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Situated on the first floor of the Regal Airport Hotel, Rouge, in spite of its Gallic name, is in fact a typical Hong Kong Cantonese-Sichuan restaurant. The thick carpets are embellished with cloud prints, while panels that reminded us of Chinese paper cut-outs decorate selective sides of the room. Using hues of black, purple and red, the design is more modern than most. Given its proximity to the airport, it presents itself as a good pre- or post-flight dining option, well suited for family gatherings and business meetings.
We started off the meal with a plethora of Cantonese essentials, including the barbecued pork bun, which was an instant favourite. The dough was just the right thickness (not too thin, not too thick), and is both fluffy and chewy with just the right amount of sweetness. It also came with a generous amount of barbecued pork. Equally impressive were the steamed pork rice rolls. Instead of the usual doughy versions you find elsewhere, Rouge’s rendition has a good chew and is light and delicate, with a satisfying glutinous texture. The steamed shrimp dumpling was probably one the most disappointing dishes as the skin lacked bounce and chew, and despite the skin being thick and heavy, the shrimp filling tore through it when we picked the dumpling up with our chopsticks. Roasted pork, also fell down in execution; while the meat was bursting with flavour and boasted a good balance of fat and meat, the skin could have been a little thinner and less oily. On a similar note, spare ribs arrived piping hot, though while the meat was tender, it was a little overcooked. We also tried one of the restaurant’s signatures the deep-fried custard with Yunnan ham. We were presented with globs of yellow curd in a light batter. Piping hot, the custard was beautifully sweet with the occasional injection of saltiness thanks to the ham, but it was too delicate and difficult to eat. As Rouge is also a Sichuan restaurant, we ordered their poached sliced fish in chilli oil, which we felt was a little on the mild side of the spiciness spectrum. We rounded off the meal with a chilled mango and pomelo sago, which boasted a generous portion of fruit, which was the perfect sweet ending to our meal.
There is only a limited selection of wines available, and only one white and one red by the glass. An order of tea would be a better idea.
The service here is very attentive, though perhaps a little overbearing as we had a waitress stand behind our table throughout our entire meal. Nevertheless, staff had good knowledge of the menu and were helpful throughout.
Given its proximity to the airport, the Chinese restaurant is priced reasonably; at HK$600 for two, it represents good value even considering some of the flaws we encountered.