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Jan 17, 2013 06:30 PM

Ser Wong Fun – Chinese Sausages…and Snake Soup In Central

**For full post and pics**:

Ser Wong Fun (蛇王芬) and Se Wong Yee (蛇王二) are two well-known snake soup restaurants in Hong Kong. There are others, but I heard about these restaurants when I first started coming to Hong Kong a long time ago. I’m not sure if they’re related, but their names (Ser Wong Fun means Snake King Fragrance and Se Wong Yee means Snake King 2) and menus are very similar, so maybe they are or were related. Anyhow, I’ve been to both of them, but a long time ago far before I started blogging. So, I decided that it would be a good time to re-visit them and write one of them up and I happened to be meeting some friends who live in Mid-Levels, so Ser Wong Fun got the nod.

Ser Wong Fun is located in Central at the bottom of Mid-Levels. The exterior of the restaurant looks a bit out of place because most of the stores around there are reasonably modern and Western whereas Ser Wong Fun is old school and Chinese. The interior of the restaurant is plain, but kept clean. All the menus are in Chinese only, their Mandarin is heavily accented and I highly doubt they speak English. If you come here you should definitely bring someone who speaks Chinese or at least write down what you want ahead of time because you’ll probably have communication problems otherwise.

Here’s what we got:

Chinese Sausage Over Rice (Run Chang 潤腸 La Chang 臘腸):
One of the things they are known for are their Chinese sausage. The reddish sausage (la chang 臘腸) is the typical Cantonese style sausage; its pretty fatty and has a sweet taste to it (I absolutely love these). The dark brown sausage (run chang 潤腸) is a liver sausage that isn’t sweet, has a slight liver flavor to it (although it’s not strong at all) and is a little drier than the la chang. The sausages here are well made and have good flavor and texture. You eat them over rice with a slightly sweet thicker soy sauce (probably homemade) poured over it. Chinese sausage with rice is true comfort food for me and these were really satisfying for me. 8.75/10

Snake Soup (She Geng 蛇羹):
Snake soup is actually supposed to be a winter soup, but they serve it all year round here. It’s a thicker soup with a lot of snake meat in it and they also put in these big crunchy fried wonton skins. The soup is savory, but reasonably mild tasting. So, how is snake meat? Does it taste like chicken? Well, it kind of does. Texturally it shreds up like chicken although maybe a little more tender. Flavor-wise, the meat is mild and clean tasting and isn’t gamey whatsoever. It’s sort of surprising because I always imagine reptile meat as having some strong gamey flavor, but this doesn’t. I also really like the crunchiness of the fried wonton skins in contrast with the thickness of the soup. Overall, it’s a pretty tasty soup and definitely worth trying even for the less adventurous. 8.5/10

Sweet & Sour Pork:
We wanted a dish for the table and I saw this on a few tables, so we ordered this. It was typical sweet and sour pork, but cooked well. The sauce wasn’t overly sweet or gloppy and the meat was fried nicely, not too greasy or over-battered. It’s not a revelation, but it was solidly good. 8/10

Overall, this is an enjoyable place to eat at and probably the type of place I would stop by a lot for a quick meal if I lived in Hong Kong. I definitely want to come back next time for their double boiled soup as my friend told me they do a good job on those here as well.

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  1. I too have done comparison tasting of the Snake soup and Sausages from both 'Fun' and 'Yee'. IMO, the 'Snake juice fresh duck liver sausages' of 'Yee' was heads and shoulder better than 'Fun'. Not only were they plump and juicy they were actually a bit 'sweet' which I love. And I adore the 'pop' when bitten into the sausage skin!
    The price for these delicacies were pretty good too!! No??!!
    BTW, the meal these photos were taken, my brother-in-law ( chowhounder Caneast )ate 4 whole sausages all by himself!!!!!!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Charles Yu

      ohhh i will have to give them a try then as i love chinese sausages, i basically like every cantonese dried meat product (sausages, salted duck etc etc). although i remember liking the soup at fun better than yee, but ill have to do the back to back thing next time im there

      yah the prices at both places are ridiculously cheap, i like that set meal thing they have at se wong yee with the soup, sausage etc. i remember that from a long time ago

      1. re: Lau

        Me too! Somehow, cannot find really good tasting preserved duck these days? Just seasoned not properly. Some lacking the aroma of the wine used, some overly salty?! Sigh!!

        1. re: Charles Yu

          you know there is a place in NY, a really old school cantonese place who only makes those products and its kind of in an obscure part of NY chinatown, but its kind of a gem b/c all of those products are made well there, so i occasionally pick some up and just steam it over rice with some soy sauce, really good

    2. I was actually at Ser Wong Fun on the 7th with some old time friends for dinner one night, and it happened on a whim, thankfully we ate here instead of having Korean.

      蜜瓜瑤柱燉螺頭湯 - honeydew (but looked more like cateloupe or papaya), conpoy, and conch double boiled soup ($73), this is a seasonal fall or winter offering, whilst the summer offering uses winter melon instead (winter melon is actually in peak season during the summer months, despite the name). I was offered to order snake soup, but since I had been eating a lot of junk and unhealthy yet tasty delicious local food, opted for something less "poisonous" to my system, and got the double boiled soup instead. Top stuff, sweet, and unlike anything else in North America.

      We also got a plate of roast goose, and they gave us the back side meat, where it has more bones, less meat, but pretty flavorful taste. Any siu mei roasties place in HK, provided that it is from a reputable shop, is easily more satisfying than the above average restaurants in Northern California.

      For veg, we upgraded and got large pea sprout with crab sauce on top (like a thicker version of Japanese ankake). Hard to beat.

      And for starch, garlic prawns lotus leaf rice 大蝦蒜香荷葉籠仔飯, really tasty and fragrant.

      Wanted to order baked fish intestines, but was told it was a pre-order dish and not always available (the reason being that the fish intestines had to come from a large fish, not easy to find, and the restaurant would have to make sure it was good quality, otherwise even if they found one of a suitable size, it might not be the right taste for the dish).

      4 Replies
      1. re: K K

        Adding a few more pics, here's the roast goose

        1. re: K K

          And the lotus leaf rice with garlic prawns.

          1. re: K K

            wow looks good, so the goose was good?

            i tried to order the fish intestines, but they just said they didnt have them that day. i would like to try that

            i havent had a proper double boiled soup in years probably, i really wish i was there right now

            And oh man that lotus leaf rice, wow that looks amazing

            1. re: Lau

              I thought the marination and flavor of the goose was pretty good despite the lack of meat, though I think I prefer the goose back I had from neighborhoody roasties rice plates restaurant on Sing Wor Road off Wong Nai Chung Road in Happy Valley (think it was called Wing Cheung). Strangely enough I didn't even venture over to the location of Tasty over there, just not enough time for so many great eats.

              The double boiled soup was excellent, it was hard to pick from the nice lineup of theirs, but I knew the fruity melon conch was an instant classic and must try for this first time visit.

          2. I wondered into Ser wong fun a few weeks ago too but was underwhelmed by the snake soup.....It tasted a little fishy? than I thought it would be. It didn't taste as fresh as I would expect. Maybe it was a bad day.

            They recommended a fish head claypot that was delicious though. Too bad their fish intestines require prior booking so I never had a chance to have that dish.....

            1 Reply
            1. re: tbtb18

              really? fishy? that's very weird, its not remotely fishy in any sense in any place ive ever had it in

              i want to try that fish intestine dish too, i may go reserve it next time im there