Don’t be fooled by the sleek, clean lines of Old Bailey’s modern interior – the cuisine at this stylish restaurant is deeply rooted in time-honoured Jiangnan traditions.
The eatery recently celebrated its first birthday, and as part of this first milestone, Executive Chef Wong Kwan Man has created a mouth-watering line-up of new dishes to bring a taste of his native Yangzhou to Hong Kong.
We started our tasting with sweet and vinegary Japanese yam with preserved plum ($108) before diving into fresh and fragrant local bean curd in sesame oil ($38).
The Nanjing salted duck ($88), served cold as a starter, was deliciously infused with a bouquet of spices the likes of star anise, cumin and Sichuan peppercorn.
The hallmark xiao long bao was a three-part act, with each bamboo steamer packed with three different flavours: original pork ($98 for 4), hairy crab roe ($188 for 4) and numbing peppercorn, or mala ($108 for 4). Served with a few drizzles of sweet aged vinegar, we were well on our way to flavour heaven (the trio of soupy buns was specially served for this tasting).
The sautéed grouper fillet with pickled cabbage ($780) was a delicate dish, with the subtleness of the white fish uplifted by the preserved vegetable.
Longjing tea smoked pigeon ($188) arrived amidst a fanfare of woodsmoke, complete with decorative cage, and was all crisp skin and juicy flesh.
The braised Chinese cabbage with Jinhua ham ($188) was mild and soothing, with the natural sweetness of the vegetable balanced by the salty, briny flavours of the preserved meat.
Hand-pulled noodles with chilli and clams ($168) bursting with umami juiciness capped off our meal on the savoury side.
A classic dessert, the osmanthus and aged rice wine soup with glutinous rice dumplings ($68) arrived alongside Shanghai-style mooncakes ($238 for box of 6) to conclude our meal. The mooncakes have a flaky, buttery crust and are completely different from Cantonese-style mooncakes.
Old Bailey is offering two kinds of mooncakes this Mid-Autumn season: red bean and – our favourite – minced pork, shallot, ginger, soy sauce and white pepper, which reminded us of a refined sausage roll. You can read more about these limited-time mooncakes here.
Delicious additions to the pre-existing menu at Old Bailey. There are also three new chef’s tasting menus ($500–800/person) on offer. If you haven’t been to Old Bailey for awhile, a revisit is definitely in order.
2/F, JC Contemporary, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, 2877 8711, book online
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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