Monday, April 11, 2011

Cha Chan Teng in HKG: Yuen Kee

For our first dinner out in Hong Kong...as we were staying on Nathan Road in Kowloon, we thought a walk around to see what the locals were eating. As we passed Yuen Kee, I remembered a post on Camemberu that they were famous for their beef horfun...so we dropped in for a visit.

First the ubiquitious milk tea...



Milk, tea, sweetened. Simple as that. But other than in India where this is often excellent. I only find great cha-nai in Hong Kong. Nowhere in Singapore can I find either iced or hot milk tea which is as good. Frequently, as is the case here, and in two other cha chan teng we tried this visit, the milk tea was superb.

The tea was brewed to a strength which I guess is best described as just right...slightly tannic and with good body and structure, allowing the fragrance of the tea (tea dust I understand is used to brew the tea for added power and oomph) to shine through the round, rich body of the evaporated milk used to enrich the brew.

Of course we tried teh beef hor fun:



First thing we noticed was that the horfun was sliced thin. And were not separated from each other...meaning each strip of hor fun was actually comprised of layers of hor fun. The beef was nice and tender, though I suspect a judicious amount of tenderiser has been used. The frying was very light, so not much wok hei. And we found the dish to be too oily. Chalk this up as only mediocre.

We also ordered the mixed meat with rice...



A leg of white boiled chicken and a leg of roast goose. The chicken was de rigeur. Very good, tasty, with good texture. I can taste the freshness, or absence of freezing on the meat. But the roast goose was excellent. The skin, delicate, roasted to near perfection - was crisp, with a sliver of flavourful fat just below...not too much as to be too rich, but just a small sliver to fortify the richness. The meat was nice and tender. Excellent! Very Shiok!

Overall, especially compared to other cha chan tengs that dot HKG, Yuen Kee is probably mediocre. So if you happen to be in the Kimberly Road, TST area, do drop by and sample the food. Otherwise, visitors to HKG are adviced that it is not necessary to seek out Yuen Kee.

But if we can get this quality of cooking in a Singapore cha chan teng, I would be happy. We do have a number of shops in Singapore who attempt to offer Hong Kong style street food, but none managing to attain any level of competency.


Yuen Kee Restaurant
27 Kimberley Road
Tsim Tsa Tsui
Hong Kong SAR
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