This article originally appeared in the latest July edition of Foodie: The Future of Food. Read it here!
Meet the Tycoon:
The latest culinary trend to overtake Hong Kong hails close to home, in the form of Chinese cuisine with a modern twist. Restaurants the likes of Mott 32 and Ho Lee Fook first ignited the flame last year, and the fire has been burning strong ever since. One of the newest additions to this trend is Tycoon Tann, which spans three floors on Central’s buzzy Wellington Street, and consists of a stylish Mod Bar as well as two dining floors each set in a different décor concept. Founded by the same restaurant group that brought us Loyal Dining, a play on classic Cantonese comfort food, Tycoon Tann is a more flamboyant and stylized affair, with a swanky, Chinese apothecary-like bar on the ground floor serving up quirkily named drinks such as Yum Cha ($110), a blend of homemade cinnamon gin, St. Germain, lemongrass and fruit tea served in a traditional Chinese tea cup. The Lion Dance ($105), a fruity mix of gin, rosemary, orange marmalade, cranberry juice, lemon and peach bitters, had us buzzing before dinnertime.
Dining in Two Styles:
The dining area of Tycoon Tann is divided between two floors, with the first floor set in crisp white and blue hues for a contemporary feel while the second floor takes on a more traditional tone with dark wood accents. We decided to dine in the breezy, modern first floor, and cleansed our palates with a flavourful array of premium teas with curious names such as Monkey Pea Tea ($38) and Double Happiness Blossom ($38) before sinking our teeth into the first meaty starter of Hungarian Mangalica hog charsiu ($288). Barbeque pork drizzled in caramelized honey is a Cantonese classic, and Tycoon Tann’s rendition using well-marbled, buttery Mangalica pork really hit the mark. The tender pork was incredibly juicy, and had a sticky, collagen-rich texture. It was lusciously fatty yet had enough tender lean meat to give it structure. We could have polished off the entire plate on our own. Next, came a platter of Peking duck slices (six for $468) dotted with caviar and served over tiny blini-isque Chinese pancakes. This was a contemporary twist to the classic Peking duck, although we would have preferred the original. The mini Chinese pancakes were thick and doughy, and detracted from the flavours of the duck. The brininess of the caviar was an odd accompaniment to the crispy duck, which is usually served with a sweet tianmian sauce. Alas, there was no sauce or punchy scallions to accentuate the flat flavour profile, aside from the caviar, which felt like an unnecessary indulgence. On another poultry front, the crispy salted chicken (half for $210) had good flavour but the skin lacked the promised crunchiness. The braised beancurd with black truffles ($188) was thoroughly infused with the intoxicating fungi aromas, while the steamed winter melon with wild fungus and mushrooms ($188) was light and delicate. The baked crab shell stuffed with fresh crab meat, cheese and onion ($168 each) was addictively creamy, and layered with a golden crispy breadcrumb crust.
Truffled bean curd
We appreciated the overall concept of the restaurant, but felt that the menu was over accessorized with decadent ingredients such as truffles and caviar without these ingredients really complimenting the dishes. These add-ons seemed unnecessary and detracted, rather than enhanced, the overall flavour profiles. The portions were small in comparison to the hefty price tag.
74 Wellington Street, Central
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