Farmhouse Restaurant 農圃飯店
8 Sunning Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
(852) 2881 1331
When I was young my mum introduced me to pomelo peel(柚皮) and savoury dishes made from this peel. Pomelo peel doesn’t have much flavours, but it acts as a sponge to absorb all the yumminess of the other things that you cook with it. Unfortunately, cooking this awesome pomelo peel is a dying art. I think it’s because it’s very time consuming to prepare. You have to boil it and soak it several times and need to use the correct type of pomelo. I stumbled across a YouTube video in Cantonese that teaches you how to prepare this fiddly dish by this awesome grandpa- click here to check it out. 🙂
Anyway, so I was preparing for my Hong Kong trip a few months ago when I stumbled across an article about this “Farmhouse Restaurant” that specialises in traditional old school food, like pomelo peel, stuffed chicken wings with glutinous rice and Cream Custard Bun- all my favourites! I immediately called to book a table (yes, from Australia! Even the waitress seemed astounded) and pre-ordered those three items to avoid disappointment.
That one fine day finally came and I called to confirm my table. “The pomelo peel is not available today cos we are closing for renovations the next day.” WTF?! But I ordered 😦 It was disappointing but thankfully my family friends took me to have pomelo peel the previous day (too polite to take a pic) so I decided to keep my reservations, once I have confirmed that the chicken wings and custard buns are still available.
Despite of the hiccups, it started off well. We were greeted by a friendly waitress and was presented with the appetisers (note to everyone, they “give” it to you, but it’s not free… and I have never seen any chinese people refusing it, and ahem, you never know what they charge… so sometimes if you see promos, say, crabs for HK$10… you might get charged HK$70 for “tea, appetisers and misc shit”… beware). ANYWAYZ, I digress. We started off well. Our appetitsers are cold garlicky cucumbers and some really really tender and flavourful beef tendons. Esky asked if we can actually order a full size dish of that 😛
Feeling happy, we pondered what other yummy food we should order. SOUP! Esky said, as it seemed to be his favourite thing in the world. We ordered a wintermelon soup. In Hong Kong, the wintermelon soup normally comes out as a whole melon, with the insides dug out and filled with soup (see pic here). Unfortunately they took the whole melon out, placed it across the room, so far that I couldn’t actually take a picture of it without walking past other tables with my SLR camera. The soup was yummy.
Hubby and Esky wanted meat, so we ordered this chilli fatty beef with enoki mushrooms. I don’t know what we expected, but certainly not like that. The fatty beef and enoki mushroom was quite tasteless, and though a dipping sauce was available, we couldn’t help but wonder why we ordered this dish when I can probably make this at home.
Our pièce de résistance, stuffed chicken wings came. This fat little chicken wing looked as if it’s bursting with delicious delicious glutinous rice and I can’t wait to chomp into it! The suspense is killing me as Esky went to the bathroom. We debated a little bit whether to wait for him or not…and decided- stuff him, we can’t wait that long anymore! Thankfully he appeared just in time so we can consume this together!
Now notice that I did not say “enjoy” together. I said “consume” deliberately, because, unfortunately, instead of succulent chicken wing with glutinous rice that absorbs all the wingy goodness, it was dry and bland. 😥 I was looking forward to this and it left me wanting. Sadness!
We all wondered if the meal is going to get any better at this point but sadly, not really. We ordered a crab roe with a cruskit like rice cracker which are great for eating with yummy sauce. We expected the crab roes to be in big chunks, but sadly it just look as if the chef ate all the chunky bits and left us with all the sauce. I wonder if we are being ripped off cos we looked so young?
We remained hopeful and looked forward to the creamy custard buns. To be honest I am not too sure whether that translation is accurate, because with truly awesome custard buns, it not only have to be smooth and creamy, but the yolk should run. And this is not just ANY custard buns, this is bird’s nest custard buns. Should be awesome right? I am seriously face palming myself as I wrote this for you, because I was so eager to take a bite that the hot contents actually squirted out everywhere and burnt my hand and my mouth. Yes the yolk does run =_= and squirt even… if you get too excited (insert dirty thoughts here).
So dear readers, what I am trying to tell you is, I did my best to lick my hand, but my first instinct was to wipe it off my hand because it was so damn hot, I didn’t manage to salvage much. That being said it was agreed by all that it’s not the best creamy custard bun we tried. First of all we could not detect any bird nest. Secondly it’s was not very creamy nor smooth at all. Thirdly it was on the salty side when it’s supposed to be mostly sweet and with a tinge of saltiness.
Overall, after HK$1500 (AUD$200) of food, it was a sad, sad meal for me that night, and if I am in that area again, I would certainly not give it another chance. 5.5/10
For more yumgasmic Hong Kong eatz, please click here