Wednesday, July 7, 2010

City Hall Maxim's Palace - Review

City Hall Maxim’s Palace - Recommended
City Hall Low Block, 2nd Floor
Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Phone: 852-2521-1303

The wife’s cousin and girlfriend took us to a famous dim sum place where all the locals take out of towner’s. As soon as you walk in, I felt like I was at some old school British restaurant in the 1800’s. The place had a bunch of gleaming chandeliers and walls were all cream colored. The joint definitely looked a little up tight with starched white table cloths and chairs looking like they were out of the Met. In addition, there was a ton of silver everywhere – teapots and even the friggin chopsticks looked like it had silver on the end. What removed some of the stuffiness is seeing the old school pushcarts which I know that most places abandoned in Hong Kong.

I’ve always heard people say dim sum is so much better in Hong Kong and Vancouver, but after eating here, to me NYC does a pretty good job at replicating the experience. And, some of my favorite dim sum items I actually like better in NYC at Oriental Garden; though overall, the dishes were better here. Any who, I definitely enjoyed the food and had a fun time hanging with great company – thanks again to Michael and Jasmine.

Our Menu
Fung Zhao (chicken feet) **
These were out of the park good. Way more flavorful sauce than the ones in NYC and the skin is more tender as well.

Pai Gwat (pork ribs) **
I’ve noticed the Hong Kong people love their meats fatty as hell and this was no exception. Way more fatty than the ones in the states and it was pretty fun to eat. Just make sure you drink your Po Lei tea as this helps absorb some grease…at least that’s what the locals say.

Pee Dan Jook (Thousand year old egg Congee) ***
This was definitely my favorite dish from Maxim’s. I’ve had this loads of times growing up, but the texture and the flavor of this dish was out of sight. Usually congee is either too thick or thin, but this had the perfect porridge texture. And the flavor was amazing how they could jam so much into a rice porridge.

Cha Siu Bao (Bbq pork buns) ***
I haven’t had these in ages, but this was ridiculously good. The filling was perfect – a harmonious combo of sweet and rich porkiness. The dough was so friggin good as well…light and airy with a nice hint of sweetness kicking in.

Law Bat Go (Turnip Cake) **
Another go to dish and this was better than the ones in NY as well. The key here is the slightly sweet soy at the bottom of the dish that is amazing when you mix with the turnip cake. This was a mixture of completely blended turnips with some long pieces of turnip as well. Pretty solid stuff as I don’t remember this great a sauce accompanying the cake back home.

Har Gao (Shrimp dumplings)
Not a big fan of the ones here as this didn’t have much flavor. The skins were definitely more delicate and maybe you could say the shrimp was not masked by anything, but in NYC there’s much more flavor going on. Maybe due to the marinade or maybe they sometimes mix other ingredients in, but I definitely dig NYC’s version better.

Gow Choy Gao (Garlic Chive Dumplings) *
Similar to the Har Gao, I dig the NYC version more. This could be considered more pure as there was nothing but garlic chive as the filling. Usually in NYC, there’s sometimes shrimp, egg, and vermicelli noodles which makes up huge flavors. Here it’s more pure though I don’t like it as much. The skin is more delicate though.

Siu Mai (Pork and Shrimp Dumplings) *
Another one where I like the NYC versions better. These are still good, but the flavor wasn’t as intense as the ones in NYC.

Lau Mai Gai (Chicken Rice) ***
Another dim sum classic and these completely rocked. So friggin delicious as the rice was cooked perfectly (nice chew and perfect moistness) and absorbed the chicken and bamboo leaf flavors. Way better than the ones in the states.

Crispy Taro Balls ***
I usually don’t order these much in the states, but these were amazing here. Crispy and extremely satisfying texture – think mashed potatoes but with more flavor in the taro.

Duck Feet
I ordered these by accident and I’m not a big fan of these. It’s basically similar to the fung zhao in that you can only eat the skin as there is no meat, but the texture on these are pretty terrible – more rubbery whereas chicken feet have a softer texture. Also, the flavor is a little more gamey and there’s not any sauce covering these suckers.

Sesame Balls **
Crispy, airy, light and filled with the same filling as the egg tarts. These were awesome – nutty from the sesame seeds and slightly sweet with the egg custard filling. Some nice harmonious things going on here.

Pea Shoot Dumpling *
These were extremely similar to the garlic chive dumpling. More pure, but missing the intensity of flavor. The skin texture was great though.

Rating System
--- What the F - in a bad way * Good ** Great *** What the F – in a good way

1 comment:

Athos said...

"a harmonious combo of sweet and rich pork..." Totally sounds like a translated menu. LOL! They love using those kinds of uplifting words in Zhong Guo.