Special menu review: Duddell's restaurant (1 Michelin star) with the UK Agriculture Board
Discovering the best of British pork with the UK’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board
Roast meats have long been a big part of Hong Kong’s food culture, affordable treats just about anyone can enjoy. In recent years, innovative chefs have started applying traditional recipes to premium meats. Think char siu made from Iberico pork from Spain, Mangalica pork from Hungary, and even wagyu beef from Japan. But why don't we often hear about Cantonese cooking with premium meats from other countries, say like the UK? This is something the UK Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) wants to change. I recently had the opportunity to attend a dinner hosted by the AHDB at Duddell’s, one of our city’s finest and most stylish Cantonese restaurants, to celebrate the Year of the Pig and try Cantonese dishes made from premium British pigs raised in Waveney Valley, Suffolk.
While the AHDB flew in some of the treats, they gave Duddell’s Executive Chef Jacky Wu free rein to prepare the menu. Here are a few photos from the evening. Prices included are of similar dishes on Duddell's a la carte menu.
Roasted whole suckling pig ($320 per person)
Appetiser combination with char siu, osmanthus-scented pear, and pork belly ($150 per person)
Braised pork hocks (off menu)
Hot and sour soup with prawns and Waveney Valley minced pork ($220 per person)
Being the good Taiwanese girl that I am, pork is my favourite of all the meats. I’ve had my fair share of roast pork and char siu throughout the years and I do believe that premium British pork works well for Cantonese roast meats (and in general). For roast pork, the skin was incredibly crispy and the meat was soft, moist and tender. For char siu, while Iberico and Mangalica are significantly more fatty, with both fatty flesh and of plenty of fat ribbons, the char siu we tried was leaner but still delicious and less overwhelming for the palate...which means we could eat more of it (insert happy face here).
In addition to the pork dishes, we also enjoyed trying some of Chef Wu's other creations. The osmanthus-scented pear with Hawthorn was delightful, fresh, and floral in the most edible way. The stuffed crab shell contained sweet onions that matched well with the creamy crab meat and salty, crunchy crust. And the garoupa was cooked perfectly and came with a very smooth bean curd pudding.
Stuffed crab shell with crab meat and onions (off menu)
Steamed garoupa fillet with bean curd and soy sauce ($480 per person)
To try premium British meat and related products - including not only pork but beef, lamb, and dairy - for yourself, check out their Facebook page or browse their hashtags #DiscoverBritishMeat and #AHDBhk to keep up with the latest updates. In 2019, there will be events and activities for industry folk and home cooks alike, including a special menu in line with the HOFEX food and hospitality trade show in May and the second annual Young Chef competition in August.
Level 3 Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell St, Central, 2525 9191
*By invitation for Foodie