Date of Visit: August 26 2013
Bro informed us that he had booked Sunday Lunch at Ming Court, a 2 Michelin Stars Cantonese restaurant at the Langham Place Hotel, Mongkok, which is on Level 4 of the hotel we are staying.
“Lunch at 10:30am and there is a dress code”, he reminded us.
“Lunch? At 10:30am, that’s very early”, Mom said, “Are you sure?”.
“Well, there was a choice of 10:30am or 1:30pm, nothing available for 12pm. I don’t think they serve lunch!”, came Bro’s reply.
So here we, at 10:30am sharp standing in front of Ming Court amid a mini crowd. After registration with the maitre de, we were seated promptly. The restaurant is very classy, with a collection of Ming replicas and ink landscape paintings. However, there was no baby stool for my bag! This is not quite the Michelin restaurant that I expect after our experience at Yé Shanghai yesterday.
The restaurant filled up rather quickly and we noticed diners dressed very casually in their ‘Sunday best’ of in hiker shorts, T-shirts and even Crocs, some even arriving with backpacks! Did these people hiked here and where is the required ‘dress code’ we all wondered. Mom being her observant self, then said to Bro that he must have made a reservation in English through the hotel reception, which he did.
Apparently my Bro has been mistaken for a gweilo or laowai (depending on whether you are speaking Cantonese of Mandarin). The hotel has to make sure that house guests do not turn up in wife-beaters, T-shirts or flip-flops! Or God forbid bathrobes! Well, you know how simple some people can be – the resto is in the hotel, it’s a matter of riding the lifts, pressing the buttons down and up, so why not? That aside, we had experienced in Japanese fine-dining establishments where guests turned up in hiking gears (totally spoiling the chichi atmosphere), it was hard for the restaurants to turn them away because that would mean a loss in business – and Japanese economy is ‘no good’ at the moment. (Know the word ‘RESPECT’ dudes? Duh!) Moreover in ryokans, they specifically put notices on dress codes in theirrooms – NO YUTAKAS IN RESTAURANTS!
Anyhow, since it was only 10:30am, we were not eager to eat heavily, thinking that we will go somewhere else for a late lunch or tea later. Hence, we only ordered only 5 dim sums to kick-start our day. Urmmm…the food were…
Condiments on our table consists of XO Chilli Sauce with Baby Shrimps and Black Beans Sauce
XO Chilli Sauce with Baby Shrimps and Black Beans
1) Pan-fried Turnip Cakes: Pretty good with bits of Chinese ham in it but nothing outstanding. (When I was a toddler, I could eat 1 basket of steamed turnip pudding all by myself, so that’s kinda makes me an expert! Hear! Hear!)
Pan-fried Turnip Cakes
2) Char-Siu Rice Roll: The rice roll was good, thick chewy skin which did not stick to my teeth. The char-siu was savoury sweet with added parsley for a herby kick. I like!
Char-Siu Rice Roll
3) Pork dumpling with foie gras paste: Sounded interesting on the menu but very ordinary in reality. The skin was too thick and doughy, sticking to my teeth. There was no hint of foie gras at all. Disappointed!
Pork dumpling with foie gras paste
4) Beef balls with Bean Curd Sheets: This is another of my all-time dim sum favourite, Ming Court’s version has all the right ingredients of minced beef, parsley and chestnuts, but lacked a certain finesse.
Beef balls with Bean Curd Sheets
5) Glutinous rice wrapped in leaf has a lot of conpoy, the rice was perfect. The whole package was very fragrant. This is the best dimsum dish.
Every year, during the Tuen Ng Festival or Dragon Boat festival, Ming Court will prepare Rice Dumplings for sale. When I was living in Hong Kong, I never fail to buy a couple – and they were generously stuffed with convoy, mushrooms and meat in steamed rice.
Glutinous rice wrapped in leaf
So there you have, the brunch was pretty ordinary, not 2 Michelin Stars material, nothing to sing about. It was better off eating at Club L (the hotel’s in-house lounge), the dimsums are catered by Ming Court anyway. In hindsight, after perusing other reviews, we should have done dinner instead, since this is where the gastronomic experience lies.
Dimsums for breakfast at Club L
After brunch, we went to Times Square Shopping Mall in Causeway Bay. There were many people, but not as many as I remembered – where are you, people? Disneyland?
In front of the mall, I was awestruck. There were 2 huge robotic figurines standing imposingly. Apparently, they are Gundam and Zauku II, making their first appearance outside of Japan, in the event called “Gundam Docks in Hong Kong“. The 2 models are approximately 7 meter which are scaled to 1/3 of the original Gundam in Odaiba, Tokyo. I’m not a fan of them, so left after taking some pictures. However, if you are interested to see more, I found a You Tube link here – Enjoy!