And so it was, we eventually patronised his HK styled cafe at Neil Road a few weeks later to sample his full range of dishes and food. And it was a really delightful discovery.
The place itself was small but rather cosy, and while it does serve a range of standard HK cafe fare like spaghetti and instant noodles, the really good stuff here are the zhe char dishes.
Benson himself has been on TV and radio before, and used to be in the navy like myself. Since his departure from the naval forces, Benson has been hard at work honing his craft and learning from other chefs, and this is well reflected in his food.
|Vinegar Pig Trotters|
This was one dish that I thought I would not enjoy, as I have never been a fan of vinegar pig trotters. But here, Benson has a nicely balanced dish where the acidity of the vinegar is not too strong that it overpowered everything else, and the pig trotters were nicely cooked and the pork flavors came out well and nicely balanced with the vinegar.
|Spicy Coconut Prawns (Regular)|
This was the regular version of his popular spicy coconut prawns, and it was already very good. Well marinated and seasoned, that nice mix of coconut flavor combined with the heat and the textures from the prawns made for a really appetizing dish.
The star of the day was this fabulous roasted duck plate, and it was even better here than at the radio station, prime reason being it was served hot from the oven.
The skin had a beautiful and aromatic crisp, and the meat was nicely tender and moist, not powdery like other places and there was also a nice hint of marinate which was simply delicious.
This is certainly one of the best roasted ducks that I have had, and considering Foong Kee was just around the corner, if only I could combine the char siew and sio bak of Foong Kee and this roast duck, then you will have roasted meat nirvana!
|Special Spicy Coconut Prawns|
His other version of the coconut prawns requires special pre-booking. And it was just as good as the regular version, although I will be hard pressed to say which is actually superior.
This version has the shells on, and thus, it elicited a more intense shrimp flavor throughout. The marinate tasted similar, but with the shells on, it was harder to eat but that was balanced out by the stronger flavors of the dish. Excellent.
Tang HK Cafe is really a warm and cosy place to relax in, and serves more than the usual HK cafe stuff. There are also the regular HK french toast and all, but the real delights are the dishes highlighted above.
If Benson keeps on improving his force, I reckon he will be a force to be reckoned with in the near future. For now, I have no qualms bringing good friends here for a meal to savor and relax.
Tang HK Cafe
116 Neil Road