Walking past the nearby wet market, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the entrance of this Cantonese restaurant for a simple stall that sells only live seafood. Apart from the receptionist’s desk the entire area is taken up with large water tanks filled with prawns, lobsters, fish, geoducks and other fresh catch. Unsurprisingly, many patrons find themselves choosing their dinner well before they’ve seen the menu.
Kam Dau Kee is rumoured to be the classier outpost of Jordan’s once famous (but now closed) Sun Dau Kee, known for its cheap, no-nonsense dishes and superior roast meats. Tables are packed tight, with a noisy ambiance typical of a family get together. The one salvation is the long and narrow configuration, which means you only have to rub elbows with one or two other tables. And they expect you to eat fast: within two hours, we witnessed the next table turn over three times.
We started with their popular roast suckling pig ($498). The skin, though roasted to a perfect, crunchy crisp, revealsed only a very thin layer of fat when turned over. The sweetness of the fat added a savoury dimension to an otherwise ubiquitous wedding banquet staple. We forged onwards with their supposedly famous roast goose ($188), but this fell short of our expectations. The meat was dry and tough, the skin oily and limp.
The “JuJu”-style fresh abalone ($490 for seven pieces) was served with scallions and ginger on a piping hot pot. The abalone tops were sliced crisscut to take in more flavour, while the pan-fried prawns with soya sauce were plump and juicy.
The stewed pork liver ($68), sliced and simmered in a creamy fish stock with vegetables, and the boiled pig’s intestine ($68) are a pair of quintessentially Cantonese dishes that are not for the faint-hearted. The pot of steaming congee with rabbit fish ($78), meanwhile, was the perfect replacement for steamed rice.
It's not fancy, but as a family eatery focused on value and food quality, Kam Dau Kee delivers. Just don’t expect to stay for hours.
1/F, The Zenith, 3 Wan Chai Rd, Wan Chai, 3907 0878. Daily 11am-3pm & 6pm-midnight. Meal for two: around $600.
|Venue name:||Kam Dau Kee|
1/F, The Zenith, 3 Wan Chai Rd, Wan Chai