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Oct 3, 2011 07:55 PM

Hong Kong help!!!

My friend and I are headed to HK for two nights in mid October. If you had one night to dine in HK (we are single in our 30s from NYC) and money is not an issue, where would you recommend?

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  1. Assuming you have not been to Hong Kong, I would go for an 'authentic' Cantonese meal at a restaurant with a VIEW. You won't go wrong with any of the Michelin star rated restaurants such as Yan Toh Heen ( Intercontinental Hotel ), Lung King Heen ( Four Seasons ) or the newly opened Tin Lung Heen inside the Ritz Carlton. Great view to go with the food. If you don't care much about the view, then add Fook Lam Moon ( Wan Chai district ) and Ming Court ( Mong Kok Langham Hotel ) to the list. Final venue might depend on which hotel you will be staying?! eg., no point heading over to the island for dinner if you are staying on Kowloon side?!

    Lung King Heen
    Finance Street, Hong Kong , HK

    10 Replies
    1. re: Charles Yu

      Charles, didn't we mention that Lung King Heen is over-priced and has been rubbished by Chowhounds like Peech before? Personally, I also disliked Lung King Heen as their food seem ordinary, considering their reputation.

      Tin Lung Heen, now that's another story altogether. But you will have to book well ahead though as it's probably the most popular Cantonese restaurant in Hong Kong at the moment.

      1. re: M_Gomez

        Hello M_Gomez!
        Yes, LKH's food might be 'over-rated' for a 3* but overall the food is still pretty good. ( I think our mutual chowfriend klyeoh also liked it ). Stopping short of suggesting another ??? Chinese restaurant with a fine view like 'Man Wah' on top of the Mandarin, LKH seems to be the best 'island side' choice with a view??!!

        1. re: Charles Yu

          Oops, wasn't me, Charles. I was underwhelmed by Lung King Heen as well, but I'd only did dinner there whereas I was told that they are more well-known for their dim sum?

          I'd recommend a French dinner at Caprice if one chooses to dine at the Four Seasons. The views are to-die for, and with the cuisine to match.

          1. re: klyeoh

            Sorry!! Who then?! I recalled someone posting pictures of stuffed crab shell...etc on either facebook or chowhound?!
            Must be getting old!!....sigh :(

            1. re: Charles Yu

              LOL! Well, Charles, some Chowhounds did like Lung King Heen, but not me or Peech & some others.

              1. re: klyeoh

                Go to Cuisine Cuisine at IFC instead of LKH. I would say that LKH is DECENT but Cuisine Cuisine's dishes gave me a SPECIAL sensation.

                Just saying. :)

                Also lunch at Caprice if you can book a table. I recently sent a friend there and he loved it a lot. :)

                1. re: micheniche

                  Are you sure about IFC Cuisine Cuisine???!!!! When were you there last??!! Quite a few fellow chowhouinders including Fourseasons, Peech...etc have had really bad experiences there! They even lost their star from Michelin last year!! To play safe, I would either go to the 2* Cuisine Cuisine at the MIRA or Lei Garden at IFC instead!!

                  Lei Garden
                  IFC Mall, Hong Kong , HK

                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    i went there on jan 2011. i felt that it was really nice. :) not sure about mira that's why i asked whether i should go to the one at mira or ifc this time round. I went for dim sum lunch. Not dinner. We got super good service as well and my parents and i were very surprised. we ordered most of their signature dishes and ate quite a bit of dim sum.

                    I read about the comments written about IFC but they are dated 2009?

                    Also what's special at lei garden?

                    And for me, Michelin stars are sometimes confusing...

                    1. re: micheniche

                      I just find ALL Lei Garden pretty 'consistent'. Love their roasted meat and the way they prepare seafood. May be you can by pass both and try out Hoi King Heen instead?! Very good food. Fellow chowhounders Fourseasons, skylineR33 and myself all tried it and loved it!

                  2. re: micheniche

                    I'd also suggest if Caprice if looking for French and a wonderful view.

      2. If you're after a traditional French restaurant I can highly recommend Gaddis and Caprice.

        Or for something left field try Bo Innovation for the molecular approach and a fun night out.

        But really you can probably get similar to these in NYC so I'd listen to Charles and M_Gomez and follow the 'authentic' Cantonese path. Yan Toh Heen and Lung King Heen are both very nice though LKH does struggle to justify a 3* rating over YTH's 1*

        Lung King Heen
        Finance Street, Hong Kong , HK

        1. If you're considering Lung King Heen, here is my review

          A Chinese restaurant receiving the highest award is unheard of before until Michelin gave Lung King Heen (LKH) 3-star a few years ago. Sure, a restaurant can receive any top honors by zagat, local newspapers or event restaurant magazine, but for any chefs nothing seems to beat the joy upon hearing the red-guide top rating. Is it truly a 3-star in the sense that LKH deserves to stands tall together many European institutions?

