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Year of the Rooster inspires creative egg dishes in HK

By Mike Peters | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-13 07:48

Year of the Rooster inspires creative egg dishes in HK

Chef Alex Fargas of FoFo by el Willy's "Land and Sea" dish combines the land element (the egg) and the sea element, the lobster. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The arrival of The Year of the Rooster may remind some of the old brainteasers: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

The imminent Lunar New Year has prompted a group of five Hong Kong restaurants to decide it was the egg. (Roosters, after all, don't lay eggs.) In a Spring Festival promotion titled "Before the Rooster Comes the Egg", the restaurant chefs join TV celebrity chef Hilda Leung to create a special egg-based menu that is now being offered to local diners through Jan 31.

"We had a chicken coop when I was growing up, with hens that would lay eggs," says chef Chris Grare of Lily & Bloom, host of the menu's launch party this week. "I always loved going to check if we had fresh eggs in the morning," he says, adding that his dish for the event, which he calls Egg in the Nest, recalls those times and flavors with its mix of eggs, roasted corn, truffle and farro, an ancient grain with a nutty flavor similar to brown rice. The dish is priced at HK$185 ($23.85).

Chef Anthony Burd of Mercato Hong Kong drew inspiration from his recent trip to Japan.

"I ordered a bowl of ramen-rich in meat and mushroom broth, and a small piece of cold butter that you emulsified into the sauce at the table," he remembers. "It was served with a soft poached egg. My dish (HK$128) is made using beautiful maitake mushroom and eggs from Japan, with the addition of some of my favorite Italian flavors."

Chef Alex Fargas of FoFo by el Willy says his restaurant loves to showcase "Land and Sea" dishes, which he says is a big element in Spanish dining culture. "This special dish that we are serving combines the land element (the egg) and the sea element, the lobster. The idea and philosophy is similar to a Lobster Eggs Benedict but with a twist." He completes the plate (HK$188) with a white-bean ragout and wild mushrooms.

Catalunya's chef Ferran Tadeo offers the Tramezzini Soldier Egg, with a Japanese soft-cooked egg yolk atop cauliflower gelatin snuggled against a dollop of black caviar, with a trio of toast "soldiers" on the side (HK$148).

Sushi Kuu chef Satoru Mugokawa's udon carbonara with Onsen egg (HK$118) is also part of the egg menu, but while the group of dishes will be available at the other restaurants until the end of the month, they are not on the menu at Sushi Kuu.

Finally, TV chef Hilda Leung has cooked up a soft-boiled egg in a crispy noodle nest (HK$155), with a duck fat quail egg, honey chorizo, pickled seaweed and saffron chicken jus.

Honored in Chinese culture as the tenth zodiac animal, the rooster symbolizes energy, courage, popularity, strength and a hardworking mentality. Event organizers say each restaurant represented in this special egg feast embodies these characteristics: a liveliness that draws diners in, popularity that precedes their names and the courage to experiment with new recipes.

If you go

Lily & Bloom

5 & 6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central district; 852-2810-6166.

Mercato by Jean-Georges

8/F, California Tower, 32 D' Aguilar Street, Central district; 852-3706-8567.

FoFo by el Willy

20/F M88, 2-8 Wellington Street, Central district; 852-2900-2009.

Catalunya

G/F Guardian House 32 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai district; 852-2866-7900; www.catalunya.hk

Sushi Kuu

1/F, M88, 2-8 Wellington Street, Central district; 852-2971-0180.

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