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quick dinner at or near IFC

Hi,

We have a 7 hour layover in Hong Kong on a Sunday night. Flight gets in at 4.00 pm and doesn't leave until 11.00 pm. We've booked to have a spa treatment at the Four Seasons at 5.30 for an hour and would like to have dinner afterwards before heading back to the aiport via the Airport train at IFC. As we're on our way to Europe we'd like to have Asian food. Can anyone recommend a restaurant at IFC. We've tried Lee Gardens before so would like to try somewhere new. I know the Four Seasons has a Chinese Restaurant but didn't want to spend that much money.
Thanks in Advance

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      1. re: FourSeasons

        Yes! Tasty, with its varied menu, would be a great choice. Love their won-ton noodles! Their fried rice noodles with beef has tons of wok-hay too!. You can even order some dim sum if you want to!

    1. Thank you for your recs. I'm glad I asked as I hadn't even heard ot Tasty. I will reserach both recs - the other restaurant I was considering was Cuisine Cuisine, is it any good?

      8 Replies
      1. re: eatingdiva

        Quality of food at the IFC Cuisine Cuisine is so-so. However, the Michelin 2* Cuisine Cuisine across the harbour at the MIRA Hotel is supposedly to be one of the best Chinese restaurant in town! Moneywise, CC will be about the same as LKH inside the Fourseasons. As such, for both money and value, I would suggest you stick with Tasty! Don't think you will be dissappointed!

        1. re: Charles Yu

          Thanks Charles, definitely won't do CC if it's same price range as LKH. Is the menu at Tasty quite varied or is it mainly congee and noodles?

          1. re: eatingdiva

            Tasty has a lot of interesting stuff ranging from your aforementioned congee and noodles to wok-hay stirred fry and even Dim Sum. Enjoy!!

            1. re: eatingdiva

              I liked Tasty the last time I was there. Very simple place for a cheap, quick meal. Try and avoid peak meal periods as it's very popular among HK office workers. You can see pictures of Tasty here:-

              http://www.miguelvecin.com/2009/05/ta...

              1. re: M_Gomez

                Great point about the office workers!! The line around 1.00pm is unreal!

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  Thanks for the link of the photo's - looks great. We'll be going for dinner on a Sunday evening, so hopefully won't be as busy and will also try to book if possible. Thanks again for taking the time to respond!

                  1. re: eatingdiva

                    Bookings? We take no stinkin' bookings. Most likely you'll end up sitting at a table with other people you don't know. The Tasty (and its cousin one floor down, the Crystal Jade) put expediency, turnover, and solid cheap eats over ambience.

                    1. re: Uncle Yabai

                      Another vote for Tasty. As they say, beware the crowds though and baggage space will be tough as it is pretty cramped.

        2. A good bet is Heichinrou (41 Connaught Road Central) which is just across the road from the IFC - literally 50 metres away/. It is quite a stylish restaurant unlike the fast turnover Tasty's and Crystal Jades and you can book a table - IMO it is a bit better food and service than those two, more expensive but nowhere near the prices of Lei Garden. Not certain why it is so rarely mentioned on the board. Wise to book.

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          Lei Garden
          IFC Mall, Hong Kong , HK

          15 Replies
          1. re: PhilD

            The reason why Hiechinrou was rarely mentioned is because 'local foodies' recognozed that this is just another 'glorified chained establishments' ( not unlike say East Ocean ) that had been made famous by the fact the chef of the Tokyo branch was an 'Iron chef' years ago. For the price they are charging, local foodies can identify many other establishments offering far better food. In fact, depending on the dishes one orders, any branches of Lei Garden is better 'value for money'. My two cents worth!

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            Lei Garden
            IFC Mall, Hong Kong , HK

            1. re: Charles Yu

              Charles, Heichinrou's head chef, Xie Huaxian (from the Yokohama Chinatown outlet) beat the Japanese Iron Chef, Chen Kenichi, back in the 90s. But Chef Xie has since retired in 2009:
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heichinrou

              1. re: Charles Yu

                But Tasty is a chain, so is Crystal Jade, and so is Lei Garden....but nothing seems to be wrong with those chain.

