Celestial Court in Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers ranks as one of the best Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong. Their award-winning dim sum is incredibly popular among discerning diners and if you take a look at their menu, you’ll understand why. Deluxe ingredients such as jumbo scallops, sea urchin, lobster and Fukuoka pork are used to create mouth-watering dim sum which taste as good as they look, perhaps even better.
With well-known Chef Chan Sui Kei helming the kitchen, it isn’t surprising that the food in Celestial Court is top notch. With more than 40 years’ experience in Cantonese cuisine and many culinary awards under his belt, Chef Chan’s repertoire of exquisite traditional creations is always kept relevant by using traditional ingredients in unique ways and adding dramatic flourishes to the plating. You can’t fault the mastery of Chef Chan’s skills, certainly not for someone who started training when he was 11 years old!
In our whirlwind visit to the Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers, we had a sampling of some of Chef Chan’s delightful creations. Celestial Court is a beautiful restaurant, starting from the green marbled walkway leading to it. On the walls, hung inside glass casings are magnificent ancient Chinese silk robes with intricate embroidery and beadwork. The dining are spells oriental luxury with warm amber burlwood panels, raw silk wall coverings, exquisite vases and statues adding on to the charm.
We started off with a dim sum combination featuring some of Celestial Court’s popular offerings – an eye-catching squid ink scallop dumpling, translucent crabmeat dumpling and a taro puff with an incredibly light yammy pastry.
Our appetite was further whetted with a bowl of steaming hot Double-boiled Fish Maw Soup with Black Mushrooms. It was so good – with clear moreish flavors and delicately scented by the mushrooms. Not a single drop was left in our bowls.
It seems Chef Chan is a wizard with mushrooms and it so happened that mushrooms from Yunan were in season when we were there. Thus we had Saute’ed Scallops with Morel Mushrooms and Baked Chicken with Black Truffles in Rock Salt. Thick plump fresh scallops matched excellently with the woody morels in a dish that was both appealing in appearance and taste.
The black truffles adorning the baked chicken scented the air with their signature fragrance even before the dish was placed on the table. The golden skinned chicken enclosed a stuffing made from barley, nuts and spices – a signature of Chef Chan. I was told the same stuffing is used on their suckling pig too. From the black truffles to the filling, this showcased the chef’s clever mix of ingredients resulting in a dish with flavors that are complex and complementary at the same time.
Knowing how much we loved the roast meats in Hong Kong, we were served a platter of Celestial Court’s roast pork and cha siew. The perfect layers of fat and lean meat of the pork belly, together with the golden crunchy skin marked an excellent roast pork. The cha siew, although we felt it’s a bit too lean, had a good marinade in it.
Cha Siew Polo Buns are such a popular item in Hong Kong and we just couldn’t resist checking out Celestial Court’s version. The custard crust looked paler than most we have seen but it wasn’t any less crispy. What made them so remarkable was the delicious cha siew filling with a thick gooey sauce clinging to the meat and was not overly sweet.
Fried Rice in Lotus Leaf had 3 crystal prawns garnishing the parcel. The rice was very tasty, despite its rather plain appearance and has absorbed that unmistakable greenish scent from the lotus leaf.
When we thought we couldn’t swallow a morsel more, a platter of miniature desserts was presented, showcasing 5 of the restaurant’s favorites: double-steamed milk custard, walnut cream, black sesame dumpling, bird’s nest tart and red bean custard infused with citrussy tangerine peel. Another Celestial Court signature – a bowl of sweetened almond cream with eggwhite also made its way on to our table. The lumpy curds in the almond cream were the eggwhite which had been cooked by the latent heat of the almond cream, resulting in soft smooth curdles in the cream.
The superbly executed dishes we tried bore the trademarks of Chef Chan’s mastery – it’s a pity we didn’t stay long enough to check out more but we will certainly be back whenever we visit Hong Kong!
Celestial Court Chinese Restaurant 天寶閣中餐廳 (Hong Kong)
2/F, Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers
20 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: +852 2732 6991
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