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Cantonese Restaurant Reco for Hong Kong

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Hello to all !!

Going back to HK again early in January. Besides going to Chili Fagara I will like to focus on good cantonese restaurants. Recommendations are welcome !! I'm open to eveything: I can handle extremes: for example last time among other experiences I went to Hutong for dinner and another day to Fung Shing in Leighton Road near the Crowne Plaza. This is a very old restaurant, hole in the wall kind of place with no decor and full of locals. Food verdict: Fung Shing by a landslide and 20% of the cost. I'm comparing apples to oranges but get the message. The objectives is to learn from similar experiences from the board. One night/day I will like to go to a place to Spring Moon and I will continue to research others as well. I'm travelling solo on business so I don't have any limitations. So go ahead and hit me with your best punch!!

Regards to all,

V

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  1. Spring Moon? Why would you want to do that?

    9 Replies
    1. re: Uncle Yabai

      I put it in my list to early, apparently. Any feedback? How abou tLung King Heen, Yan Toh Heen or Lei Garden

      1. re: Uncle Yabai

        Wow I never remember Spring Moon being THAT bad. My grandfather used to take us there often when I was much younger, visiting in HK (quite a while ago!). I do remember it had great service and the steamed fish was always excellent.
        Perhaps things have changed since then?
        Hmm...didn't the executive chef of Tin Lung Heen use to be at Spring Moon?

        1. re: harryrodgers

          I also don't think it's THAT bad but for the same price you could do a lot better (e.g. Lung King Heen, Fook Lam Moon, etc). That said, I know quite a few people personally who detest Spring Moon so it definitely has its fair share of detractors.

          1. re: hong_kong_foodie

            For the same price, I'll head across the road to Yan Toh Heen. Better food and better view
            BTW, I heard their dim sum chef also left for Lai Wah Heen in Toronto a while back too!

            1. re: hong_kong_foodie

              Spring Moon was good in the beginning but, like Charles Yu said, the good chef de cuisine's left for greener pastures.

              The last couple of times I went there (a couple of years back), it was really, and I do mean REALLY bad. The dim sum tasted like not much effort had been put in during the flavoring process, some steamed items were soggy (over-steamed) or, in the case of deep-fried items like the yam dumplings/wu gok (芋角) and glutinous rice dumplings/jin toi (煎堆), they were overly greasy - which meant that the temperature of oil was not high enough during the deep-frying process. I swore never to go back. so I perfectly understood where Uncle Yabai is coming from.

              1. re: klyeoh

                Wow! Considering the restaurant is located in the Peninsula, it sounded particularly BAD!!!

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  Precisely why that's a surprise, Charles - since you'd think the Peninsula would make sure that all its F&B outlets, especially its premier Chinese restaurant, maintain a certain standard. I was particularly disappointed as I tried it a day after arriving in HK after a protracted stay in San Francisco, and was looking for some really good dim sum.

                  That said, I must say that the Peninsula's lobby lounge serves the BEST cheesecake & Irish coffee in HK - I was back there 3 days in one week!

                  1. re: klyeoh

                    Best Irish coffee!! Sigh!!
                    I once had one made by an American friend whilst working in Norway using 'Blue mountain' expresso, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Devonshire heavy cream and pure cane brown sugar!! Words cannot describe how great it tasted!! Those were the days!

                2. re: klyeoh

                  My last experience there dates back over 10 years ago.
                  I'm sorry to hear it has declined since then.

          2. Any opinions on Lung King Heen in HK?

            41 Replies
            1. re: domenexx

              If you would like great view, good service ( for a Chinese restaurant ), great decor and ambience ( again for a Chinese restaurant ) but Over-rated OK Michelin calibre food, then feel free to give it a try. However, there are tons of better value 'Hotel based' Cantonese restaurants for one to consider! Yan Toh Heen ( Intercontinental ), Golden Leaf ( Conrad ), Ming Court ( Langham ), Hoi King Heen ( Intercontinental Grand Stamford )...to name a few.

              1. re: Charles Yu

                Thanks Charles !!

                Excellent feedback ! If you have to pick one from your list which one will you choose. This are the rest. I'm planning to go: San Xi Lou, Da Ping Huo, Fu Sing, Din Tai Fung. What do you think? Also tell me about Lei Garden and any other reco.

                Thanks again and happy holidays !

                V

                1. re: domenexx

                  Lei Garden, especially their Wan Chai branch, is one of the most 'consistent' Michelin rated Cantonese restaurants in town. Very rarely will one go wrong.
                  For the 'Hotel based' more service oriented restaurant, I would pick Yan Toh Heen inside the Intercontinental, not just for the food but for the view as well! Be sure to make reservation early and ask for a window table!! Hoi King Heen will make a nice alternative!. Also, make sure to book a table close to the window for uncompromising view of the harbour!
                  Happy Chowing!

