The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Shanghainese Dumplings and Noodles @ Xia Mian Guan (Elements), Hong Kong

We really do suffer from the we-live-here-we-can-visit-anytime syndrome. Take this little Shanghainese restaurant that opened up more than a year ago in the mall downstairs. We walk past it all the time on the way to and from the MTR station and supermarket, and there is always a queue of people lining up to get a table at peak meal times. Yet it had taken us at least 18 months before we tried our first meal there. I guess we always thought that we could go there anytime we wanted since it is very close to home, so we never did. Hubby said a couple of his Chinese colleagues who also live in the area are regulars at Xia Mian Guan, and it's a popular choice with the locals and the Chinese who come in through the coaches via the Mainland Coaches Lounge located directly opposite the restaurant. The service was sufficient enough in this busy restaurant, but most waitstaff don't speak nor understand English. However it was easy enough to get someone who speaks English to come to our table. Ordering was a cinch, and we made our selections using a bilingual Chinese/English menu-cum-order form that was placed on the table. There were a good variety of appetisers, noodles, dim sum, meat and seafood dishes on this menu, and with the exception of our son's fried rice dish, all the food we ordered were marked "Chef's recommendation". The prices were pretty affordable for a restaurant inside this high-end mall, and serving sizes were generous (especially the huge bowl of noodles!). We ordered too much (as we always do when trying a new place for the first time), but we enjoyed the food and we didn't leave a crumb behind.

The 4.5-year-old always requests fried rice whenever we eat Chinese, which thankfully is not often enough to be a health concern! The Fried Rice Yanzhou Style (HK$62) was tasty:

Mung Bean Noodle with Shredded Chicken in Spicy Sauce (HK$62) - and it was very spicy! Hubby and I have high threshold level for spicy food and chili, but this was one of those dishes that was spicy for the sake of being spicy, and we found it difficult to get through the dish:

Sautéed River Shrimp with Longjing Tea Leaf (HK$128) - river shrimp is one of our favourite dishes to order at Shanghainese restaurants, and this one was infused with the fresh aroma of Longjing tea. The roasted tea leaves are edible, but lent a bitter flavour to the dish - I preferred eating the shrimps without the leaves:

We were in a Shanghainese restaurant, so we had to order the Steamed Minced Pork Dumpling (xiao long bao, HK$32). These were delicious, with tender skin of just the right thickness, encasing soup and meat filling that were perfectly seasoned:

Signature Stewed Noodle Soup with Yellow Croaker (HK$76) - this was a huge serving, and I don't think I could have finished the whole thing on my own. The soup had a prominent fishy flavour, so I would say this is a dish only for fish lovers. We both love fish, and found this quite enjoyable:

Pork Dumpling in Spicy Oil (HK$40) - thankfully this wasn't as spicy as the spicy mung bean noodle that arrived earlier. Very tasty:

Something sweet to finish with - Osmanthus Glutinous Rice Cake (HK$32). This was subtly-flavoured and not too sweet, and I quite enjoyed the chewy texture:

A delicious and filling lunch, and we didn't have to go far from home.

[The prices quoted above do not include the 10% service charge.]

Xia Mian Guan (Elements)
Shop 1008
1st Floor, Elements
1 Austin Road West
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel. +852 2196 8022


  1. I came across your blog researching for a brunch/lunch buffet on weekends/weekdays in Hong Kong, I don't know how to contact you as it seems through your post you have been to a few restaurants in Hong Kong. Any recommendations you could give me? Thank you!


  2. Hi Scarlett,

    Thanks for dropping by! I would love to help you out with some suggestions, but I need to know what kind of food/cuisine, budget and style (eg, casual or fine-dining). Please email me at the following address and I'll try to help out!