With the popularity of Haoke, I believed it was only a matter of time before they branched out and opened a second shop. I was surprised when they decided to opt for Traditional Chinese cuisine when they opened Gourmet Collection at Runcorn Plaza, in the shopfront that used to be the less than successful Soho, next to Sweet Treats.
The first thing that struck me was that whilst the tables and chairs had been changed, the rest of the decor had largely remained the same.
Our drinks came soon after ordering, my sister had a lemon tea, whilst I had a lemon coke.
The main event of the evening arrived shortly. This is called pun choi (盆菜), literally basin of vegetables. It is a traditional Hong Kong style dish, served in a large metal or in this case, porcelain basin for communal consumption during events such as Chinese New Year. It contains a large assortment of delicacies which are slow cooked, traditionally taking up to three days.
Our basin contained prawns, abalone, mussels, a slow cooked pork knuckle, chicken, veges and quite a few fish balls. I really enjoyed the pork knuckle (to my surprise), as it had been so well done that the flesh had softened and the tendons had gelatinous well. The whole pot was cooked with a strong but delicious sauce. The abalone was small, but had a good springy texture, and the chicken was not overdone.
Other dishes we had to share included beef with stir fried veges. The beef in this instance was very tender, whilst the veges were fresh and crisp. The portion was generous too, and the sauce was tasty.
What I was most looking forward to though, was the deep fried intestines, which were crispy and juicy. Unfortunately though, they had a strange odor, which indicated to me that it may not have been very fresh. Other than that, it was served on top of mangoes, which is different from the usual run of the mill pineapple, a welcome change for quite a few from our table.
Price Range: $15 - $25pp