                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    Thanks you Charles for the good information !!

                    V

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      I definitely second the recommendation for Lei Garden. The food is very good, the quality is consistent, and the atmosphere/environment is nice. The only downside is the service can be quite rushed and rude if you are not a VIP customer since they are soooo popular and just get a ridiculous amount of business.

                    2. re: domenexx

                      Lei Garden is stellar. You may wait a while depending on when you go, and it's not cheap, but the food is outstanding. Their crispy roast pork is the best I've had in Hong Kong since I've lived here (4 years now) and, believe me, I've tried it at lots of places. Super crisp on one side, tender and moist on the other. The steamed lobster with egg white is something that I usually get when I go there as well. Lei Garden is a hit and I dare say you won't be disappointed.

                      1. re: srvblooze

                        Question to both you and H_K_foodie!!.
                        Just out of curiosity, of all the Michelin star Lei Garden, which, in your opinion is the best or your favourite? Personally I like Wan Chai, however my wife likes The Element whilst fellow chowhounder like Fourseasons likes the IFC one!! If given only one choice which one would you pick??!!

                        1. re: Charles Yu

                          I am afraid I can't really answer that question since I know the folks at Lei Garden in Element and only go to that one, but I have heard from many people that the Wanchai one is the best!

                          1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                            Confirmation I needed! Thanks!!

                    3. re: Charles Yu

                      So I know I'm in the minority here but I do think some of the dim sum at Lung King Heen is quite good. I really like the rice rolls (腸粉) and think the skin is usually quite perfect--thin, slippery and translucent with just the right degree of stretchiness. I also really like the fried sweet/savory items like bbq pork pineapple bun (叉燒菠蘿包) and think Lung King Heen is quite skilled at making pastry dim sum in general. Finally I still love their abalone tarts (鮑魚雞粒酥) and think their mango gigi dessert is second to none (楊枝甘露).

                      That said, I rarely have a full meal there because the other items are just so-so and I rather fill up elsewhere. For instance, I'm meeting a friend there for lunch this weekend and will just have the aforementioned items then head to Mak's for wonton or Tsui Wah for pork chop fried rice!

                      As for the non dim sum items, I've definitely had my fair share of ups and downs and think the quality can be quite inconsistent.

                      1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                        My favorite dim sum place in town is hands down Fook Lam Moon in Wanchai. Price is about HK$200/each for dim sum. A tad more expensive than most other local places but I think worth the money. Alternatively I also am a fan of Manor Seafood in Causeway Bay. Lunch/dim sum is quite good. Even if you don't order the roast pig there at least make sure to order the soy sauce fried noodles and scallion & ginger with oysters in claypot. Fu Sing, which you already went to, is also very good (but you already know that).

                      2. re: Charles Yu

                        Hi Charles !!

                        I hope this message finds you well !!

                        I'm going again to HK in mid may and will like to ask you a few questions/advices. I always stay in the Crowne Plaza in Leighton Road-Causeway basically to the closeness to my meetings. Do you see a problem staying in Kowloon in the intercontinental Grand Stafford? The CP is ok but nothing to write about. Last time I finished going to Yan Toh Heen. Now we are talking. Excellent in all aspect: service, food, wine, attention to details, etc. I will definitely return and also to Hoi King Heen. During my last trip, I went to Da Ping Huo and personally did not like it. I really enjoy San Xi Lou and will return this time again. Do you recommend going for lunch to one of the popular seafood places like Lamma or the other one in mainland ? I think they are like tourist traps. Any other reco from you will be appreciated.

                        Regards,

                        V

                        1. re: domenexx

                          Its just a short walk from the Intercontinental GS to the MTR so commuting should be fairly easy.
                          As for food, are your with a group or eating alone?!
                          I really don't think a trip to the outskirt island for seafood is worth the time and effort since most seafood restaurants like 'Xin Dan Ji' in Jordan has its own multi-tanks 'aquarium'! Besides, the skill of the kitchen is more superior and the menu more varied.
                          A couple of places to visit if you can find enough people to accompany you are:
                          - Fung Lum, opposite the Tai Wai railway station for the to die for Fried sea prawns with peppered salt and roasted 'Sha-Tin' pigeons
                          - Hong Zhou ( Michelin1*) in Wan Chai for good Shanghainese/Hong Zhou cuisine at reasonable price. This was where we had a big international chowmeet a few weeks ago!
                          http://www.diarygrowingboy.com/2011/0...
                          - Kimberley Chinese Restaurant inside TST Kimberley Hotel for their pre-ordered 'Whole roasted suckling piglet stuffed with glutinous rice'

                          Have Fun!!

