Within six months of moving to Hong Kong, The Chairman quickly became one of my favorite places to enjoy a lighter, healthier, and more sustainable version of Cantonese food in a pleasant environment.
The Chairman cares A LOT about ingredients. They source their chickens and pigs locally from The New Territories in Hong Kong. They have their own little farm in Sheung Shui, where they cure their meat, pickle their vegetables, and grow some organic produce. They work with local fishermen who bring them fresh fish and shrimp (caught that morning!) straight from the South China Sea.
The restaurant says that it serves no shark’s fin, sea cucumber, or bird’s nest on its menu, partly because it finds them less interesting, but also because it’s less sustainable or “eco-friendly.”
After our first visit, where we enjoyed a lovely 2-person tasting menu, our waiter strongly encouraged us to come back with four people. He said The Chairman four person set menu was really special.
It took a while, but we finally came back with Bryan's parents several months later and reserved the four person tasting.
We began with pan-fried five spice ox tongue with peppercorn. The ox tongue was very tender and overall the flavors were quite nice.
The next course was a smoked baby pigeon with long jing (dragon-well) tea & chrysanthemum. I'm not a huge pigeon fan, but I can at least concede that this dish was very well executed. Bryan loves pigeon and he really enjoyed it.
These deep fried seven-spice morel mushrooms were so fun! They were crunchy, not the least bit greasy, and fun to just much on. I can imagine polishing off a whole plate myself. Maybe it's a good thing we were sharing this amongst four people.
Soup of the day was pork lung, vegetable, and longyan soup. I had never had pork lung and was slightly grossed out at the thought. However, if I could get my mind past that, I must say that pork lung is quite good. It's like meat, but much more tender and soft. It does not really have a strong offal flavor, like other organs. The soup was quite flavorful and likely very healthy.
Of course we had to enjoy the restaurant's signature dish, the steamed fresh flowery crab with aged shao xing wine. These were served with flat rice noodles with a fantastic sauce made with crab "broth" and fragrant chicken fat. The sauce is really, really pretty amazing.
Fried chicken wings with caramelized shallots and onion was fantastic. I loved the expertly executed sugar-glazed crunchy exterior. So flavorful and so good!
Steamed Chinese broccoli (they sometimes call it "kale" here) with pickled Chinese vegetables. I really appreciated the attention to detail in how they prepared the Chinese broccoli, shaving off the ends of each stem so that everything was tender.
Hong Kongers love their fresh seafood and The Chairman usually has several options of fresh fish. You can get a whole fish, steamed the traditional way using scallions and ginger, or try a pan fried version, which is also really good.
Most Cantonese tasting menus save the rice until the very end. It's almost like they don't want you to fill up on the carbs first. This fried rice had BBQ charsiu pork, vegetable stems, eggs, and ginger.
I loved dessert last time and I loved it again this time: osmanthus & goji (or wolfberry) ice cream.
It was so nice to spend time with family and finally be able to try this four person tasting meal. It was delicious, though to be honest, I didn't necessarily think it added that much more over the 2-person meal. It was fun to try a few extra dishes, but I think either meal is excellent. In both cases, we had fun enjoying fantastic food over some great bottles of wine (you can BYOB by paying a corkage fee).
I really enjoy the Chairman, and we like to take out-of-town visitors here to show them a different style of Cantonese food.
This is the twentieth post in the updated #50Postsin50Days – Take 2 Challenge. Other posts in this series will be added to the bottom of the original post.
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