1 Austin Rd West, Kowloon Station, Kowloon
28th March 2010 I'm not sure if getting hitched is some sort of quasi fashion or if the school where I work is inundated with gooey lovebirds, but I do seem to get invited to a lot of weddings. Some I can't make, some I don't want to and then there are those that I go out of my way to be a part of. A good friend from work was celebrating her nuptials' and it was a gig I wasn't going to miss; even a day at the Rugby 7s and an early flight to Australia the next morning couldn't dampen my enthusiasm. The venue was the W Hotel; a spot that's usually too cool for my sad arse, but on this occasion it sleek styling seemed just right. Finding the front door was a bit of a mission as Elements would almost have to be the worst sign posted shopping centre in Hong Kong; but I eventually arrived, handed over my 'gift' and settled down with a drink. Maybe it was some sort of hint, but our table was in the furthest corner. One reason I'm often not enthusiastic about wedding banquets is the seemingly identical parade of average dishes that so often gets paraded. The food at the W Hotel was pretty traditional, though I was impressed with the general quality of all the dishes; most of which were top quality.
First off was the traditional roast suckling pig. When I got a glance at the little porker it looked good, but I was a bit disappointed when I was presented with what was basically crackling atop simple rice wafers. The thin skin was crisp and well seasoned; it was just a shame that there was basically no meat to accompany it. Next up was prawns with celery; good, tasty, but nothing exciting. This was followed a less traditional dish; baked crap with cheese. Served in the shell these were really enjoyable, especially as the cheese didn't dominate the sweet crab meat. Then it was a decent braised canopy stuffed inside some winter melon and accompanied by a hair ball that I was informed was sea moss.
There was shark fin next, which I choose not to eat it for ethical reasons. Following this was abalone, sea cucumber and bok choy. Surprisingly it was all pretty good and I even enjoyed the sea cucumber, something I usually can't see the point in eating. Next up was steamed garoupa; a real highlight. The moist fish was perfectly cooked and went down delightfully, while the chicken that followed was just as good. Roasted to perfection with succulent flesh, crisp skin and perfect seasoning this was my favourite dish of the night.
The fried rice with scallops and bacon was pretty good, while the noodles surpassed my expectations. My limited experiences point to a standard plate of e-fu smothered in starchy white sauce and a few prawns. This is probably my all time least favourite Cantonese dish and I was relieved when the W Hotel instead served us up braised e-fu with shrimp roe. The chewy noodles were perfectly cooked and the roe added an attractive flavour and interesting texture. To finish off it was a sweet soup featuring dried longan, red dates, lotus seeds and wolf berries. I'm not usually too fussed by sweet soups, but this was excellent. Sweet, yet refreshing it was a perfect cleansing finish to an almighty feast. The final course was 'Chinese petits fours'; in this case almond cookies and fried sesame dough. We were all too stuffed to eat another thing, but Joey's mum gave a positive report on the cookies I snuck out for her. The food was excellent, the company good and the W Hotel did a fine job, particularly with the attentive service, but that's all kind of irrelevant. I was there for a wedding and the wedding was what mattered. The bride looked lovely, the groom adequately nervous and smiles abounded; congratulations H and B.
Visit hotel website.