                Yes, from my experience Heichinrou is more expensive that Tasty and Crystal Jade but equally far less than Lei Garden (based on eating at all of them this year). If you want a relaxing i.e. decent service and booked tables, mid priced meal in this area it is a good reliable option and is justifiablly popular.

                Thankfully, I didn't know anything about the Iron Chef story, not that I can understand why that would be a reason to avoid a restaurant. Am I missing something?

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                Lei Garden
                IFC Mall, Hong Kong , HK

                1. re: PhilD

                  Yes, you certainly miss "something". Tasty and Crystal Jade LMXLB focus mainly on comfort food, Tasty on Cantonese style noodle and congee, some dim sum and other comfort food while Crystal Jade mainly on Northern style noodle and comfort food such as XLB. People go there for casual dining, and most of them leave within 30 minutes or so. Such chains seek high turnover for commercial reason which is why you may end up sitting with people you don't even know. So don't compare Hiechinrou with Tasty. Of course, Hiechirou is more expensive, it is more like a full service Cantonese restaurants that serve dim sum and ala carte meal. Any local will know the difference.
                  On the other hand, you may compare Heichinrou with Lei Garden but obviously they are in complete different league. Heichinrou is ok, not outstanding, but not lousy either (I tried the one at Causeway Bay years ago, never tried the Central branch) but Lei Garden is far superior to Heichinrou.

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                  Lei Garden
                  IFC Mall, Hong Kong , HK

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      Hi, I'm now thinking that Tasty and Crystal Jade may be a wee bit too quick and fast for what I'm after - we'll have a couple of hours to linger over dinner so being in and out in 30 minutes and being rushed isn't going to be ideal. I'd also like to be able to reserve a table I like the sound of Heichinrou and will make a booking, thanks Phil D

                      1. re: eatingdiva

                        To most workers working in IFC 1 & 2 , Tasty is almost like a canteen to them. As such, during the busy lunch hour, this 'in and out in 30 minutes' phenomenon might apply. However, I have eaten there with friends and relatives in the evening and have spend in excess of an hour ordering and eating not just noodles and congees but 'actual dishes' like 'Braised pomelo skin with dried shrimp eggs' and various stirred fry etc.

                        @ PhilD. Like FourSeasons, though not having eaten at the Central branch, I too have eaten in the Causeway Bay branch ( as well as the Tokyo one ). IMO. for the money and quality, I prefer, say, Lei Garden Wan Chai or Manor over this HCR's Causeway Branch. For example, the Fried Crispy skin chicken and the Braised gooseweb and abalone combo of Lei Garden were more delicious than HCR's version. If my memory serves me right, pricewise were pretty similar between the two.

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                        Lei Garden
                        IFC Mall, Hong Kong , HK

                    2. re: FourSeasons

                      Well, I wasn't missing that bit! I work at IFC I do understand the differences in the restaurants, and I eat at Tasty and Crystal Jade quite frequently for a cheap lunch.

                      However, I think your explanation is spot on as to why I don't think Tasty/Crystal Jade meets the OP's request. They are semi fast food places and for me don't really sit well with a post Four Seasons Spa treatment (and they could stay at the airport and try Tasty if they wanted as there is a branch there). The OP had tried Lei Gardens and thought the Four Seasons restaurants were too expensive - so which ones are the good middle ground places?

                      Considering neither Four Seasons nor Charles Yu have tried this Heichinrou (or any recently) it baffles me that as to why you are both so anti it...? Lots of my colleagues at work recommend it, and whenever I go it is full of local business people (it isn't an easy walk up - you generally need a booking) so I don't seem to be alone in liking it.

                      1. re: PhilD

                        Funny discussion. I've been to the one in Yokohama, was not impressed, and now I think of Heichinrou as Japanified Chinese food, which I think is generally awful (with the notable exception of Chef Chin's mabodofu). So every time I walk by it or see it from across the street, I have no desire to try it out!

