Away from the busy streets in Hong Kong, this restaurant is located up the hill from Sheung Wan, in the quiet street of Kau U Fong, and boasts the use of the finest ingredients and the absence of artificial stuff such as baking soda for tenderising the beef and MSG for enhancing the flavours. It had only opened for less than 6 months when I visited in January 2010 and the tables were already being booked up a few weeks in advance.
One of the signature dishes was Crispy Small Yellow Croaker served with Balsamic Dressing. If I remembered correctly, the fish as soaked in olive oil for a substantial amount of time, in order to soften the bone, so that the whole fish, including the bones, could be eaten. Was it really that special? I didn’t think so. If anything, it’s a very fiddly dish – some of the bones were just not crispy or soft enough to eat, and some of the sharp bones were just too dangerous to swallow.
The Smoked Pigeon with Longjing Tea & Chrysanthemum was OK. The meat was moist enough but I expected a slightly richer flavour of the tea in the meat – I could have done a better version at home. The Pan-fried Minced Pork Cake with Salted Fish tasted better than it looks – even though I wasnot a fan of salted fish, I could eat a whole piece of the minced pork cake.
As for the main courses: Steamed Fresh Flowery Crab with Aged ShaoXing Wine & Fragrant Chicken Oil was disappointing – While the crabs were fresh enough, but again the flavour is lacking somewhat. The soy sauce chicken was the usual standard – the restaurant claimed to have used the top quality soy sauce for making this, but did the higher price justify that improvement (or lack of improvement) in flavour? The Braised Layered Beancurd with Morel & Chinese Mushrooms was probably the nicest main dish out of the whole lot.
On the whole, the dishes here were not cheap, and the enjoyment I got out from this premium in price was minimal. Maybe the place was just a media hype (and a place for spotting celebrities and famous Hong Kong socialites), or maybe the place was still trying to find a firm footing in their style. We’ll have to see….
Address: 18 Kau U Fong, Central Hong Kong
Telephone: +(852) 2555 2202
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 1200-1500 ; 1800-0000
Total: 13/20 [Based on visit in January 2010]