Effli

Dinner at Gitone

In Food - HK on May 17, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Gitone is a small private kitchen that serves modern Shanghainese and Shunde food (as well as vegetarian and asian courses;  being a private kitchen,  they can tailor the menu to your liking to a certain extent).  It has pottery and painting classes in the afternoon, which is quite interesting.  And as can be expected, the plates that the food is presented on are all unique and interesting.

Pottery

There are 2 parrots there too!

Because of the small size of the restaurant, we were served according to a set menu.  However, we were only a group of four, and because it was difficult to change the portion size of the appetizers, we received 8 dishes of small but relatively large appetizers, which were a bit overwhelming.

We started with a smoked bean curd roll filled with strands of carrot and mushroom, which was pretty traditional Shanghainese and was okay:

Bean Curd Roll

Another traditional dish we started out with is cofu – a gluten ball ripped into irregular pieces with black fungus, mushroom and a salty-sweet sauce.

Cofu

Drunken chicken, one of my favorite dishes.  I like the special taste of the chinese cooking wine used, and the meat was tender.

Drunken Chicken

Cool crispy vegetables with a little bit of dried shrimp, quite refreshing:

Crispy Cut Vegetables

Marinated chilled cucumber with a bean paste-like chili sauce, and sesame seeds:

Marinated Cucumber with Spicy Paste

Eggplant soaked in a sweet soya sauce.  I actually really like this one.  Usually these kind of chilled eggplants are salty and slightly sour, so it was different to be salty and a little sweet.

Eggplant

I didn’t especially like this but others in my party did – a smoked slice of fish, marinated.

Fish

The tofu may have been overly simple, but was cleansing and cooling, with subtle tastes:

Tofu Dish

Now for the main courses: the first few main courses weren’t all that interesting, but things got much better towards the end.  The most disappointing dish of the meal was the crab with sticky rice cakes.  It is a classic Shanghainese dish, with a sticky, slightly sweet sauce poured over the whole thing.  The chewy rice cakes are supposed to be a signature point of the dish, but Gitone’s were hardly chewy.  The crab is supposed to be hairy crab, which is not the type they used.

Crab with Sticky Rice Cakes

The next dish was much more promising – a loosely floured fried garoupa, with a light sweet and sour sauce.  The fish was crispy but not soaked in oil, and the little bit of flour that coated it added a nice texture.  The sweet and sour sauce was not too heavy and was very tasty; it went well with the crispy fish.

Fried Fish in a Sweet and Sour Sauce

The next dish was one of my favorites, as it was the most uncommon (while still tasting good).  In the center were rolls of little white mushroom strands wrapped with a thin slice of melon, all sitting in a clear, thickened, soup.  It was very clean and carried strongly the taste of the soup.  The brocolli framing the rolls were all very crunchy without being hard, and along with the sauce were also very good.

Melon Mushroom Wrap with Brocolli

We also enjoyed these very flavorful grilled beans.

Grilled Bean Stalks

The remaining 2 main courses were excellent.  There was a clay pot of vegetable rice, and the vegetable used was very clean tasting.  The rice itself was very flavorful, and had the right moistness to it.

Clay Pot Vegetable Rice

The braised knuckle was the favorite of our party.  The sauce was a little but not overly sweet, and the meat literally fell off the bone.  There was a lot of fat; its melted juices leaked into the tender meat (of course, we did not eat all the fat itself).

Braised Pork Knuckle

For dessert, (and by this time we were all already quite full), we were given 2 sesame tang yuen dumplings in a gui fa (osmanthus) ginger soup.

Tang Yuen in Gui Fa and Ginger Soup

Although the appetizers were a little disappointing, the main courses were delightful.  The whole concept of the mixing of restaurant and art in Gitone is a neat one, making a visit to Gitone one that is worth a try.

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