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

Friday, 11 November 2011

Fine Cantonese @ Hoi King Heen, Hong Kong

I had my birthday this past weekend. I didn't have a big celebration, just a low-key lunch at a nice restaurant with my family, and then a movie afterwards at the cinema with hubby - just how I like to spend my birthday. It was special to celebrate my birthday with my parents (although the main reason of their visit was my son's 3rd birthday three weeks ago), as it had been 6 years since I'd last celebrated a birthday with them. I am not someone who likes surprises much, and hubby was gracious enough to let me choose the restaurant and to share the birthday celebration with family (versus having a romantic date). I'd recently read about Hoi King Heen, which was recently awarded a prestigious star by the well-known Michelin Guide, and we still had yet to bring my parents to eat some good Cantonese food, so we took the opportunity to have a small birthday celebration at this restaurant.

Say "Cheese!":

Hoi King Heen has been around for years, and is already established amongst the locals as one of the best Cantonese restaurants in HK. Its popularity was evident on that Sunday as many families filled up the tables, mostly to enjoy the exquisite dim sum. It is a fine dining restaurant with elegant settings and excellent service to match. We only had to mention the 3-year-old's multiple food allergies once (at the time of making the reservation), and the boy's needs were well-looked after. The menu was pretty extensive with no less than ten signature dishes and a separate menu featuring hairy crab which is in season at the moment. We ordered a few dim sum dishes, a couple of Chef Leung's signature dishes and one item from the special crab menu. The quality of each dish was nothing short of excellent, and the flavours were outstanding. The birthday cake (specially ordered to take my son's allergies into account) was delicious too.

Seafood Fried Rice, without soy, sesame and nuts, and quite yummy without those ingredients:

Pan-fried Glutinous Rice Dumplings filled with Peanuts and Pork - delicious morsels of slightly chewy rice wrapping...

...and savoury minced pork and peanut filling:

Premium Har Gow (shrimp dumplings) - nice chunks of shrimp meat, and very tasty, but the wrapping was more flimsy than usual and it came undone too easily:

One of the best Shanghai Dumplings I've ever tasted (the one at Man Wah is a close contender). This was my parents' first time eating Shanghai dumplings, and they were impressed:

Smoked Scallops with Rose - these were beautiful! The scallops were tender with a gorgeous smoky flavour, and the fried rose petals were interesting:

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Papaya - these literally melted in my mouth! Thanks to the natural tenderising properties of papaya, the beef chunks were super-tender, and thanks to the sweet fruitiness of papaya, the sauce was just lovely:

Pan-fried Stuffed Crab Claw with Beancurd, Shrimp Paste and Crab Roe Sauce. One word: YUM!

My crab claw on my plate. I loved the crab roe sauce which was decadently rich and very flavourful. My parents also appreciated the artistic effort put into the little bak choy tulips:

Organic Glutinous Rice with Abalone, wrapped up like lor mai gai:

The rice had been wrapped up in the neatest manner inside a large whole leaf:

A very elegant version of lor mai gai, there was even a yolk in there:

Hubby had arranged for a birthday cake, which he himself had forgotten about:

Light fluffy sponge cake with fruit and cream filling and whipped cream frosting, surprisingly not too rich for me!

I had a great time celebrating my birthday with my family at this restaurant, and I thoroughly enjoyed the food. Hoi King Heen is truly one of the nicest Cantonese restaurants in town.

Hoi King Heen
B2 Level,
InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong
70 Mody Road
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Tel. +85 2 2731 2883


  1. Oh my gosh... happy happy birthday!!! Special plans to continue the celebration through the weekend??? :)

  2. Happy Bday!

    I have heard lots of positive things about Hoi King Heen. Will try to make it sometime this week as my parents are in town. Don't know if we will have time for it as we will be in Macau for 2 days and then Disney, Ocean Park, and lots of sight seeing in between. =)

  3. Thanks ladies!

    Stephanie, my birthday was actually last Sunday, so I didn't really have a chance for "extended" celebrations. But I had a great day anyway!

    Kelly, sounds like you have a packed itinerary for your parents! Hope they have fun and eat lots and good food!

  4. Yum. This place looks delicious. I think you should keep a running log of how many fried rices the boy gets. :)

  5. That braised beef with papaya is the first I've heard of and definitely looks very tender and tasty. Lor mai kai is one of my faves at a yum cha.

  6. Shari, I do have a running log - on my blog! That's not counting the fried rice he gets at home though.. At least there is something he can eat at Chinese restaurants, just have to request without the ingredients he's allergic to.

    @ Chopinand - that beef + papaya combination is one I will try out at home! I'd known of the tenderising properties of papaya but never really thought much of it until I tried this dish. Lor mai kai is also my fave at yum cha, and chicken feet too :)