Sunday, September 23, 2012

Yung Kee

We had spent the day walking around Harbour City Mall, surrounding Tsim Sha Tsui area and Mong Kok. I wanted a bag and a jacket but found nothing suitable. I must be the only person who went to Hong Kong and couldn't find anything to buy. After a long day of fruitless "shopping", we repaired to the hotel for some respite. We had a reservation at Yung Kee that night - a place I picked after referring to the Miele Guide - and I was looking forward to it. Before dinner, we managed to squeeze in an amusing cab ride up to Victoria Peak, some photo ops with "my" restaurant and of the view, a quick cab ride down the mountain and a wander around Lan Kwai Fong, which landed us at Hong Kong Brew House where I had the best mojito, ever.

Best Mojito Ever! - Hong Kong Brew House
Take this from someone who rarely drinks, but enjoys her cocktails. It was dangerously potent, refreshing and altogether delightfully delicious. I especially liked sucking up and chewing on the partially dissolved sugar crystals from the bottom of the glass - don't know if that's how it's supposed to be, but I liked it. It was the only drink I had (and I am admittedly a lightweight drinker), but it was sufficiently intoxicating for me that I had to concentrate very hard on walking properly when it was time to go, and was compelled to commend the bartender on the drink. I hope he understood what I was saying because I had to repeat myself (my self-consciousness was heightened by the presence of an observing patron sitting at the bar), but I swear I wasn't slurring and the music was very loud! In my defence, my brother and Pa were just as "happy" (it just took them more than one drink) and this is evidenced in the photos I took of some very jovial looking people shortly after our being seated at Yung Kee.

Roast Goose

Bro had been to Yung Kee before and highly recommended the perserved (century) eggs with ginger, so we started with that. I have never been a fan of century eggs, but I have to agree with Bro that these were in a class of their own. Softer and far more refined in flavour than the average century egg, I actually enjoyed the piece that I had, with a bit of pickled ginger. Of course, we also had their famous roast goose, which was outstanding. The flavours were rich and complex, the meat most tender and succulent and the skin, beautifully thin and crisp.

Deep Fried Prawns

We also ordered seafood, which, we later discovered, is something people who are more familiar with Yung Kee and Hong Kong, advise against. The fried prawns and steamed fish were undoubtedly excellent, but there are many other places in Hong Kong where you can get comparable seafood at a fraction of the price. From this menu, it looks like the prawns we had was one of their award winning dishes. And even though the fish was exquisitely delicate both in texture and flavour and we thoroughly enjoyed every last scrap of it, paying about NZ$700.00 for a meal for three isn't something we would do very often, especially when there are cheaper alternatives that are almost as, if not equally good.

Steamed Fish

We didn't particularly enjoy the braised vegetable (can't remember the type) dish that was recommended to us, which was perfectly cooked, but far too subtle in flavour, nor the complimentary "fried flour" dessert, which was dense, boring and too sweet. Those two dishes, however, did not really affect my enjoyment or perception of the meal as a whole. Perhaps it was the impeccable service we received from the incredibly attentive assistant captain, Joyce.

Braised Vegetables with Scallops

After discussing my trip and the meal with friends, I am determined to return to Yung Kee for a taste of their barbecue pork, as well as more of that divine roast goose. And now that I know better, next time I will be armed with the knowledge of specific dishes recommended by my more experienced friends, and perhaps if I'm lucky, one of them! It will be good.

Sticky, Sweet Fried Flour Dessert Thing

Yung Kee
32-40 Wellington Street
Hong Kong

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