I was recently brought to Fan Ling (粉嶺)by an acquaintance, it was nice to feel like I was in safe hands of else it would’ve been my last glimpse of Hong Kong before being sold to the underground red-light business. In the midst of commercial buildings, autobody shops and warehouses, there is IPC FoodLab, that has yet to be discovered. Fan ling would be the last place to find a restaurant serving a Farm-to-Table affair.
IPC is trying “to connect the community with the land” by using local and seasonal products. They have produce coming in from around the local Hong Kong farms and they also plan on opening a cooking school in that same building. It was a different experience walking into a restaurants with cherry tomato vines crawling up the fences spread around its windows. The lunch menu is affordable but having to journey all the way here, I did not experience a wow factor that would bring me back right away.
I went with my cousin and 2 other friends and we ordered from the lunch menu. We each started off with a freshly squeezed apple juice topped with a shot of wheat grass juice. It was refreshing and a good way to open up my appetite. There has been controversy with wheat grass, although many proponents have stated many benefits. If you are pregnant always use caution when ingesting anything raw like wheat grass that is grown in soil and water. Also people with celiac disease that are sensitive to gluten, should always consult your doctor before eating or drinking wheat grass, according the the Mayo Clinic.
The three soups on the menu included a pumpkin, beet, and a fish. The soups were very smooth in texture and enhance by a drizzle of cream and oil.
The entrees were decent, which included a salmon filet and a smoked salmon salad, but my favorite would be the pumpkin risotto. I have a bias towards pumpkin, sure it has loads of potassium, vitamin A, C and fiber, the texture and flavor is what attracts me. I also love its orange color, which connects me to happy moments.
I normally do not normally order coffee after a meal, I prefer some tea, but then I was persuaded to try their artisanal coffees and I have no regrets. I thought the coffee there was one of the best parts of the entire meal, everything from the picturesque presentation and taste, down to the cute turquoise tea cups. What can I say, I’m a sucker for cute things that taste great.
So the verdict, would I go back? I’d say if here was adequate transportation and an exceptional menu, but I would hesitate if one or the other was not available. It would also be nice if the service staff was better trained since they had to refer back to the “MIB” -like suited managers for any questions we asked about the food.