There are a few "musts" that tourists tend to do when visiting Hong Kong. One is visit Victoria Peak. Another is to see the famous Hong Kong skyline from Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. And another is to have afternoon tea at the Peninsula Hotel, probably Hong Kong's most famous hotel.
This famous, beautifully elegant hotel has been featured in several movies and also boasts the creation of Hong Kong's famous XO sauce, which was supposedly invented at Spring Moon, a high end Cantonese restaurant located inside the Peninsula Hotel.
To this day, Spring Moon is still going strong, serving excellent Cantonese food in a beautiful environment. The restaurant has one Michelin star and produces solid versions of traditional, classic dishes while also pushing the envelope and experimenting with some modern renditions of certain dishes.
Of course we had to ask for a small dish of their famous historic XO sauce, a fragrant sauce which includes finely chopped dried seafood (scallop, shrimp), chili peppers, garlic, onion, and oil.
We began with one of the more modern renditions, a crispy pork toast with mango. Thin layers of ultra crispy skin like the kind you'd find in siu yok or suckling pig) served with a layer of mango over toast.
It was delicious and creative, with the fresh mango really balancing out the rich, fatty pork skin.
Cantonese cuisine really values a richly flavored double boiled Chinese soup, and Spring Moon's version was delicious, full of rich flavors from all the ingredients that must have gone into it.
If you've never had fried chicken in Hong Kong at a traditional Cantonese restaurant, I highly recommend trying it. There's no breading. Instead the skin is gorgeously crispy and the meat inside is extremely tender. I love it.
Stir fried pea shoots with garlic.
Fried vermicelli with crab meat and egg.
A high end twist on the traditional egg tart, these are egg tarts topped with bird's nest (!).
Mango pomelo sago, yet another classic, is done very well here.
Chinese "petit fours".
Spring Moon Peninsula Hotel
Eating at Spring Moon feels a bit like you are transported into the past, entering a glamorous 1920's Chinese mansion filled with dark wood finishes, Asian rugs, and a "tea bar" featuring traditional Chinese teapots and over 30 types of tea. The environment is elegant, the service is excellent, and the food is very good. I believe it's hard to really go wrong here. Spring Moon is a great place to experience the best versions of many traditional Cantonese classics as well as a handful of (rotating) creative dishes with a modern twist.
Once you finish dinner, spend some time exploring the beautiful and historic Peninsula Hotel. If time permits, walk ~10 minutes to the Tsim Sha Tsui Promemade and enjoy stunning views of the world's most beautiful skyline.
Spring Moon Peninsula Hotel
1/F, The Peninsula Hong Kong
Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui