Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Meet Chef Ken of Marco Polo's Award-Winning Lung Hin...

Traditional Cantonese cuisine updated with a modern spin. Let Lung Hin's Chef Ken take you on a flavorful culinary journey with his refreshing modern take on Cantonese cuisine....

Marco Polo Ortigas Manila's Cantonese restaurant, Lung Hin, introduces its new Chinese Executive Chef, Leung Chi Kwan, or simply Chef Ken, infusing his own culinary style combining authentic and traditional flavors updated with modern techniques. It's Cantonese cuisine taken to a whole new level...

Located high above the Ortigas CBD at the 44th Floor of Marco Polo, the award-winning Lung Hin impresses the minute you walk in the elegant entrance greeted by the friendly staff. Behind the intricate wooden lattice-like wall, one gets a peek at the elegant interiors, and you just know you're about to enjoy a memorable dining experience...

Inside the spacious interiors of Lung Hin, the muted colors exude an understated elegance, with spectacular views of the Ortigas skyline perfectly framed by the panoramic glass windows. Led to one of the many private function rooms of Lung Hin, a menu for the preview of Lung Hin's new dishes just heightened my excitement (R)...

As more guests arrived for the special preview of Lung Hin's Cantonese dishes prepared by Chef Ken, a round of refreshing cocktails were served. Start your dining experience with Marco Polo's signature cocktail, Oasis in the Sky, a refreshing blend of aromatic pandan, white rum, cucumber syrup, and peach schnapps topped with Pandan molecular pearls for that soothing tropical vibe...

...or the equally refreshing Mango Daiquiri, with the vibrant notes of sweet and fresh mangoes bursting in your mouth with every sip.

Outside, I get a glimpse of Lung Hin's new Chinese Executive Chef, Leung Chi Kwan, adding his final instructions and touches with the staff for the special lunch preview. Armed with over twenty years of culinary experience gained from international five-star hotels and world-renowned Chinese restaurants from around the world, including Singapore's Imperial Treasure, Hong Kong Gold Pavillion Fort and even a cafe restaurant in Ireland, Chef Ken draws on his wealth of experience in creating Lung Hin's new menu. Chef Ken plays with traditional and familiar flavors, infused with subtle western-style touches for a refreshingly modern take on Cantonese cuisine.

Our lunch preview began with Chef Ken's light and flavorful Deep-Fried Crispy Tofu with Seaweed Salad, a unique salad with contrasting textures. The fresh crispness of the shredded cabbage and carrots combine with the deep-fried crunch of the nutty seaweed, shredded taro and velvety smooth tofu with its crisp outer layer. The flavors are simple, clean, and uncomplicated, with the mild sweetness of the fresh vegetables weaving in with the distinct notes of the seaweed, taro and tofu for a unique salad dish, and a great starter for Chef Ken's special lunch preview.

Chef Ken then served his Deep-Fried Beancurd Leek Rolls with XO Chili Sauce, a perfectly light and crisp beancurd spring roll with leeks. The subtle flavors of the delicate spring rolls are punctuated by the XO Chili Sauce, as you go for another piece. And another.

Chef Ken's modern approach to Cantonese cuisine highlights the subtle nuances of different notes with the freshest and finest ingredients for clean flavors. A sip of Chef Ken's comforting Spinach Seafood Soup (R) delivers mild and fresh flavors, delicately balanced without any need for additional seasoning or salt. 

It's this fine balance of flavors that become immediately apparent with Chef Ken's culinary style, relying on the freshness of his ingredients for flavor. Unlike the usual Cantonese fare with its heavily seasoned dishes, Chef Ken's modern take delivers milder yet rich and clean flavors, like the Stir-Fried Crystal Prawns...

Chef Ken's masterful execution of the Stir-Fried Crystal Prawns is a perfect example of Chef Ken's modern approach to traditional flavors. The briny sweetness of the plump prawns are retained, along with the fresh yet firm texture, with an audible fresh snap with every bite unlike the usual soft and overcooked crystal prawns. Topped with bright red goji berries, Chef Ken preserves the freshness of the prawns with its flavors at its peak, for one of the best crystal prawn dishes in the metro.

Chef Ken's fresh flavors continue with his Poached Live Garoupa with Mushroom, with the mild sweetness of the freshly steamed fish coming through, capped by the minty notes of the fresh herbs and the rich flavors of the broth. Simple, with uncluttered flavors, it's the way to go with the freshest and finest ingredients.

Chef Ken's Ham and Vegetables in Superior Broth is another masterfully executed dish combining the contrasting mildly salty notes of the thinly sliced ham with the sweetness of the fresh vegetables in a seamless blend for perfectly balanced flavors. the thinly sliced Chinese ham just melts in your mouth releasing its familiar salty notes, followed by the sweet hint of the vegetables.

The bold and familiar flavors of Cantonese-style pork is highlighted in Chef Ken's next dish, Deep-Fried Spareribs with Black Vinegar Sauce, served with a side of fresh vegetables. The rich yet delicate notes of the juicy pork are punctuated by the sour hint of the black vinegar for another dish with balanced flavors. And you'll probably want some steamed white rice with this dish.

Our preview of Chef Ken's new dishes ends with his comforting noodle dish, Fookian Misua, topped with fresh shrimps, mushrooms and vegetables flavored with a light soy sauce. The misua noodles are soft yet firm, absorbing the flavors of the various ingredients.

For dessert, Chef ken served Lung Hin's signature Buchi, glutinous rice balls with sweet bean filling coated with sesame seeds...

...and the intricate Coconut Mango Jelly, with the creamy notes of the coconut contrasting with the sweet and mildy tart mango filling. A cup of coffee, or hot tea, caps a memorable feast at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila's Lung Hin.

Lung Hin's new dishes are a must-try, and Chef Ken has even more surprises up his sleeve with his new menu. Lung Hin is one of the metro's dining destinations for authentic Cantonese cuisine infused with a modern touch, masterfully executed by Chef Ken and his team. Lung Hin's signature dishes, like the Three-Flavored Prawns and Sauteed Diced US Beef Cubes with Duck Liver have made Lung Hin one of the metro's best, a recognition strengthened with its recent awarding of the prestigious China Hotel Industry Golden Horse Award last March, 2016. "It is a great honor for Marco Polo Ortigas Manila to be recognized in this prestigious event. Lung Hin is one of our signature restaurants wherein we make sure that quality is at its best," said Marco Polo Ortigas Manila's General Manager, Frank Reichenbach. "Chinese cuisine is very dear to us, and this award proves how much we value authenticity in the dishes we serve."

Have a taste of Chef Ken's authentic and modern interpretation of classic Cantonese cuisine at Lung Hin, and you can also recreate one of his signature salad dishes with the recipe below...

Deep-Fried Crispy Tofu with Seaweed Salad

  • Thinly Sliced Seaweed
  • Japanese Tofu, cubed
  • Shredded Taro
  • Shredded Cabbage
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Sesame Dressing
Ingredients for Sesame Dressing
  • 30 grams Vegetable Oil
  • 50 grams Sesame
  • Salt
  • 1 pc egg yolk
  • 20 grams sugar
  • 10 grams honey
  • 20 grams flour
  1. Deep-fry seaweed, Japanese tofu, and shredded taro.
  2. Cut cabbage and carrots into fine shreds.
  3. Combine all ingredients together.
  4. Drizzle with freshly made sesame dressing 
Lung Hin is located at the 44th Floor of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, Meralco Avenue and Sapphire Street, Ortigas Centre, Pasig City, Metro Manila or call (632) 720-7777 for inquiries and reservations. 

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