Tai Ping Koon
Established in 1860, Tai Ping Koon restaurant have been visited by many Cantonese for generations. Established in Guangdong by a Chinese chef who was a cook for western people living in China, he opened one of the first western style restaurant in China.
Not long after, Tai Ping Koon was moved to Hong Kong, and it has been in its current location for as long as I remember. I used to take a mini bus back home after school every day outside Tai Ping Koon, but When I went back to Hong Kong this time I did not recognize this street at all as it changed so much. Good that Tai Ping Koon is still there, a landmark for me after so many years.
So there was a certain excitement when my lovely schoolmates decided that we should go to Tai Ping Koon for lunch on my very last day in Hong Kong.
The four of us ordered a 2 person set lunch for approx AUD$40, it was seriously more than enough for the four of us! For entree there was soup for one person, a shrimp cocktail for another. The soup was a lobster bisque, not bad at all for that price, but the best part is the bun that goes with it. Soft pillowy buns with a slab of butter- when I was younger I liked my buns more than the soup!
The shrimp cocktail looked a bit sad compare to the soup to be honest, with a few boring pieces of tomatoes and cucumber.
Tai Ping Koon is famous for its pigeon, and in this 2 person meal it includes a whole pigeon. Amazeballs. If you go to Flower Drum or even god forbid, Crystal Jade for pigeon it would cost you AUD$40 just for the damn pigeon! However, I must say the pigeon here wasn’t that great.i think I still like the ones that are roasted with slightly crispy skin rather than this one which was drowning with too much soy sauce.
Our other main course, still in this two person meal package, was a super huge rice noodle with beef and Swiss sauce. WTF is Swiss sauce? You must be wondering. If I remember the story right, one day an Englishman went to Tai Ping Koon and tasted one of their dishes and said it was a sweet sauce, but the Chinese speaking waiter thought he said Swiss sauce and hence this sauce made with sweet soy sauce got its name.
Anyway, as you can probably see in the picture, the sauce and noodles are really clumpy and the sauce to me was just too sweet. I was expecting the meal to be great because in my memory, this was a great restaurant, but it seemed as if the quality of the food has deteriorated over the years.
Another disappointing thing was the lack of service. The waiters were rude and dismissive and some waiters even yelled at each other! I told my mum and my best friend of the disappointment but they brushed it aside saying that Tai Ping Koon was infamous for its rude waiters lol. They are pretty old and I guess if you have worked here for about 30 years you would be as grumpy as them!
This place made me think of Pellegrini’s in Melbourne. It’s an institution, but the quality of the food is questionable and sometimes, the waiters just like yelling at each other. Oh well, I will know not to visit again 5/10.