                        1. re: PhilD

                          @PhilID: Clearly if you had read our posts, you would know Charles and I both had been to Heichinrou's Causeway Branch, just not the Central branch so we know what we write. And we are not "anti it", just say it is not in the same league as Lei Garden, and to compare it directly to Tasty is not a wise opinion. And OP clearly stated on top that they wanted a "quick dinner". The reason I have not been back to it recently because there are better choices, even if I were in Timessquare Causeway Bay, I would rather go to Chung's Cuisine on the 10th floor as a better option.

                          @eatingdiva: if you still look for other option near IFC area: I would say try Hunan Garden at Exchange Square. It is Hunan cuisine but the chef has adapted the dishes to the palate of Hong Kongers thus it is not very authentic. But there are a few pretty good dishes such as 豆酥鮮魚, 紅燒羊掌, 左宗棠雞 (not sure what the English translation is on the menu).

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                          Lei Garden
                          IFC Mall, Hong Kong , HK

                          1. re: FourSeasons

                            FS - I had written "this Heichinrou" and "recently" in my reply because you had stated "I tried the one at Causeway Bay years ago, never tried the Central branch". Charles replied after me to say he had also tried Causeway Bay and not central - tricky to anticipate that..!

                            I have also never said Heichinrou is in the same league as Lei Gardens all I said was it is less expensive, and I positioned it between the cheap/fast Tasty and Crystal Jade and more expensive Lei Gardens (and remember the OP said they did not wish to repeat Lei Gardens as they have bee before).

                            I go to all these restaurants on a regular basis because I enjoy them and they are close to my office. Tasty/Crystal Jade are great for quick lunches or pre-cinema meals, Heichinrou is good for a more upmarket meal in more relaxed surroundings and Lei Gardens is excellent to push the boat out. Nothing wrong with any of them they simply serve different purposes.

                            I have also eaten at the two places in Exchange Square (next to IFC) Hunan Garden and The Square. I thought both were OK but neither stood out. At both my hosts had chosen large banquet menus so that may not be the best way to judge them but nothing I ate at either of them created any great enthusiasm to return.

                            I will throw out one wild card suggestion. Take a 5 min a cab ride from the Four Seasons and head to The Chairman. It is good food with the added benefit of serving modest portion sizes (and will serve half sizes of some dishes) so two can enjoy a good selection of first class Cantonese food. This one is an essential reservation though.

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                            Lei Garden
                            IFC Mall, Hong Kong , HK

                            1. re: FourSeasons

                              May I chip in another ' Exchange Square' option?
                              I quite like 'The Square' inside Two Exchange Square. Nicely prepared Cantonese Cuisine with a touch on the 'Noveau' side. Nice plate presentation too. I recalled having a Crispy King Prawns with a Tangarine glaze that tasted very 'addictive'!
                              PS: I just checked Michelin. Apparently its a one star! Didn't know that?!

                              1. re: Charles Yu

                                Hey, Charles, I like the Square,too. So does my sister & brother-in-law in HK. We often go to Hunan Garden which was mentioned earlier and also Lei Garden which is my personal favourite.

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                                Lei Garden
                                IFC Mall, Hong Kong , HK

                                1. re: M_Gomez

                                  Great foodie minds think and eat alike!! Ha! Hopefully, one day you can join Fourseasons, Klyeoh, myself....etc for a chowmeet!

                            2. re: PhilD

                              Just sharing pics taken at Tasty (IFC Mall) this evening - noodles topped with shrimp roe, the marvellous steamed har-gau (shrimp dumplings) and cha-siu bao (the dough was a bit stodgy though).

                              Really liked the place - it oozed a typical HK atmosphere: bustling, noisy, food served efficiently and with minimum fuss ;-)
                              Address details
                              =============
                              Tasty Congee and Wantun Noodle Shop (正斗粥麵專家)
                              Shop 3016-3018
                              Level 3 IFC Mall
                              1 Harbour View Street
                              Central, Hong Kong