          Food (and wine) - 90/100

          Chinese restaurants are generally better for sharing though recently many places also serve the dishes on individual plates. We visited LKH for lunch as we want to try its dim sum too, especially if you’re in HK – “dian xin” is a must-have. Some of my favorite dim sum dishes would be = baked abalone with diced chicken: fresh and big chunk of abalone with brown sauce serve on warm puffs; baked bbq pork: the bun mixed well of soft and crispy part with tasty pork inside. This was even better than the regular “cha shao bao”

          Many people crave for the steamed lobster and scallop dumplings, it’s quite good and luxurious but not wow. The “xiao long bao” was above average, while the baked seafood tartlets are alright and not cloying. For the normal items, we had bbq suckling pick (crispy and sweet) … I like it better with thin layers of fat actually instead of a thin bun. If you’re serious about suckling pig, my favorite will be at Kimberly Chinese restaurant – my wife and I ordered the whole pig only for the two of us  A mixture of roast & baked chicken with sesame was a nice traditional Cantonese food – possibly the best I’ve tasted (Tim’s kitchen come close 2nd). The pan-fried scallops and sea food fried rice were nice to have, but not extraordinary.

          Again for the desserts, we went safe – chilled mango & sago cream + chilled tofu custard. They’re, again, above average but you can get similar dishes in many other Chinese restaurants. We didn’t try LKH’s famous peking duck since we got the idea that it’s better to eat peking duck at Peking restaurants, Sha Tin 18 or Spring Deer. Like many other Chinese places, the items in the LKH’s menus are abundant but mostly are familiar and the same with many other Chinese restaurants. While in general, they’re good and above average, I was not convinced that it deserves a 3-star. Will the shark’s fin or abalone justify the highest accolade? I’m not sure since I’ve tasted the usual double-boiled shark’s fin & abalone with special brown sauce anywhere (e.g. Hua Ting Singapore, Sun Tung Lok) – chances are that they would not taste much different here. A positive aspect was that during my lunch, chef Chan Yantak was not in the kitchen, but the dishes served were generally good.

          In conclusion, I gave my food here 90/100 (2*). I like this place better than Tang’s court, Lei garden or Xiyan, but still it lacks 3-star wow effects (consistent dishes that are delicious and perfectly prepared as well as unique).

          Service (and ambiance) - 91/100

          I couldn’t remember something special about the service here. It’s a standard and professional service like in many other high-end Chinese restaurants: polite, they will re-fill your tea (they missed 1-2 times), friendly but not much in terms of personality/character and product knowledge (they memorize the dishes ingredients, but did not seem to be excited when explaining them). Again, you will receive different kind of hospitality when you dined at the neighbor Caprice, especially if Jeremy Evrard often coming to your table. Again, nothing wrong in the service, but it’s pretty inferior compared to other 3-star restaurants I’ve visited.

          He décor here was quite pleasant with silver-leaf ceilings, dark hard woods and some floral arrangements. As expected in many HK fine dining places, you will see HK impressive harbour views. Chinese restaurant table setting and chairs are usually not as convenient as the western restaurants. I enjoyed the views better when sitting at Caprice’s sofa-like chairs or Spoon/Pierre. By and large, LKH is a nice restaurant serving authentic contemporary Cantonese cuisine. If you don’t order any Chinese luxurious ingredients, the pricing is very reasonable compared to other 3-star places. Will I return? Of course. Is a 3-star place? Not for my standard

          For the dishes’ pictures:

          Lung King Heen
          Finance Street, Hong Kong , HK

          6 Replies
          1. re: Bu Pun Su

            I don't think anyone is questioning about the quality of LKH's Dim Sum, decor, service or view. Its dinner that they have issues on! To fully justify a 3* rating, IMO both lunch AND dinner should be of equal standard. However, dinner dishes are frequently not as good as other 1 or 2*s like Yan Toh Heen, Ming Court, Fook Lam Moon....etc

            1. re: Charles Yu

              I have not tried LKH for dinner yet
              But generally in most Chinese restaurants, the dinner and lunch menu ... aren't they the same? I meant just take out the dim sum part.
              I suppose you have tried the same dishes that tasted differently when you had them during lunch vs dinner at LKH?

              1. re: Bu Pun Su

                Yes, but some of the more sophisticated dishes and specialty of the day might not be available during lunch time.
                For lunch at LKH, I only ordered Dim Sum. For dinner, its individual a la carte dishes. However, I found some of the dishes like the 'Stuffed crab shell' of LKH inferior to say those at Fook Lam Moon.

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  Just sharing some photos from my LKH dinner from quite a long while back:

                  1) Stuffed crab shell

                  2) Pan-fried scallops with pear

                  3) Dongpo Pork

                  4) LKH roast chicken

                  5) Braised baby white cabbage

                  6) Assorted desserts

                  Unfortunately, none of the dishes made any impression on me. The stuffed crab shell was quite tasty but overly-greasy, and one only discerned a faint crab flavor. We were told to prick a hole thru the panko-like crust of the stuffed crab and drip Worcestershire sauce into the filling inside. Good, but no "wow" factor.

