Diner’s Diary

At Duddell’s, veteran chef serves modern takes on Cantonese classic dishes

Fung Man-ip brings more than 35 years’ experience to bear in a menu that includes inventive and inviting twists on such dishes as siu mai, fried lobster, and sweet and sour pork

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 July, 2017, 12:29pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 August, 2017, 5:51am

Central restaurant Duddell’s has given executive chef Fung Man-ip a few months to settle in and is now presenting his version of refined Cantonese cuisine with a contemporary twist.

Fung is a seasoned chef, having worked for more than 35 years in kitchens including those of Golden Jade Seafood Restaurant, Lei Garden, the Michelin-starred Dynasty Restaurant at the Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel, and most recently Mott 32 in Central.

The food at Mott 32 Vancouver, where prices are as eye-popping as the decor, is mostly worth it

At a recent tasting, Fung presented a menu that not only demonstrates his culinary skills, but also his keen interest in improving favourite dishes.

One example is the classic dim sum dish of siu mai, or steamed ground pork and chopped shrimp dumpling. He creates his own version by inserting a soft-boiled quail egg inside the dumpling so that the yolk oozes out when you bite into it; the dumpling is seasoned with shrimp broth for extra flavour.

Barbecued Iberico pork with honey glaze was very tender and not too sweet, and another appetiser, marinated cucumber with jelly fish, was nicely seasoned.

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Next came double-boiled fish and pork soup, a creamy-looking broth that included fish maw, bamboo pith and Chinese cabbage. While the soup is delicate, it has a lot of flavour from having been simmered for hours.

One of Fung’s signature dishes is fried local lobster with salted egg yolk and pumpkin. The presentation alone is impressive – an intact lobster is displayed on the dish and next to it the meat has been extracted, deep-fried then combined with salted egg yolk batter and Japanese pumpkin.

Light and crunchy on the outside, tender and meaty inside, it has an umami taste from the salted egg yolk.

Another inventive dish is Fung’s take on sweet and sour pork. In most restaurants this dish features big chunks of pork in a sauce that’s an orangey-red candy colour. At Duddell’s the Iberico pork is sliced thinly, with balsamic vinegar giving it its sweetness and tartness – resulting in a dish that is more balanced and with a cleaner taste.

The crispy salted chicken is another staple dish done well – roasted with a crunchy skin, the meat underneath is tender.

For dessert, the almond cream with egg white is another must-have – practically silky smooth almond soup with an extra protein hit from the egg whites, it was a nice finish to a decadent meal that didn’t feel too heavy.

Duddell’s, Level 3, Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell Street, Central. Tel: 2525 9191