Diner’s Diary

Centre Street Kitchen in Sai Ying Pun – local favourites

Cantonese classics include fish maw and goose webs, stir-fried crab and turnip cake, and ‘black cow’

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 February, 2016, 1:00pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 February, 2016, 11:56am

Centre Street Kitchen in the Island Pacific Hotel has a buffet spread of Asian and international foods, and there’s also an a-la-carte option that includes a few new local classic dishes.

We tried an appetiser that was described as “shredded chicken with sesame paste, cucumber and bean jelly sheet” (HK$88), but in fact what we got was a bowl of rice noodles and not the glassy clear sheets that are usually used in this dish. The sesame sauce was also a tad sweet for our taste.

Next came the stir-fried crab with turnip cakes (HK$488). It had a pungent fried garlic smell that arrived at our table before the dish itself. It’s beautiful, with a reddish-orange crustacean perched on top of pan-fried cubes of turnip cake. We liked the crunchy texture but the turnip cakes tasted bland, probably because there was hardly any Chinese sausage or dried shrimps in it, and not enough accompanying chilli sauce. The large crab claws were meaty enough, however, the rest of the meat seemed to have atrophied in the shell.

Our final dish was the braised fish maw and goose web with Yunnan ham and steamed pomelo skin (HK$248) garnished with broccoli florets.

The fish maw was on the thin side, but we can’t complain too much at the price; braised pomelo is a labour-intensive ingredient to prepare, and we appreciated its soft texture and delicious flavour.

Interestingly this dish came with a bowl of healthy and hearty mixed-grain rice, but it should be an option, as the flavours from the rice interfere with those of the main dish.

The drinks menu has an extensive list of traditional local drinks, such as black cow (Coke with Haagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream, HK$58), iced Ribena with lemon and sparkling water (HK$58) and iced Milo with Horlicks (HK$58).

However the dessert menu only offered one local dessert – Hong Kong-style egg waffle with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream (HK$88). Hopefully more local ones can be represented here.

1/F, Island Pacific Hotel

152 Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, tel: 2131 5908