Sha Tin 18 @ Hyatt Regency Sha Tin, Hong Kong
Located at the Hyatt Regency by University station in Sha Tin, Sha Tin 18 Chinese restaurant is not the easiest to get to. But it is worth it once you do arrive. Named after the hotel’s street address number “18” which also means good fortune in terms of Feng Shui, the restaurant serves authentic Dongguan and northern Chinese cuisine in a lively show kitchen environment. You can take a close look at chefs at work and the large windows let you enjoy the gorgeous view of the mountain.
Whenever I visit Hong Kong, I would always stuff myself with lots of dim sum. So at Sha Tin 18, I also stuff myself with their Steamed shrimp, pork and crab roe dumplings (HK$56). Very juicy with plump prawns! Pan-fried cod fish and black truffle rolls (HK$68) is crispy and an interesting twist to our usual spring roll.
Chilled avocado with Chinese basil, black vinegar and garlic (HK$138) is a thoughtfully crafted and tantalising appetizer. It has a pleasantly sour flavour, while avocado is an excellent source of fibre. Marinated cabbage, onion and coriander in spicy sesame paste (HK$98) is another refreshing salad.
Double boiled minced pork and hairy crab soup is a signature pick from Shanghai. Originating from Sui Dynasty more than a thousang years ago, the large meat ball is made with minced pork and further enhanced by the hairy crab roe and flavour from the double boiled soup.
Sha Tin 18’s most famous dish is the Peking duck (HK$538 whole, HK$328 half). A signature dish enjoyed by emperors in the olden days, the hotel has specially invited 2 chefs from Beijing to be at the restaurant permanently to prepare Peking duck. The dish is prized for the thin, crisp skin, serving mostly the skin and little meat, sliced in front of us by the chef. The skin was unlike any Peking duck we’ve had – it was so delicate it melted in the mouth. It is served in three stages:
1. First, the skin is served dipped in sugar.
2. The leg meat is then served with steamed pancakes, spring onions, cucumber sticks and garlic sauce. Place all the ingredients on the pancake, wrap it and eat it by hand.
3. The remaining duck breast meat may be made into a broth or fried with noodles. But in this case, because the meat is so tender, we just eat it on its own with sweet bean sauce.
Steamed scallop and okra in preserved shrimp paste (HK$328) is as delicious to the palate as to the eye as okra matches perfectly with the freshness of seafood.
Located in the Pearl River Delta, Dongguan is famous for freshwater catches. One example is the Braised garoupa belly cooked with ginger and spring onion in preserved clam paste (HK$268).
I didn’t think much about Tossed mustard greens with beancurd sheet and shallots (HK$138) but after trying it, it is surprisingly good. The vegetables are crisp-tender, the slightly chewy bean curd skin absorbed the flavourful sauce and the shallots are sweet.
And last but not least, a plate of Dougguan wok-fried rice vermicelli with prawns and shredded pork (HK$155) to end off the savoury part.
Putting a sweet ending to our gastronomic lunch is the red date jasmine cake that excudes the natural tea aroma; and the smooth and creamy Chinese preserved plum and meringue cheese roulade.
Sha Tin 18
AddressL 4/F Hyatt Regency Sha Tin, 18 Chak Cheung Street, Sha Tin
Tel: +852 2723 1234
Opening hours: 11.30am-3pm; 5.30pm-10.30pm