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Posts tagged ‘Man Wah’

Hong Kong Hangover Cures


Chef Umberto Bombana

How are you feeling today? A little fragile perhaps? The sad and cruel truth about getting into the festive spirit is that you’re likely to feel dreadful the next morning. Finding a failsafe hangover cure is like searching for the holy grail and throughout history the hunt has involved food and drink.

Apparently the Greeks favoured cabbage as a cure while the Romans chose sheep lungs and owl eggs. Altogether more palatable is Lemuel Benedict’s remedy: he ordered toast, poached eggs, bacon and Hollandaise sauce (and invented the Eggs Benedict) at the Waldorf Hotel, New York in 1894 following a heavy night.

Most recently, scientists at Sun Yet-Sen University in Guangzhou have found that a can of Sprite is the best way of dispensing with those dreaded morning after symptoms.

But what do Hong Kong chefs rely on to get them through the morning after?

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The Mighty Duck: North v South

Da Dong Roast Duck crispy skin dipped in sugar

To Man Wah at the Mandarin Oriental where a two week stint by Beijing’s Da Dong Duck is drawing to a close. The delicious smell of roast duck filling the restaurant  is too much to resist so we order a half Da Dong “superlean” bird (Da Dong’s famed take on Peking Duck is that it contains less fat than others). The Master of Roast Duck carves it, Beijing style, with both the skin and meat – unlike the Cantonese way of serving just the crispy skin. And the pancakes are roasted to form small brittle pockets rather than soft translucent sheets. We are directed to dip the skin into a little bit of sugar and the flesh into a dark, sticky sauce that remains a secret to Da Dong. The duck fest at Man Wah ends today but if you miss it and aren’t planning a visit to Beijing any time soon look out for it again around the same time next year.

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