Our culinary rollercoaster continues, from a humble basement bing sut to dim sum on top of the world. Tin Lung Heen is the Chinese restaurant on the 102/F of the Ritz-Carlton ICC, which just got a Michelin star for the 2012 guide. Due to its limited capacity it’s booked out months in advance – in our case it was two months for a Saturday 1:30pm family yum cha. So let’s see what the fuss is about!
We ordered five things and also had a complimentary dessert:
- Pan-fried lotus root filled with assorted vegetable (上素脆釀藕餅)($88)
- Steamed rice roll with beef, water chestnut and bamboo piths (竹笙馬蹄牛肉滑腸粉)($78)
- Black glutinous rice with diced abalone, pork, shrimp and Chinese mushroom wrapped in lotus leaf (鮑粒紫米珍珠雞)($58)
- Baked barbequed pork buns with almond crust (西杏雪影叉燒餐包)($68)
- Baked abalone and goose puff (鮑魚燒鵝酥)($98)
- Osmanthus jelly and sesame red bean cake (桂花糕, 紅豆糕)(free)
The pan-fried lotus root isn’t something you’ll get everyday. It was nice and crunchy, but just a bit oily on the outside.
The beef, water chestnut and bamboo rice roll was really nothing special I’m afraid. Presentation was great like the other dishes, and the skin was light, but there wasn’t much flavour from the fillings.
The black glutinous rice was again something visually different, and had a cute design with a little flap opening in the lotus leaf. The taste was ordinary.
Now the baked abalone and goose puff to try, even at the price; it was oh so juicy, with a generous and firm chunk of abalone and some gently flaking pastry crust. Yum.
The almond crust char siu bao had a light and crunchy crust which still held together well, the underside was soft, and it had a succulent inside. Another example of fine dim sum.
Now for the bite-sized free desserts, which was a nice touch. The taste was alright, the osmanthus jelly was lightly sweet and the red bean cake had a somewhat muted flavour.
As expected, service was good, and to this day they are one of the few restaurants that noticed I was left handed and bothered to switch the chopstick arrangement to my left (another one is the one in the next paragraph). Tea was always refilled and plates were taken away or exchanged regularly.
Tea per head was $30 and the final bill after service was $582, or $194 per head. The food is unique and decent but you’re really paying for the view. There’s also something about having a leisurely lunch bathed in natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows.
If you’re willing to sacrifice a couple dozen floors in height for some amazing food (and arguably an even shinier view), however, the three-Michelin-starred Lung King Heen (龍景軒) in the Four Seasons IFC across the harbour is a solid choice (also interesting are the names, one is a 102/F “sky dragon” and the other befittingly has a “view of the dragon”). I haven’t tried lunchtime dim sum there, but have tried their scrumptious bird’s nest egg tart. Try it and see if you get a reaction like this guy.
Oh and if you really want spectacular nighttime views unlike anything you’ve seen in HK, you can just the second lift upstairs to Ozone on 118/F, the highest bar in the world. Take the 180 degrees panorama in, on the viewing terrace outside. You don’t even need to buy a drink.
Anyway their menu is quite extensive, maybe one day I’ll come back for dinner – if I can get a table.
Restaurant rating: NOM NOM NOM N- (out of five)
Address: 102/F, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui 尖沙咀柯士甸道西1號環球貿易廣場(ICC)香港麗思卡爾頓酒店102樓
Tel: 2263 2270 (helps if you’re totally flexible about when you’re going!)
Opening hours: (lunch) Mon-Fri, 12pm-2:30pm, Sat, Sun & holidays, 11:30am-3pm (dinner) Mon-Sun 6pm-10:30pm
Have you been to Tin Lung Heen? Where’s the best dim sum you’ve had in HK?
Next time…how bout some bite-sized burgers at the Mandarin!