China Cuisine (中華小廚), situated inside Whampoa Garden in Hung Hom, has finally completed its long-awaited renovation and its owner, Tung Gor, has invited us to dinner.
Tung Gor is a legend in his own right. He started out as a poultry butcher who supplied slaughtered chicken to Chinese restaurants, and later built a food processing plant specializing in siu mei or roasted meat.
After earning a reputation as a supplier of quality food, he decided to open a cha chaan teng in Hung Hom, and it didn’t take long for him to expand the business by setting up another branch in Tseung Kwan O.
I was stunned as soon as I stepped into the newly renovated Hung Hom branch, where every table and chair is made of expensive padauk wood from Myanmar.
Welcomed by the sight of three intricately handcrafted round tables, each of which can sit 12 people, I thought I had entered an opulent mansion.
I bet only Tung Gor in all of Hong Kong would have such an exquisite taste for the interior design of a cha chaan teng.
Padauk wood furniture costs a lot, and its supreme quality mellows with age.
Tung Gor said he is very satisfied with the restaurant’s fixtures, and proud of them.
For dinner, roasted goose came with crispy skin and tenderly juicy meat, while the many family dishes from the kitchen are simple but impressive.
Braised pork belly with mustard greens (梅菜扣肉) was served in an iron pot. The fatty pork belly melted in the mouth without producing an overly oily taste.
The prawns were fresh in salted egg yolk (鹹蛋黃中蝦), which went so well with a pint of beer, while curry beef tendon was best with noodles.
Tung Gor’s chef really did an excellent job with over 20 pot dishes of reasonably high quality.
In a city where speed is king and fat profit is the end of all business, Tung Gor’s dedication to the pursuit of perfection in every aspect of his endeavor has moved me greatly.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Aug. 12.
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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