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Jul 14, 2008 04:36 PM

Tasting Menu at Lung King Heen

I'll be in Hong Kong in August. I'd like to give the Chef's Tasting Menu at Lung King Heen a try for dinner. (At the bottom of the page here: Does anyone know how much this costs per person (and if it is worth it!)? Thanks.

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  1. I don't remember how much it was, because it was more than a year ago.
    It wasn't really that bad, but did not have any 'wow' factor either.
    Just ordiary, standard hotel dining in line with my expectation.

    Some detailed photos here:

    1. It is definately well worth it. I have several great meals there.

      1. (LKH) Lung King Heen (or “view of the dragon”) is arguably the most well-known Chinese restaurant in the world. Its popularity shot to the roof when more than 5 years ago it became the first Cantonese restaurant to ever receive Michelin 3-star award. The amazing part is that LKH has managed to keep the accolade without any issue. I’ve actually been here twice, mainly for dim sum during lunch: with my family (1st visit) and with my wife (2nd visit during our honeymoon). However, last month I came alone for dinner to savor the Chef’s tasting menu – this way, I can have a more ‘complete’ picture about the restaurant’s quality. My experiences here have been satisfying though I never thought it’s a convincing 3-star place like some other restaurants in Europe and Japan. It probably makes sense since LKH, similar to many other high-end Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong and/or Asia, is usually capable of serving more than 100 dishes. It’s simply impossible to produce that large number of items flawlessly and consistently at the highest level (moreover, it opens 7 days a week) despite the fact that Chef Chan Yan Tak, the LKH’s executive chef, commands about 25 chefs in his kitchen.

        Let’s talk about the food. My meal began with tofu-like stuff with carrot and baby corn. Then, the staff brought in 3 kinds of ‘sauces’: chili oil with shrimp paste, XO sauce containing tofu & mushroom as well as chili oil with ‘bird’s eye chili’.
        Some dishes that I like were:
        -LKH appetizer combination, very popular here. Roast goose with plum sauce (nice skin with not so-tender meat – not as good as yung kee’s), Crispy suckling pig (crunchy skin with some fat underneath; went along well with its meat in sweet hoisin sauce & thin mantou – solid though I prefer the skin from baby pig), and Barbecued pork with honey (fatty, very tender and not too flavorful; probably the best among these 3 items)
        - My favorite dish of the night was braised abalone (small portion) and garoupa fillet in supreme sauce. Both 'items' were outstanding and perfectly executed. The abalone was tender and clean; the garoupa was mild and delicate; the oyster sauce was just right and not cloying. A beautiful combination

        LKH has a huge and fresh & top quality prawn with its nice natural flavor but inherently not so sweet. It was simmered with butter and garlic – quite pleasant. My main course was Wok-fried wagyu beef cubes (safe option); they were quite tender and flavorful with the right size and portion. The morel on the side was minimal and alright while the capsicums were useful for 'balancing' if one thinks the beef was too rich. The rests were just alright (not disappointing, yet not memorable either). I was referring to hot & sour soup with lobster wonton and fried rice (the grain is nicely separated but the flavor was light) with crab meat and conpoy. The least appealing part was the dessert: crème brulee with ginger, very sweet and a bit inferior to the one I had in western fine dining place. The kitchen should’ve prepared Chinese-style sweet instead.

        Located in the 4th floor of posh Four Seasons, it goes without saying that the interior would be (somewhat) luxurious but thankfully not overwhelming. The elegant dining room has high ceiling and feels open; the tables are well-spaced and the harbor view is beautiful. However, it’s not my favorite. I think Caprice, located at 6th floor, and Pierre (at the Mandarin Oriental) has a better “angle” for the view – sorry, a bit picky here. The service was very good – professional but hardly personal. Staffs were polite, thoughtful and knowledgeable. As a lone diner, they brought me some magazines to read. Fork and knife were provided but I was more comfortable eating with chop stick whenever possible. My cup of tea was mostly full all the time. I drank Yunnan preserved Puer tea (vintage '99) and it was excellent (having intense flavor and aroma)

        In general, I was pleased with my dinner. It was not cheap. It’s Hong Kong after all and I ate during the period when USD (and hence HKD was really strong). My meal truly highlighted Chef Chan’s principle to deliver tasty flavors by using high quality, fresh & local ingredients. The technique was mostly classical Cantonese, but often with some modern twist – the Chef always wanted to learn and improve. I learned this from the maître d’ since Chan Yan Tak himself was on 1+ week holiday when I dined there. I would give 93/100 for my meal (about 2 ½* by Michelin standard). It was marginally better than Yan Toh Heen, Tin Lung Heen and Sun Tung Lok.

        Here are the pictures:

        6 Replies
        1. re: Bu Pun Su

          Nice review! Thanks!

          Somehow I always find LKH way over-rated as a 3*. All the meals I had there, some type of flaws always cropped up in the food. Not so much related to the flavor but more with the slightly 'rough with an edge' presentation. Slightly burnt Baked Crab Shell or slightly burnt roasted suckling pig skin...etc. In fact, I noticed the same 'burnt' on the right hand side of your suckling pig skin as well! More scrutiny of the food before heading out of the kitchen is definitely warranted for a 3*!

          1. re: Charles Yu

            I agree, Charles. Not sure why it's been able to maintain that 3-Michelin-star rating. I understand why it got it the first time round - the Michelin inspectors were staying at the Four Seasons at the time, so it's an open secret who they were, no less to the Lung King Heen staff.

            1. re: Charles Yu

              I got your point Charles
              Michelin HK/Macau is probably the most lenient one compared to other cities
              As the director said once (if not mistaken), they need to sell the book too - imagine Cantonese cuisine got zero 3-star in Hong Kong ...

              Another thing - having a large menu and serving more than 200 guests daily on average; expecting perfection all the times is perhaps impossible. It's like someone having a banquet in the big ball room and dreaming of Bernard Pacaud executed 100+ langoustine flawlessly

              1. re: Bu Pun Su

                I agree Michelin in HK doesn't read across well to other countries. But I think that is a fault across a lot of the geographies.

                Maybe it hard to normalise the raring across food styles so better to focus on the relativity in a country. If you accept that then Michelin in HK isn't bad at ranking the better restaurants.

                Totally agree on the point about volume (diners and menu size)and the consistency of the large restaurants found in HK. That is further exacerbated by the more team cooking approach a lot of the top restaurants have, so chefs can be changing behind the scene without too much fanfare.

            2. I'm going to eat here in September. How long is the average dinner if ordering the tasting menu? (I have a flight that same evening.)

              Thank you!