Thursday, October 15, 2009

Leisurely Lunch at Tai Ping Koon, Central

This iconic restaurant was founded in 1860 (Whoa! Since I am crap at history, you can read all about it
here), and it currently serves Hong Kong/Chinese style "Western" food. To me, this place is one of the must visit spots to bring tourists to. Thus, when my sis and mom visited me recently, I had an excuse to treat them myself to a leisurely lunch at Tai Ping Koon.

What do you mean, leisurely lunch?
Well. I made a huge mistake by not reserving a table, and it's 1 pm in Hong Kong's busiest CBD, Central. Getting a table without waiting for almost 1 hour is a miracle, and no. Miracle doesn't happen every day, especially when you needed it (ohhh...what a positive person Rita is!). So, we were hungry, our feet were wobbly from lugging around our loot from H&M (Tai Ping Koon is near to Central's huge H&M, another plus...or minus?), and we got no seat.

The eye candies of old dinnerware displayed on the cabinet couldn't help...we were desperately hungry. I decided to grab some snack from the nearest convenience shop and do some more shopping while waiting for the mad lunch rush-hour crowd to disperse back to their stuffy cubicles or swanky offices.

Shopping while hungry? A big nono.

Finally, when we were back at 2 pm, getting a seat is a breeze. Heck, at 2 pm, we could get the best seat in the house! One of those "car seat" right by the window. Don't forget to read the story of "Swiss sauce" on their menu. Hint: obviously, like many other things, it isn't called Swiss sauce because it was originated in Switzerland. It's hilarious.

We started off with a nice and refreshing shrimp, fruit and potato salad, which was excellent for a hot day, and a lobster bisque, which was really rich, generously filled with lots of seafood bits and pieces (note: I personally prefer their oxtail soup, but it wasn't part of the set...and I'm always mad about set meals), which I mopped clean with buttery, slightly sweet, soft and fluffy buns.

We chose the roasted pigeon in "Swiss" sauce. The pigeon's perfectly cooked, crispy skin, tender and juicy meat, flavorful sauce....and I did the unthinkable...I sucked the brain of the roasted pigeon in public. Yum!

We (of course) ordered one of Tai Ping Koon's signature dishes, TPK Style Fried Rice Noodles in Swiss Sauce. Greasy yumminess. Although it was delicious, the beef slices were succulent and juicy, the noodle was wonderfully chewy, the greasiness of this dish made me feel super guilty. I felt more guilty devouring this dish in less than 5 minutes than spending more than HK$1000 in H&M (oppps).

I am not a fan of plain vanilla ice cream, but on such a hot was a jewel.
You'd think that we had enough...but of course, no touristy visit to Tai Ping Koon is complete without....

TPK's baked souffle!
It's light.
It's airy.
It's a GIANT!

It's always fun for me to see tourists' reactions upon arrival of the giant souffle.
"We're gonna eat that???!!!"
"Is that going to eat us????"
"How much does that cost????!!!"

...and of course we always get this bored/gimme-a-break look from the locals, rolling their eyes, thinking...

The souffle is very mildly flavored, my favorite is the top part of the souffle. It's more of an entertainment really. :p

We washed down our sinful meal with iced coffee and iced lemon tea. They're Hong Kong's famous drinks, and the caffein's essential to prevent sleepiness during an afternoon of crazy shopping.

...and once the food paparazzi's done taking pictures...she did disgusting usual.

Tai Ping Koon
60 Stanley St, Central
Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2899 2780

The set lunch costs HK$315 (for two) + service charge.
The souffle costs a little over HK$100 (sorry guys, I forgot! T_T)


YaYa said...

haha, that last photo of the mushed up souffle is precious!!! What a gorgeous looking place with such a long history.

Anonymous said...

OMGOMGOGMOGM that souffleee gimme gimme gimme gimmmeee!!

KennyT said...

"I sucked the brain of the roasted pigeon in public. Yum!"

Ok, Rita, we can go out for meals!

currypuffy said...

I have enjoyed Tai Ping Koon since childhood, a regular at the CWB location. Love their 'roast pigeon' and soup. Good photo of the souffle.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Oh man, I want that pigeon! Curious what is Swiss sauce.

EatTravelEat said...

Gee, that souffle is GIGANTIC. I've never seen such a big souffle before.

I've always wondered what Swiss sauce is. I thought it would be a cream or cheese sauce when I went to a HK style cafe in my area and it ended up being sweet and savory. What is it?

Haha...the iced lemon tea right now is keeping me awake. Just had it for dinner.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

so the souffle does COST a bomb!

Chrystal said...

Ah wow.. this is really strange.. I bumped in to your fashion blog this morning. Your appartment in Hong Kong is decorated great!! I'm so jealous.

And just now I was trying to look for the potato curry chickenwing recipe and found a recipe on your cooking blog.

Keep up the good job :)