We took a big detour before realising that it was 116 Neil Road not 11B Neil Road. The Hong Kong style ‘cha chaan teng’ is actually nearer to the MRT than we think.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the owner-chef Benson who gladly shared with us his story of restaurateurship. Tang Hong Kong Gourmet was opened in March 2012. Previously, Chef Benson owned a small hawker stall in Chinatown selling Cantonese gourmet. He was formerly from the Navy’s submarine squad and cooking and food have always been his passion. Chef Benson had also won a Xin Min Ri Bao CATS culinary award in 2010.
After 12 years with the Navy, he decided to turn his passion into his career and Tang Hong Kong Gourmet was born! He also went on a 2-year learning journey to learn from more experienced chefs from Jumbo Seafood and Marina Bay Sands.
That night, we were treated to their signature 7-course set menu consisting of Steam Crap Fish Head with Chili and Garlic, Coconut Milk Prawns, Roast Duck, Spicy White Baits, Braise Tofu with Wild Mushroom, Cantonese Double Boiled Soup and Pig’s Trotters (in replacement of Crispy Garlic with Pea Sprout).
The soup of the day was the very cooling – Winter Melon with Duck, followed by Spicy Fish Bait for appetizer. It looks like Twisties but Joey’s mom felt that it should be more crispy.
Yummy Roast Duck and the spicy Crap Fish Head with Chili and Garlic. I love the duck, it’s fatty but not too oily. The fish head is spicy so make sure you eat it with rice.
The Coconut Milk Prawn is my favorite for the night. It tastes like laksa because of the coconut milk. Benson revealed to us that the ‘coconut milk’ is actually extra virgin coconut milk mixed with vapoured milk. Coconut has a stronger fragrance and the ‘extra virginity’ is a healthier alternative to actual coconut milk. Other ingredients include garlic, crashed dried shrimps, mayonnaise, paprika powder, chili powder plus other secret ingredients. 🙂
Vinegar-filled pig’s trotter and braise tofu with yummy wild mushrooms.
My review: Traditional Hong Kong cha chaan teng cuisine with fusion dishes. Hawker fare in a restaurant setting with affordable pricing. Centrally located, good for CBD lunch crowd and special occasions. Alternative dinner before clubbing in Tanjong Pagar when you crave for Cantonese food.
Address: 116 Neil Road (between Tanjong Pagar and Outram MRT Station)
Opening hours: 11.30 am to 10 pm
Price range: Low to mid range, $12 to $18 per person