I am by statistics a little biased towards Cantonese and Sub-regional cuisines served inside China’s Guangdong region. The world is collectively shifting towards much healthier ways of cooking as well as maintaining and preserving as much flavours of the natural ingredients whenever is possible, and comparatively the Southern Chinese Guangdong region has gradually been running behind the trend. It is a little more greasier, liberal uses of pork fat and oils cannot be avoided, and too much MSG often makes for a murkier & unnatural taste. Yet viewing from another angle, it could be treated as more correctly traditional! I was half invited 1st and then half paid for my remaining stay in Shenzhen’s JW Marriott Hotel during a long weekend, but this restaurant inside the hotel really sprung a big surprise as it was so NOT Shenzhen or Guangdong in taste, with clean and natural flavours manifested on every dish, 2ndly the food execution or presentation of the dishes easily surpasses many of it’s competition in Hong Kong itself. This meal was part of the initial invitation by JW Marriott Hotel, but if this can be maintained at this standard on every night I would really miss here.. It was that good. It even had free Wi-Fi.
Chef Tsang -
Coming from Hong Kong to work in Shenzhen ..
Apparently he appears on local TV shows regularly.
What really made me respect him on the spot began from the discussion when we sat together after dinner. I found him to be so well travelled within China and he not only knows so many specialty provincial ingredients I have never heard of before, but he could pinpoint exactly what any two adjacent provinces will do differently when treating the same dish when it’s carried across the next border. His knowledge of different regional vegetables I’m afraid, is going to give many other Chinese chefs a scare. A walking encyclopedia.
Honey Glazed ‘Kurobuta’ Char Siu Pork - 蜜餞黑豚叉燒皇
The Black Kurobuta pork is of Japanese DNA but grown in Northern China.
Sauce is poured on top of the pre-heated rocks, to create steam to arouse your senses, a signature dish at all outlets of JW Man Ho restaurants. Interesting!
Saikyo Miso & Soy Sauce Grilled Cod Fish - 西京燒銀鱈魚
A Japanese influenced dish, using White Miso but with the addition of Soy Sauce as a marinade.
This was done as good as most Japanese restaurants, in fact, this was way better than the under marinated and fishy pieces we ate at Nadaman (Hong Kong).
Fried Prawns Coated with Wasabi Mayonnaise - 珊湖汁青芥抹蝦球
The Wasabi flavour was too weak to my liking. The frying bit was handled well however.
At least the sauce wasn’t splitting, like encountered at many restaurants these days..
Fried Goose Foie Gras Tower with Two Mushrooms and Basil, Raspberry Sauce
九層塔爆珍菌鵝肝 覆盆子汁 -
This was interesting as the flavours would need to be spot on to be balanced, but it came out perfectly executed with the acidity of fruity sauce balancing the gras grease, the basil gave it a greener component, whilst the mushrooms were slightly sweetish and spiced. The gras themselves also melted in your mouth without being too oily. Nice!!
Pumpkin Sprouts in High Broth - 上湯南瓜苗
This is a vegetable which isn’t usually found in Hong Kong anymore, but they are in fact very unique in it’s flavour and it does carry some pumpkin sweetness behind the green stalk’s flavour.
I really liked this vegetable actually, and China has a lot lot more varieties than we do and hence I always get my veggie fix whenever I am up here.
Papaya Puffs & Durian Puffs -
These were simply sublime! The puff pastry were crispy without being greasy, and what’s more, the internal diced fruits remained juicy yet did not make the pastry bottom to go wet. Very high level of execution and I haven’t ever had this quality in Hong Kong in a Chinese restaurant ~ not even the so called Michelin 2 to 3 Star restos. I will go check out Man Ho in HK just to see if they could repeat this respectable feat.
Fruit Platter -
This fruit platter was really neat and presentable. Unfortunately my photo’s angle didn’t capture the most relevant parts. E.g.. The Watermelon’s outside skin has been sliced to keep an ergonomically designed handling ‘tab’, so you could hold it and eat the whole piece all in 1 go. Or the Dragon fruit is peeled to review only a small strip of the red skin on one of the sides, mostly for aesthetic purpose but appreciated.
Price: Chinese RMB Approximately 250 - 300 Per Person
Ease of Access: 2/5 (Take a Taxi for around 5-10 minutes from Lok Ma Chau Train Station)
Food: ♕♕♕♕ 1/2 – ♕♕♕♕♕ (Note: Meal was by Invitation for 2 People upon Hotel Stay)
Opening Hours -
Mon to Sun - 12:00pm - 14:30pm, 18:00pm – 22:00pm
JW Marriott Hotel Shenzhen, 6005 Shennan Boulevard, China
Ph: (0755) 2269 8888