Firstly, be warned. There are only two reservation times – 6pm and 8pm – at the newly opened Xin Dau Ji. It might seem a bit inflexible but getting a table at the newest branch of one of Hong Kong’s most venerable Cantonese restaurants demands some accommodation.
For years, Xin Dau Ji's original outpost in Jordan served up hearty Cantonese fare with an extensive fresh seafood selection (there are at least 25 types of fresh catch on any given night). The reasonable prices, quick and friendly service has assured Xin Dau Ji a loyal following that includes notable local celebs.
Staking a claim in Causeway’s competitive dining scene requires effort and Xin Dau Ji made two important changes to fit in. Firstly, they upgraded their dining room with spot lighting, plush carpet, and spacious seating. Secondly, they open for dim sum lunch (the Jordan branch is only open for dinner and late night dining until 3am).
Settling down at 6pm, the place is already packed. We began with the popular roast suckling pig ($258). The skin is roasted to a crispy bite, with the flesh laced mildly with fat. It isn’t served with the usual flour wraps but taking the skin on its own made us appreciate its flavours even more. From the long list of seafood we chose a steamed wild sesame grouper ($450 for 1.5 catty). The fish is perfectly cooked, with its flesh flaking off the bone easily.
We also tried two stone pot dishes: juju style Chinese lettuce ($58) and chicken with black bean sauce ($78). The veggies were a bit soggy, but the chicken was succulent with a tangy sauce that didn’t overpower. We were pleased with both the deep-fried bean curd, smothered in a rich brown sauce, made with minced vegetables and fish paste ($78), and the sweet and sour pork ($68) with a coating that was light and chewy. It also had plenty of “wok hei”, the well oiled flavour that comes from being cooked in a seasoned wok.
Finally, the service is friendly and very efficient, and it has more finesse than the Jordan branch. It’s hard to fault this place, and it shall be interesting to see if they can match the consistency of Lei Garden. Leslie Chan
2/F, Holiday Inn Express, 33 Sharp St, 3162 8899. Daily 11.30am-4pm & 6pm-11pm. Dinner for two: around $400.
|Venue name:||Xin Dau Ji|
2/F, Holiday Inn Express, 33 Sharp St