Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pigging out on mutton and more at the Royal Garden Hotel's Dong Lai Shun restaurant

This was only part of the Beijing-Huaiyang feast
set out for just eight willing souls to eat!

Among the nine main dishes on the menu
was this beautiful deep-fried mutton cake

Among the six appetizers served was 
this pretty substantial plate of mutton terrine! ;O

In summer, I've learnt in recent years, one should eat 'cooling' foods like cucumber and eel; in winter, 'warming' meats like mutton and snake are good.  But when I was invited to partake of a mutton-heavy feast a couple of weeks ago, I decided I couldn't turn down the opportunity -- even though July is hardly the ideal time of the year to eat this meat that comes from sheep (rather than goat, as it is much more likely to be when people talk of 'mutton' in those territories that don't have winter such as Malaysia).

Anticipating a big meal in store at dinner, I made sure to not eat too much at lunch that day.  Even so, I went somewhat pale when I got to the previously one Michelin star Dong Lai Shun restaurant at the Tsim Sha Tsui East branch of The Royal Garden hotel and was shown a menu with six appetizers on it, nine main dishes, one dim sum dumpling dish and three kinds of desserts -- and this even after being told that there would be seven other foodies at my table, and knowing that I was being treated to this meal (as in my not having to pay for it)!

Amazingly, despite many of the portions being on the generous side (as can be seen by the photo of the mutton terrine "appetizer"), the eight of us actually managed to polish off pretty much everything that we were served!  One good reason for our being able to do the food so much justice was because so much of it was really very tasty.

In particular, I'd actually happily pay to eat the crispy eel in honey (which I actually think would be a great bar snack!), the mutton terrine (that I reckon would not be out of place at an European restaurant), the stir-fried mutton with sweet sauce (which, surprisingly, was like the mutton cousin of the crispy eel in honey -- in taste, if not texture!)  and the fried ox-tripe with Chinese parsley (that came across like an ultra refined version of the cow omasum dish I've enjoyed in Sham Shui Po) again.   

At the same time though, I must admit that I don't think I'll be heading over to Dong Lai Shun again all that soon -- at least not for a feast like this -- because I actually was rather terrified post-meal that I had gained quite a bit of weight in just a few hours at that restaurant!  And it's experiences like this one that help me understand all the more a food writer friend's fears that she'll get majorly fat and unhealthy if she didn't spend significant amounts of time at the gym working out to 'compensate' for all the eating she does for work!! ;b   


The Fragrant Harbour said...

Hi YTSL! I think you're right about the crispy eel in honey as a bar snack! I wonder how easy it is to make though...

YTSL said...

Hi The Fragrant Harbour --

Think of the sweet crispy eel with a hoppy IPA... you know I'm right! But yeah, it's probably too difficult to make (well) compared to standard bar food... ;S