                  The scallops & pear dish, a recommendation from our waiter who said it was good, actually looked like it strayed off from their lunch-time dim sum menu. I was disappointed as I was expecting some delicious braised scallops (preferably with orange roe attached) served in their shells. Definitely NOT something battered & deep-fried.

                  Dongpo pork was average. The one restaurant in HK which bowled me over with its rendition of Dongpo Pork was Ye Shanghai over at Marco Polo Hotel in Harbour City, Tsimshatsui. But other than that, I'd prefer to have Dongpo Pork over in Shanghai where many restaurants elevated the preparation of that dish almost to an art form.

                  LKH roast chicken - very good: crisp-skinned cloaking moist meat underneath. But any HK diner wil tell you that a good Cantonese chef in HK worth his toque must be able to come up with this particular dish.

                  All in all, IMO, LKH is definitely NOT 3-Michelin-star standard!! Didn't know what the Michelin inspectors were thinking - or maybe they weren't exactly incognito, and were given extra-special treatment. Didn't someone said the Michelin inspectors actually stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel itself?

                  P.S. - When I dined at Hakkasan in London back in 2003 (then the wqrld's first Chinese restaurant to receive a Michelin-star), it totally bowled me over with its superb dim sum, Hakka-braised mui-choy with pork & Hakka noodles, luxe setting & superb service, I understood immediately why it got 1-Michelin-star. Even today, Hakkasan remained the only Chinese restaurant in Europe to hold a Michelin-star rating (I think the Mayfair branch of Hakkasan was also awarded a Michelin-star, besides the original outlet in Hanway place). I'd still choose to go back to Hakksan over LKH anyday!

                  1. re: klyeoh

                    I wonder how those Michelin star Chinese Restaurants in 'Tokyo' compare?!!
                    The thing is - 'When in Japan, why bother with Chinese food'!!!! Thus none of the chowhounders I know like Fourseasons or skylineR33 bother to give them a try?! Uncle Yubai, may be??!!
                    Ref: Your crispy skin roasted chicken. I have heard from multiple sources, including my wife, that the BEST rendition of this dish is from the kitchen of the ' Chinese Chamber of Commerce member restaurant ' in Central!! Beat Fu Sing, Lei Garden, FLM, Manor....etc hands down!! If you know of any friends with connection or membership, you should ask them to take you inside and give it a try!!

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      Thanks, Charles - I'm in HK on the first week of Dec, but don't think I'd know anyone in the Chinese Chamber of Commerce!

                      I'd never had Chinese food which I liked in Tokyo - in every instance, thecooking had been tweaked to suit Japanese tastes. I made it a point to only have Japanese food but, in 2006 (pre-Michelin Japan), I had to do a 3-week trip to Tokyo with a Shanghainese colleague who'd only eat Chinese food (he didn't even enjoy top kaiseki or sushi spots I brought him to). So, we ended up dining in mostly Chinese restaurants in the evenings - I found top-flight Chinese restaurants in Tokyo (mostly located in hotels) to be extremely expensive: US$450-US$550 for 3 persons - mind you, we did NOT order luxury items nor alcohol. At the end of the trip, I think we'd tried about 10+ high-end Chinese restaurants in Tokyo, but I didn't like any of them. In fact, the best Chinese we tried was the Tokyo branch of HK's Fook Lam Moon: Fukurimon at the Ginza:


          2. For one night for a first-time visitor, I would go to Bo Innovation - you get local Cantonese flavors in a tasty modern innovative presentation. The setting is representative of hip hong kong while avoiding the more generic "5 star international hotel" setting. And then before/after dinner you can poke around star street for drinks or the Pawn, for an experience that is very hong kong, but also pleasant, or if you want you can walk around the street markets for something that is very very hong kong, but perhaps not so pleasant.

            And then if you want local traditional canto food, you can do dim sum over lunch.

            2 Replies
            1. re: dangerdan

              I second your recommendation. I love Bo Innovation ever since it was Bo Innoseki ("Innovative Kaiseki", get it? Ha-ha) first at Gilman's Bazaar, then at Ice House Street in Central before he moved to Wanchai now.
              I don't like how Alvin Leung looks (he's scary) but his cooking skill is sublime.

              1. re: M_Gomez

                Chinese restaurants normally have > 150 items on and off the menu at any given day
                Is it realistic for them to produce 3-star quality dishes when someone randomly pick any dish? Or for a 3-star restaurant ... it's a must, not a choice? For the western counterparts, they will generally have 50 items max at their menu

                Most Chinese restaurant seems to lack in terms of bringing in something new to the table that will wow the diners, tickle their palates and make them think about the dish(es) even after 1 week or month eating there