                          1. re: Charles Yu

                            Dishes I recommend at Hong Zhou Restaurant 杭州酒家:

                            糯米蓮藕, 龍井河蝦仁, 東坡肉, 刴椒大魚頭

                            Dishes I recommend at Kimberley Chinese Restaurant 君怡閣粵菜廳:

                            蘿蔔炆牛脇骨煲, 白玉葡萄, 全豬烤香苗, 胡椒中蝦, 香茅肉鬆手拉麵

                            1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                              The miniature, totally greaseless ' stinky tofu cubes' of Hong Zhou are mighty fine and addictive too!!

                              1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                                hong_kong_foodie - can you also give English translations for the Chinese dishes you'd listed above for the benefit of our fellow Hounds who don't read Chinese, please? That way, they can better plan ahead on what to order.

                                1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                                  Here is my quick translation -

                                  Dishes I recommend at Hong Zhou Restaurant 杭州酒家:

                                  糯米蓮藕 - lotus root stuffed with sticky rice
                                  龍井河蝦仁 - river shrimp stir fried with tea leaves
                                  東坡肉 - braised ultra fatty pork
                                  刴椒大魚頭 - large fish head

                                  Dishes I recommend at Kimberley Chinese Restaurant 君怡閣粵菜廳:

                                  蘿蔔炆牛脇骨煲 - beef and turnip stew
                                  白玉葡萄 - winter melon
                                  全豬烤香苗 - whole suckling pig stuffed with sticky rice
                                  胡椒中蝦 - pepper prawns
                                  香茅肉鬆手拉麵 - hand pulled noodles with meat sauce

                                  1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                                    Thanks, buddy :-)

                                    1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                                      I would add the 'drunken pigeon' of Hong Zhou to the list as well!

                                      1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                                        Two votes more for the whole pig stuffed with sticky rice. Really impressive how they get the pig to eat all that rice so that it occupies all the insides of the pig except the crispy fatty skin.

                                        1. re: Uncle Yabai

                                          LOL :)!!!!!!

                                          1. re: Charles Yu

                                            First, thanks for all the great reviews and recommendations ! I think is time a close this thread and post my trip report for the benefit of the board. I'm returning again to HK this May and will open another thread with my wish list for your evaluation. May 2011 Trip report:

                                            1) Yah Toh Heen: My favorite place in HK. Excellent service, nice views, great food ! Through the years I have developed a good reltionship with the GM and staff and they accomodate to the fact that usually I go there by myself. Not impressed my their signature scallop appetizer but the first was awesome.

                                            2) Fook Lam Moon: went there with some HK colleagues which made ordering easier. Good solid place with many different options to try: from dimsum to BBQ to seafood. I peak inside the massive cellar; checked a few labels- for tycoons only. An impressive collection of Bordeaux and Burgundies.

                                            3) Lei Garden in IFC: I went here solo and was dissapointed from the very beginning. Rude service, long wait, food mediocre. I will try the one in Wanchai next time, maybe.

                                            4) Isola in IFC: Why I'm eating italian in HK? A business meeting with no option to escape. Nice view and nothing else.

                                            5) San Xi Lu: A standard visit in my rotation. I love this place. Excellent Sichuan food with great service. I always choose the same waiter. Coming back again.

                                            6) Loaf on in Sai Kung: an interesting outing to Sai Kung despite the torrential rains. They allowed my to try many dishes by adjusting the portions since I was by myself. Enjoy the lunch but not enough for me to go there again. Been there, done that.

                                            7) Chili Fagara in Central: Not coming back; very rude service, did not liked any of the two dishes I ordered, waiter not helpful. A complete write-off.

                                            8) Da Ping Ho- The sichuan private kitchen in Central. Average at best with nothig that stood up. The opera show at the end of the meal made things worse. No need for me to go back.

                                            9) Fung Shing: an old hole in the wall in Leighton Rd next to the Crowne Plaze-Causeway Bay. Went there several times for Dim Sum and liked it. Recommendaded to me by the hotel employees.

                                            Thnaks again to all the members of the board. I will post my wish list shortly

                                            Regards,

                                            V

                                            1. re: Charles Yu

                                              Charles,

                                              I need your help here ! I post this new thread (March 2) but no takers yet:

                                              My Hong Kong Wish List - Please review it

                                              Hello to all !! Going back to HK in May with stops in Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo. I need some direction from the board to fine tune my list of potential visits during my stay next stay in HK. Please refer back to my trip report on my last visit to familiarize with my previous experience. I have researched previous posts and have identify these restaurant that I have never visited before. Take a look and prioritize based on your experience. For perspective, my point of reference is Yah Yoh Heen. Here you go:

                                              -Celebrity Cuisine
                                              -Delicious Kitchen
                                              -Cuisine Cuisine (which one to go)
                                              -Ming's Court
                                              -The Chairman
                                              -Tsui Hang Village
                                              -Lei Garden (Wanchai)
                                              -Yunyan (sichuan)

                                              Any other recommendations will be highly appreciated.

