Tin Lung Heen sits on the 103rd floor of the ICC in Hong Kong and is one of the new Ritz Carlton’s restaurants. The hotel is stunning, although still so new that our two taxi drivers didn’t know how to find it, the entrance is from a podium deck on the 9th floor of the ICC and this is where taxis drop off (up a ramp from the ICC office reception area). Even the view from this area is superb, and there is a coffee and pattiserie area in the pre-reception area. You are ticked off a list in order to access the lift area, guests and booked diners only. The lift takes you up to floor 104 which is the hotels main reception, then an escalator down to a restaurant area, there is a lounge bar that offers drinks, light meals and afternoon tea, this faces directly towards HK island and the view is amazing, there are bench tables along the window for the best views. To the left sits the Italian restaurant (Tosca) and to the right Tin Lung Heen with a view over Stonecutters Island and its bridge.
The hotel only opened days ago and it still feels a bit stiff and formal as it settles into its rhythum, I think we were greeted by over 20 people as we walked through reception to the table and I needed a beer to get over good morning fatigue. It is a good looking restaurant with lots of luxury touches, glass is a feature with lots of hanging and features, the kitchen is along the back wall in the centre of the restaurant with windows so you can see the action.
Two menus are presented, we head for the short but interesting dim sum option, there are nine of us and so split over two tables as the largest in the restaurant seats six (private rooms seat larger parties – but I prefer the action of the main room). I order eleven different dishes and the maitre’d is happy to serve each as nine pieces rather than having to work out how many pieces make up each dish (he tells me that on the menu dishes vary between 2, 3, 4 and 5 pieces). They are:
Vegetable dumplings with morel mushroom – very delicate and light texture and interesting flavours.
Chicken and mushroom dumplings with chili in Sichuan style – nicely refined with very delicate skins.
Dried bean curd sheet rolled with fish maw, sliced chicken, Japanese pumpkin and bamboo piths – a wonderful combination of taste and texture.
Barbecued pork buns – very good, but that said a bun is a bun and whilst these are good they are just a bun.
Pork wonton with chili oil in Sichuan style – these are absolutely superb, good texture and very deep flavours with a very well judged chili hot that balanced with the flavours perfectly rather than dominating.
Steamed rice roll with deep-fried spring roll with shrimp, carrot, black fungus and mushroom – the crunch of the spring roll provides a great textural contrast to the rice roll.
Deep-fried shrimp, bamboo pith and salted egg yolk spring rolls – these are served as long “cigars” upright in a glass, very fresh flavours and not at all oily or greasy.
Wagyu beef pot-sticker with black pepper – promoted as a feature dish and whilst good not memorable.
Baked barbecued pork buns with tasty crust – a very light baked bun with a crispy crust that has a little sweetness - very good.
Vegetarian buns with superior mushroom and black fungus – incredibly delicate with deep flavoured filling.
Traditional baked egg custard tarts – last and disappointingly least. They are light and delicate but this is their fault as they really lack something to make them stand-out.
The food was really good quite the best I have tried and IMO better than T’ang Court at The Langham, Fu Sing maybe a good haunt for a regular inexpensive dim sum lunch, but this is in a very different league and well worth the money (even without the views). Service is as you would expect good, a few teething problems but these are understandable. The team seemed to be really interested in our thoughts and genuinely pleased that we enjoyed the food – the only thing they need to do is train the staff to pour beer whilst the one handed pour may look good a glass of 90% foam to 10% beer isn’t good.
Total bill (including 10% service) was HK $3,533 for nine people and enough food to satisfy all. The food component was approx $2,200 and beer and coffee added $1,400.
Good food – definitely worth the trip, we will return.