Mickey on your plate

Stepping into Disney’s Hollywood Hotel instantaneously takes you to the glitz and glamour of 1930s Hollywood, made even more authentic with the art deco architecture and interior embellishments. The second hotel, Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, is quite the opposite with its Victorian look and feel. The Enchanted Garden, one of the restaurants here, serves a breakfast buffet buzzing with activities. Its popular amongst kids – for good reason. The entire Disney entourage, from Mickey, Minnie to Goofy and Pluto pay a visit to your breakfast tables and patiently stay with you till you’re done with photo ops.

The Chinese restaurant at the hotel – Crystal Lotus – serves authentic Chinese fare. It is an assumption that since Hong Kong prefers the Cantonese style, the food at Crystal Lotus is also the same. The food follows four Chinese culinary traditions from Sichuan, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong regions of the mainland. The restaurant is very sleek and contemporary in look and feel, giving the illusion of high end fine dining, therefore being in one’s best behaviour a mandatory. Quite in contrast is a digital koi pond at the entrance, with the fishes slinking away with every step you take. It is amusing to see young children make a complete sport of it.

The food and the service maintains standards expected of a 5-star establishment, but the restaurant not forgetting that it is part of themed resort offers something that simply leaves you agape. Crystal Lotus on every weekend and public holidays has a special Disney Signature Dim Sum menu. One after the other these delectable dim sums are presented before you leaving only question on your mind – how?  How did they create these and how can you eat these? Eat them you do. These dim sums are nothing less than work of art and they don’t just look pretty but are unbelievably yummy.

First up Steamed fresh diced Garoupa and Shrimp Dumpling in light Broth. Two beautifully handcrafted goldfishes swimming around a pool of broth. The pool of broth also has a cluster of water lilies, all edible. The dumplings or the goldfishes are glistening orange and gold with a stuffing of shrimp and garoupa. Shrimps as part of any dish makes my day, however, what stunned me was the simplicity of the broth which did wonders with its delicate taste and flavour. I didn’t try the edible art; the excitement of what was next was too strong.

Steamed fresh diced Garoupa and Shrimp Dumpling in light Broth

For the vegetarians there was Swan Vegetarian Taro Puff. I did not taste this, but was assured that it tasted as good as it looked. Made of taro root and deep fried with crispy coating for the body of the swan and very slender neck attached later.

Swan Vegetarian Taro Puff

Mickey’s double layered turnip and taro pudding was another option with a thick consistency the flavours of my least favourite vegetable, turnips, very skillfully hidden. The most fun were the Little Pig Barbecue Pork Buns and Little Green Men Pork and Vegetable Buns. These steamed buns were just too adorable, but that didn’t hamper with the taste. The bread was nice and soft and the stuffing rich and luscious.

Mickey’s double layered turnip and taro pudding
Little Pig Barbecue Pork Bun
Little Green Men Pork and Vegetable Bun

My personal favourite was Mickey’s Seafood Glutinous Pancake. The Mickey-shaped pancakes gave you a taste of  fresh seafood in every bite. There was also Duffy Steamed Lotus Red Bean Puree Bun. It was evident, that being one of the latest entrants in the Mickey family and the menu, work still needs to go into perfecting the dim sum. The taste was quite average and felt a little too bready.

Mickey’s Seafood Glutinous Pancake
Duffy Steamed Lotus Red Bean Puree Bun

My second favourite was Double-Boiled Whole Chinese Pear topped with Aged Mandarin Peel. Surprisingly, this desert took my breath away, the pear was perfectly cooked and the sweetness well balanced with the aromas of the Mandarin peel. This was paired with Chicken Little – Lotus Bun. By this time the appetite was well satiated and the taste buds were calling it quits.

Double-Boiled Whole Chinese Pear topped with Aged Mandarin Peel and Chicken Little – Lotus Bun

It was after all time to hit the park and relive some of the fondest childhood memories.