Celebrating Mum’s birthday on a special mother-daughter holiday was an experience. What amped up our visit to Hong Kong was lunching at 3-star Michelin Lung King Heen, a first for us both. Being typically ‘Kiasu‘ (afraid to lose), I booked way back in November last year. My previous solo trip to Hong Kong, I’d tried to get a reservation a month prior but it was completely booked out.
We were seated in a quiet corner with a gorgeous view of the Hong Kong harbour, and all the buildings over in Kowloon that line the waters. Forecasts were saying that it was going to be an overcast, rainy day, but we were pleasantly blessed with some sun and blue skies.
I took this picture specially for the hubs even though the office he was going to visit on business the couple days after Mum and I returned back is located on the Hong Kong side. Of course, I didn’t know that then. Either way, it’s a pretty building.
Trying to stay away from caffeine, we had Chrysanthemum Tea. I liked that they hadn’t bothered to sweeten it because it was delicate and light to the palate.
Mum initially said that we could just go for the dim sum menu, but after I agreed and suggested adding some double boiled soups and a plate of vegetables on top, she decided it wouldn’t be much value for money seeing that the Executive Lunch Set would total the same, or only slightly more than going ala-carte, which is often the case. Also, I thought that the set lunch would be better to get a taste of a range of dishes at Lung King Heen since we don’t know when we’ll return to Hong Kong, and even then, maybe not to Lung King Heen.
Lunch commenced with Chef’s Selection of Dim Sum…
A Steamed Mushroom Sweetcorn Crystal Dumpling, Siu Mai with Crabmeat and a Shrimp Spring Roll with Spring Onions and Garlic.
I love crystal dumplings and this one, with skin so thin and translucent you could see all the deliciousness packed within didn’t fail me. The siu mai was competently done as well but it was the spring roll that turned out to be the dark horse.
I’m not a fan of deep-fried stuff usually but this was done so well, with its perfectly fried exterior a lovely shared of golden brown skin and zero grease on it whatsoever. The best part was how it shattered so beautifully, giving way to the generous filling of sweet shrimp packed within. If you told me that these were baked instead of fried, I’d totally believe you!
Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t do some research before visiting this restaurant so research I did. And nearly everyone who dined at Lung King Heen fawned over their Abalone Puff. Now, I’m no fan of abalone especially the ones from tins. They tend to taste rubbery and briny in an off-putting way. But… I decided to listen to the people, ordering a piece each for Mum and I.
No regrets whatsoever. It was mind-blowing. The abalone was tender, and so flipping tasty. The sauce it was braised in highlighted its natural sweetness and mild sea flavour instead of trying to act as a mask.
The diced chicken beneath were moist and ample, while the tart base itself was gloriously sinful and buttery. This, I have to admit, is worth the calories ten-fold. It was so moreish and sure, it came with a big price tag but I cannot lie, it far exceeded my expectations. I could gush about this all day, longer even! But the proof is in the pudding so you best be getting your mouth on one, or two, or three, of these babies next you’re in Hong Kong.
Second course was the soup. Hong Kong is soup heaven so no surprises that Lung King Heen served us a delicious one!
Fish Soup with Sweet Corn and Peanuts. Loved the chunks of fresh corn and peanuts, and the pork was cooked until falling apart. I’m a total sucker for pork that’s been cooked hours on end in soup until they can hardly hold together. Fresh cut chilli and soy sauce to dip and I’m a happy camper. I had to restrain myself from devouring all the ingredients in the soup lest there be no space for the other dishes to come.
Marinated Sesame Oil Jellyfish
My first time eating chunks of jellyfish instead of strips and these were crunchy and refreshing. That being said, the first slice was quite delightful but it quickly got a bit monotonous.
Soya sauce Corn-fed Chicken with Ginger
The chicken was very tender, very juicy, and braised till soft and flavourful.
BBQ Roast Pork
This was crazy tender, yet not too sweet from the light honey coating. I believe they used pork tenderloin so while it was lean without much fat at all, it was still melt-in-your-mouth.
After the stellar start to your lunch, we were rather disappointed with the next dish – Wok-fried Pork Belly in Sichuan Spicy Sauce with Baby Corn, Asparagus, and Water Chestnuts.
To be fair, it was more the cut of the pork that Mum and I didn’t take to. They were pretty much slices of pork fat with a thin thread of meat rather than pork meat with fat. The sauce was sweet and spicy, skewing towards Thai chilli sauce, although the vegetables were cooked well, remaining fresh and crunchy. We polished off the vegetables and left the meat untouched. I know pork belly lovers must be screaming at such waste, but really, it was difficult for us to eat.
We were pretty stuffed at this point either because of the sheer quantity of food or because the courses were paced out quite a bit, or both. By the time the carb dishes arrived, we could only find space to taste them.
We went with one of each of the main courses offered in the set. The first of which was the Fried Rice with Black Pepper Beef, Green Beans and Red Onions.
This was pretty damn glorious. Each grain was separated and the rice was well-fried to have a lovely hint of wok-hey (Dragon’s breath aka smokiness from the heat of the wok), not at all oily (extra bonus points from me!), with some crunch from the thinly sliced beans and sweetness from the onions. It was so well balanced and so unassumingly addictive if only we had the space to lap it all up!
The other main was the Shrimp Wanton Noodles which came in a clear consommé that was packed with sweet, clean, crustacean flavours.
The noodles met the Hong Kong standard of being wonderfully springy with a nice bite, together with two-bite wantons filled with fresh prawns. Definitely a good bowl of noodles but not quite leaps and bounds better than the HKD30-40 bowls that litter the streets of Hong Kong.
Dessert for Mum was the Chilled Mango Sago Cream with Pomelo.
A refreshing dessert with fresh mango cubes and mango pudding hidden below.
I had a warm off-menu dessert that they happily accommodated upon request. A Sweetened Red Date Soup with Chinese Yam and Lily Bulbs.
For Petit-fours, we were served Osmanthus and Goji Berries Jelly and Crispy Rice Puff Cakes with Sesame and Coconut.
We really didn’t have space for any more so we had them packed to go.
Of course, they didn’t let us leave without presenting Mum with a pair of longevity buns in lieu with it being her birthday.
We made what little space we had left for these buns which is why the petit-fours had to be neglected.
The golf-ball sized buns were extremely light and fluffy, filled with not-too-sweet lotus paste and some salted duck egg yolk. It was really good! I swear, if you find yourself at Lung King Heen, just say it’s someone’s birthday, anyone’s, because these buns were the perfect ending to our meal!
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed our lunch at Lung King Heen. Service was warm without being pretentious, and the servers were attentive, ensuring that our tea cups were always full. Lung King Heen has a humbleness about it in its simple yet tasteful furnishings compared to Yan Toh Heen that had a regality about it which although nice, made me feel out of place amongst their ‘tai tai’ diners.
I am truly blessed to have a Mum like mine. Until today, I aspire to have as much patience as she does. I’d like to think I’ve improved, but I’m still quite a way off. I love that she gets on with my friends, and isn’t afraid to extend an arm of comfort towards them even when I am not around. She often knows the right words to say to help set a broken heart mending, and it is no surprise why people are drawn to her. Through Mum, I have been blessed with lots of aunties who look out for me, love me, and pray for me. Because of Mum, I have learned the importance of giving and taking in any relationship.
Thank you for your constant love and unconditional support through all of my years. I hope you enjoyed your time in Hong Kong with your one and only favourite daughter, and we’re not going to wait another 10 years before we have our next holiday together. I hope you had a very happy 54th birthday, and may you continue to be blessed with all the wonderful things you truly deserve! XOXOXO