Newly opened Tang2's Hong Kong-style dishes not as advertised

Fine dining company slips down a notch with latest eatery

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 September, 2015, 1:01pm
UPDATED : Monday, 07 September, 2015, 1:01pm

If restaurant brands were like fashion labels, Lai Sun F&B Management’s stable of expensive Chinese restaurants including China Tang, Island Tang and Chiu Tang would be the equivalent of the couture line, while their latest outlet, Tang2 (tel: 2341 5788) in Lai Chi Kok, would be the entry-level secondary line.

 It’s conveniently located near the MTR station, and local residents go there for a bite to eat before going home. The place has a casual atmosphere as befitting the cheaper prices. As with many other Hong Kong restaurants, the air conditioning is either Arctic or fine, depending on where you sit.

 Tang2 is like a glorified cha chaan teng: much cleaner and has better service.

 The steamed xiao long bao (HK$18 for two) has wrappers that are on the thick side, but the dumpling is passable. Deep-fried shrimp on toast (HK$36), a traditional Hong Kong dish, fared much better, while the baked puff pastry filled with Yunnan ham and spring onion (HK$18) tasted more like pastry balls stuffed with minced beef.

 The menu picture of the tofu salad with sesame sauce (HK$72) looked much prettier than the dish we were served  – a deep-fried, silken tofu dish garnished with curly endive.

 Their gourmet version of pork gravy on rice was topped with a small braised abalone (HK$88) that,  although perfectly cooked, didn’t have much flavour. The signature barbecued pork (HK$88) had the right taste, but the texture was too firm.

 Particularly disappointing was the wok-fried crystal king prawn with lobster bisque (HK$168). The prawn lacked crunchiness, indicating it was frozen, not fresh, and we couldn’t taste the lobster in the sauce.

 The dessert options didn’t weren’t particularly enticing. Chilled sago cream with pomelo and mango (HK$38)  was pedestrian, and the accompanying osmanthus and wolfberry jellies were terribly sweet.