T'ang Courtat The Langham, Hong Kong,is one of three Cantonese restaurants in the world to be awarded the accolade of three Michelin stars for its authentic and innovative cuisine.
We took the opportunity to catch up with the restaurant's head chef Kwong Wai Keung, the self-proclaimed veteran of traditional Cantonese cuisine, as he re-invents China's 'Golden Era' on a plate.
Tell us about your cooking philosophy at T’ang Court?
Select the best quality ingredients from around the world and introduce seasonal products to Cantonese cuisine prepared in an authentic approach.
What are the most important characteristics of traditional Cantonese cuisine, and how does Cantonese cuisine differ from other Chinese culinary traditions?
Cantonese cooking is all about using fresh products. In particular - dim sum and seafood are also well known Cantonese specialties and cuisine that incorporate light seasoning and spices which is distinctly different from other Chinese food, most commonly cooked by steaming and stir-frying.
Your restaurant refers to the Tang Dynasty, often called the Golden Era of more than 1000 years ago. How do your dishes appeal to modern diners?
T'ang Court serves a wide selection of authentic Cantonese culinary masterpieces and delicacies such as the Sauteed Prawns and Crab Roe with Golden Fried Pork and Crab Meat Puffs and Stir-fried Fresh Lobster with Spring Onions, Red Onions and Shallots. These recipes are all references to the traditional cooking techniques but with added modern touches in terms of the ingredients selection and presentation.
Are there any traditional ingredients or specific cooking techniques you use that are specific to the Tang Dynasty? T’ang Court follows the traditional cooking technique of the Tang Dynasty, such as steaming and roasting. We present colourful and flavourful dishes garnished with flowers or fruits as per the decoration used in China’s Golden Era.
How many dishes does your menu offer? What are your signature dishes?
We offer an a-la-carte lunch and dinner menu, as well as set menus for guests to choose from. The extensive selection includes our signature dishes like the Sauteed Prawns and Crab Roe with Golden Fried Pork and Crab Meat Puffs, Stir-fried Fresh Lobster with Spring Onions, Red Onions and Shallots, and the Baked Seafood Rice with Cream Sauce in Crab Shell.
What drinks would you recommend pairing with Cantonese cuisine?
Chinese tea is perfect to pair with this type of food, otherwise Cantonese cuisine is probably one of the easiest Chinese fare to pair with wines. We actually have a pairing menu with Slovenian Biodynamic wines.
T’ang Court was awarded its 3rd Michelin star a few months ago. There only 3 Cantonese 3 Michelin star restaurants worldwide: How did you drive to become one of them?
This is the reward of our hard and consistent work, and of never being complacent. And it wouldn't happen without the help and support of a great team in both kitchen and service.
Are there any exciting new plans on the horizon?
We will be launching a new set menu to celebrate the success of our Three Michelin Star win and will also feature a monthly specialty menu that has seasonal dishes.
Dal is one of those recipes that goes all the way back to the Indus Valley Civilisation. Unlike dishes such as biryani, brought to India by the Moghuls, it is one of those foods that has always been there. It is therefore a building block of Indian culture.