will you by the time you’ve eaten here”. We were shown to a table on the second floor, separated from the rest of the room by wall dividers so it was as good as feeling like we had the place to ourselves. If there were other large groups on the rest of the floor, I literally didn’t see or hear them.
Again, I don’t know what the dishes were called, but I do know they were amazing. I need to come up with new adjectives as I feel like I’ve worn that one out with my previous meals. The “best seafood dinner I’ve eaten anywhere in Asia” might come close and even that would be tepid in comparison to how delicious the dinner was.
I hardly need say the seafood was really fresh, right? Beyond that (and that’s no small thing as I’m not sure I can eat at a normal seafood restaurant again), the dishes were well prepared. I’d almost call it deceptively simple in terms of preparation because there wasn’t a lot of (or any) fancy sauces or anything fancy in the prep. One dish of whole fish appeared to just be the fish poached in salt water. I don’t know if that’s all it was. I just know that fish was fresh and really, really tasty.
The presentation was also simple but in a classy way. They let the food present themselves, so to speak. It’s hard to explain without going into endless raptures about how good everything was but the whole dinner was marked by classic simplicity and showcasing the food in the best possible way, with flavors that enhanced and brought out the best in the ingredients.
|Scallop with glass noodles|
My favorite was the scallops. Served in the original scallop shells (this is how scallops really come), covered with glass noodles with a light soy sauce. OMG. So good. I could’ve eaten multiples of that alone and been happy. But yes, I paced myself again. The only one I didn’t love as much as the others was the abalone but that’s mostly because I don’t care for the rubbery chewiness of abalone, rather than anything wrong with the dish itself. And I admit, I skipped the periwinkles or sea snails. By the time it arrived close to the end of the meal, I was legitimately full and wasn’t willing to push myself beyond that just to try them.
But if you’re ever in the area, Loaf On Cuisine is worth a stop on your itinerary. It was incredible. Many thanks to our host and my coworkers for not only a delicious meal but also great company to enjoy it with. After that, it was back to the hotel to pack and get ready to leave the next morning. So long, Hong Kong. I hope it isn’t another 19 years before I’m back again.