It seems that going out to eat at a nice restaurant with friends is a rare occurrence these days. Let me clarify that. Nice, as in full service, not rushed, and finer dining. Not a compressed lunch date at a fast casual place, or a food court, or chain restaurant with my toddlers.
I was curious about Two Penny. My general perception of authentic Chinese restaurants is that the food is good, but the service is very subpar (read rude) if one doesn’t speak the language. Now before you get on your high horse and criticize me for my politically incorrect point of view, let me say this. I am Cantonese by heritage; and I do speak the language reasonably unwell enough to be spoken to in English when I was in Hong Kong. It’s refreshing to have good Chinese food with much better service.
I ordered jasmine tea to go with my meal. The tea service was quite fancy. It was steeped in a wine pitcher, strained into another wine pitcher and finally poured into a tea cup. I loved the hand selected tea as I could really taste the flavour of the jasmine flowers.
I’m not a fan of traditional dim sum. It’s mostly greasy with this its-still-sitting-in-my-bloated-stomach-hours-later-feeling. But I like the idea of dim sum, and the steamed dishes. We started off with a traditional soup dumpling and some char siu bao (steamed BBQ pork buns). I like traditional and I was happy that it was prepared that way. They were both very tasty.
Our next course was beef and broccoli. This is not your ho-hum Chinese takeout dish. The beef is Wagyu brisket. Melt in my mouth good.
The drunken fish was a nice twist on the traditional steamed fish. Less oily, but retaining the freshness of the spring onions with citrus undertones. Very elegant. The rice did a nice job of soaking up the sauce.
A little arm twisting was required to try an additional dim sum dish. The crispy mushroom dumplings had a subtle flavour which were perfect on their own. However, the accompanying truffle mayo was overwhelming. It might have been nice if it was paired with a stronger dumpling.
I found that all the dim sum options were portioned well for three people. I don’t know if that was intentional, but with three in our party it worked out really well.
Even more arm twisting was required to try the dessert course, a mandarin creamsicle as we were stuffed from the previous courses. It was built on three layers. I only had the one bite so I couldn’t truly appreciate all the tastes. I did however, enjoy the cardamom meringue.
I would love to try more of their dishes.