                                              Best Regards,

                                              V

                                              1. re: domenexx

                                                The Michelin star rated options you have selected are all top notch and have consistent quality food ( one of my main criteria ). For the Cuisine Cuisine option, head to the MIRA branch for better food but the IFC location does provide breath taking view if you manage to secure a window table. Your call!
                                                Of the 6 Michelin options, Lei Garden is the 'weakest of the six.
                                                I'm not familiar with Delicious Kitchen, Tsui Hang Village or Yunyan so cannot offer you any help!! Sorry!

                                                1. re: Charles Yu

                                                  Thanks Charles !

                                                  Any reco's for Singapore?

                                                  V

                                                  1. re: domenexx

                                                    That, you have to ask fellow chowhounders: Fourseasons, klyeoh and M_Gomez!

                                                    1. re: Charles Yu

                                                      Thanks Charles? Any suggestions outside the Michelin Starred? Something more casual-low key?

                                                      Regards,

                                                      V

                                                      1. re: domenexx

                                                        I love going to any branches of 'Tasty'. Great comfort food like Wonton noodles, congees and tapas size dishes.

                                                        1. re: Charles Yu

                                                          "Tasty" ? Where is that? That is all I need, places like that. I usually stay at the Crowne Plaza and go to Fung Shing-legedary hole in the wall. I love it ! Keepo shooting my friend>
                                                          Regards,

                                                          V

                                                          1. re: domenexx

                                                            Fung Sing or Fu Sing? I thought the latter was near the Crowne Plaza (Causeway Bay) Tasty or Crystal Jade are two similar chains with branches across HK - i think both have restaurants in Times Square, and definately in IFC

                                                            1. re: domenexx

                                                              Tasty is 'Cantonese' with emphasis in ' Guang Dong' style dumplings...etc. They have branches in IFC, Hung Hum and Happy Valley.

                                                              Crystal Jade is Northern/Shanghainese, more like Din Tai Fung.

                                                              If you love hole-in-the-wall style, wok-hay cooking. Try ' Tso Choi Koon' at the corner of Tak Hing Street, Kowloon ( Nathan Road and Jordan Road SE corner ). Great value for money. Their stirred fry pig's liver and Innards with ginger and scallions is so good, the dish alone attracted celebrities like Jackie Chan to the place just to try it. Very authentic home-style Cantonese cuisine favoured by real locals.

                                                              1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                I love Tso Choi Koon, Charles! How didyou find out about this place? I thought it was a "local sceret" :D

                                                                1. re: M_Gomez

                                                                  Ah!!!! Finally met a fellow chowhounder who heard of this little secret!
                                                                  First introduced to me by my uncle from - 'London'!!! Raved about the pig's liver
                                                                  You do realize there are two locations?! The one in Kowloon City is even better but a little out-of-the-way!. This place is a favourite of local food critic 'Chua Lan'.
                                                                  A few photos of mt favourite wok-hay dishes...etc:
                                                                  - Stirred fry beef with young ginger
                                                                  - Stirred fry pig's innards and liver
                                                                  - Herbed soy braised pigeon
                                                                  - Mutton hot-pot

                                                                  PS: Tried deleting one of the pigeon photo and replacing it by mutton hot-pot but without success??!!

                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                  1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                    Charles, I see that you liked the braised pigeon so much, you ordered two portions of it ;-)

                                                                  2. re: M_Gomez

                                                                    I'm going to be in HK this summer and tried to find this place. Does anyone know the chinese name? I even tried google mapping it. and couldn't find it. Anyone can help a CBC out?

                                                                    1. re: punkyhunky

                                                                      粗菜館 , I believe.
                                                                      This one? http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr...
                                                                      Two shops over from Malaysian Chinese Restaurant.

                                                      2. re: Charles Yu

                                                        Hello Charles,

                                                        Any opinion on Man Wah?

                                                        V

                                                        1. re: domenexx

                                                          Very very nice! Good food, great service and a great view. IMO. better than a lot of other Michelin star establishments. A touch more expensive due to location inside the Mandarin.

                                                          1. re: Charles Yu

                                                            Great Charles !!

                                                            This closes the loop. I will then go to Ming's Court (never been there), Yah Toh Heen and Man Wah. Approved?

                                                            Regards,

                                                            V

                                                            1. re: domenexx

                                                              Oh my, Man Wah, that is the most divine Cantonese dining spot I'd ever been to anywhere in the world!

                                                              1. re: M_Gomez

                                                                Thanks M_Gomez !!