Address: 4/F, Century Square, 1-13 D’Aguilar Street, Central 中環德己立街1-13號世紀廣場4樓
Telephone: 2522 7611
Xia Fei Society is named after “Xia Fei Lu” (“Avenue Joffre” in French and now renamed “Huai Hai Lu”), a street at the French Concession which used to be a hub of the aristocratic society back in 1930s Shanghai.
This bright, comfortable restaurant in Central is renowned for serving high quality, scrumptious Shanghainese cuisine. Chef Zhou Yuan Chang, who comes from a family of renowned Shanghainese chefs and is known as one of China’s Top Ten Chefs, is the consultant chef of the restaurant and has designed a menu of innovative Shanghainese cuisine using the best seasonal ingredients.
Fortunately for customers, Chef Zhou himself will be at the restaurant preparing a nutritious 9-course menu from February to March 2015. February is generally a busy month for me as I have a few overseas trips lined up, but after hearing about this menu, I immediately come to try this out!
(1) A cup of Four Treasures Tea is brought to us, which is a sweet tea made from a blend of chamomile blossoms, rose petals, mint and a herb called snow tea. The drink is fragrant and delicious, and completely warms us up in the cold weather.
(2) Some cold plates are served and the baby cabbage with picked pepper ($68) arrives first. The cabbage is impressively clean tasting and crunchy, and the flavour is spot-on.
(3) The surf clam & king oyster mushroom with pepper and sesame ($78) is a true winner, as it has an incredibly alluring soft and chewy texture, and is mouthwatering with a spicy kick.
(4) The chilli wild black fungus with vinegar ($58), which uses premium black fungus, has a beautifully thick and tender texture, but it is too salty for me.
(5) The deep fried minced shrimp balls with zucchini ($88) is a bite-sized bundle of joy, and is nicely crispy on the outside and tender and moist in the middle.
(6) The green crab with vermicelli in casserole ($468) is very pretty to look at. A local crab is used, and the broth is deeply flavourful while the vegetables soak up the crab’s sea fresh flavours.
(7) The braised oxtail with chestnut and kumquat is a wonderful dish for Chinese New Year, and it is startlingly colourful and pretty. The seasoning is tangy and the oxtail is very tender, but what impresses me the most is the kumquat, which retains an alluring sweetness after being cooked. The oxtail and the kumquat turn out to be a perfect match.
(8) The steamed pork ribs with black truffle oil and wild rice ($168) is a delightful dish, with glutinous rice wrapped around soft, melting pork ribs. I wish, though, that the truffle taste is stronger and that the bones are removed from the pork ribs. Check out a slightly different version at Sha Tin 18 that I tried before!
(9) The stewed mixed seafood combo with sea cucumber and fish maw ($688) is the perfect dish to impress family and friends, as the pot is packed full of extravagant ingredients and the soup is thick and deliciously flavourful. Not to mention the price is very reasonable too!
(10) The baked king prawns with black truffle oil ($118) is incredibly pleasing to the eye, and tastes as good as it looks. The flavours are vibrant and exciting, and Chef Zhou came to our table and told us to eat the salad afterwards as a palate cleanser, which turns out to be very pleasant!
(11) The deep fried prawns with wild garlic ($148) boasts a sauce that is sweet and very addictive, and everyone at the table completely adores this dish.
(12) After a rather crazy feast, the dessert arrives and it is as impressive as the dishes that precede it. A Shanghainese Eight Treasure Rice Pudding is served together with some sweet cakes. I expected the cakes to be very sugary, but I later find out that Chef Zhou has toned down the level of sweetness to make them more suitable for Hong Kong palates. Amongst the desserts, I love the sticky red bean flour cake the most, as it is deliciously chewy with a distinctive red bean flavour.
The food at Xia Fei Society has always been consistently good, but this time I am even more impressed by each of the dishes prepared by Chef Zhou than I usually am. If you are looking for a restaurant to celebrate with family and friends over Chinese New Year, Xia Fei Society will not disappoint! I just hope that the tables are not fully booked out yet.