The Chef Who Made Lung Hin One Of The Best Chinese Restaurants In Town Is Back—And We Couldn’t Be Happier
Lung Hin at Marco Polo Ortigas has always enjoyed a stellar reputation for Chinese cuisine. But fans of the restaurant will admit that the eatery reached the zenith of its popularity when Chef Ken Leong was at the helm. While he initially left around two years ago, the big news during the media lunch held recently at Lung Hin is that Chef Ken is back!
Chef Ken’s little twists on traditional Cantonese dishes, how he insists on the freshest and best of ingredients, and how he introduces new dishes and combination of flavors—they’ve all helped establish the high regard to which the patrons of Lung Hin hold him. During this lunch, I got a good taste of just why he carries such a lofty reputation.
The meal began with Steamed Seafood Dumpling with Asparagus and Caviar, and I have to admit that this dish turned out to be my personal favorite, eclipsing anything that followed. I’ve had shrimp dumplings or har gowin every dim sum restaurant, so it was novel to see the concept uplifted and given a more gourmet interpretation with the additions of caviar and asparagus.
The Double Boiled Chicken with Fish Maw Soup was one the best versions of ‘food for your soul’ I’ve tasted as it was light, and yet very strong in flavor. Deep Fried Garoupa with Golden Garlic and Lemongrass Sauce was a welcome change from the steamed garoupa we would normally order at Chinese restaurants.
The Traditional Hong Kong Salt Baked Chicken is Hainanese chicken given a new interpretation, richer on the basting and flavoring, and the lemongrass sauté was a delightful surprise. Chef Ken’s Deep Fried Spare Ribs with Olive and Honey Sauce is a perennial favorite which helped establish Chef Ken in Manila, and it was great to see him ‘playing’ with his signature dish.
Chef Ken’s Poached Hong Kong Seasonal Vegetable with Tomato, Black Fungus in Supreme Fish Stock was exceptional, combining his love for the freshest ingredients with a very unique element like black fungus, but then making the dish hearty just like comfort food. His Fookian Misua was the carbs of the lunch, taking the place of the usual steamed rice. Finally for dessert, he whipped up a Chilled Mango and Coconut Jelly, both refreshing and delicious.
It felt great to be welcoming Chef Ken Leong back to Manila. I loved how he was brought out to introduce the dishes to our group, but seemed more eager to rush back into the kitchen. The Lung Hin kitchen is his kingdom, and it’s where he rules!
Lung Hin, 44/F Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, Meralco Avenue and Sapphire Street, Ortigas Center, Pasig City, (02) 720-7777