Dinner at Empire City Huaiyang
If you're not too hungry, but have a lot of time and money to spend, this is an ideal place. Dishes were delicately presented, in relatively small portion however extremely long delivery time. Going through their menu, the dishes are quite mild, I mean not too spicy, very close to the taste of Hong Kong Cantonese.
Sliced Mushroom (HK$75) 蔬衣麻菇
These two starters took only 5 minutes to get onto our table. But then it stopped there. We got to sit there for anther 30 minutes for the next dish.
The mushrooms were just like a piece of artwork. Nicely cut, well presented and tasted good.
Salty Duck (HK$125) 鹽水鴨
As Huaiyang is concerned, Salty Duck is an everyday food for people living there, so we must give this signature dish a try. Not bad at all. And it was the only meat dish of the night. We followed the rule of 'more vegetable and less meat' quite well.
Vegetarian Dumplings (HK$60) 蒸素餃
Delivery time: 35 minutes from ordering. It came in a huge amazing tray, and with the lid off, we found these four tiny, well, medium size vegetable dumpling. Although we didn't know why the chef chose to serve on lotus leaf rather than a traditional bamboo cage tailored for steaming, it was delicious and the shape was quite creative.
Noodle in Fish Soup (HK$78) 魚湯小刀面
Delivery time: 40 minutes from ordering. Its Chinese name said 'little knife noodle in fish soup'. But I didn't find any relation between the noodle and a knife. The soup was little fishy, meaning it was really fish soup. With a few slice of ham and egg, it was just next to plain noodle. And each of us could only share a tiny little bowl.
Boiled Cabbage (HK$108) 開水白菜
Delivery time: 70 minutes from ordering. You may not believe if I tell you this is a high class super luxury dish. Indeed it is. This dish originated from the imperial Qing Dynasty kitchen. The master chef brought the recipe back to his home town in Sichuan and since then this dish only appears on the most deluxe banquet. In contrast to its good taste, its appearance is very plain and pale, and is a result of complex cooking steps. Former Prime Minister Zhou Enlai served his VIP guest at a national dinner and the guest was very reluctant at first however found it to be very delicious after tasting.
Boiled cabbage name says 'Cabbage in Clear Water'. The 'water' is actually a well-cooked chicken, stewed through the complex process out of the soup to Sauvignon and clear water. Cabbage in use is the most tender part of a cabbage - hearts only. The dish at first glance looks like a few flowers floating on water which is completely out of oil. It is not only a food, but an artifact.
Rolling Donkey Dessert (HK$68) 驢打滾
We ordered this dessert on condition that it has to come fast, as we've lost our patience in waiting. The waiter suggested this one and it actually took only 5 minutes to come. It was good to have something sweet to wrap up our dinner. Again this is from the Qing Imperial kitchen and we had this in Beijing before.
About this brand new restaurant, there is one thing that I really appreciate which is the space among tables. The eating environment is perfect. But there were a few negative things I've observed. Most of the other guests around us were chasing for food. Like us, everyone one had lost their patience in waiting. The guests on our next table complaint about their fish, the waiter end up replaced a new one for them. The tea pot was made of iron, extremely heavy. So heavy that I was unable to lift it. May be this was why the waiters were friendly helping us to re-fill our cups. And personally I was not happy with the tea temperature which was not hot enough to be enjoyed.
Cost of Food: HK$514
Pre-meal Snack: HK$30 ($15 per person)
Tea: HK$40 ($20 per person)
Service Charge: 10%
Total Bill: HK$642.4 (US$82.4)
Empire City Huaiyang 大都淮陽
8/F Convention Plaza, 1 Harbour Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2628-0218
Hong Kong Food Blog - Huaiyang Dinner