Freshly reopened after a complete design and menu overhaul, Yee Tung Heen replaced its former lively decor of red hues and bright lighting for a subtler and more refined ambiance. Accented by wooden panelling, more spaces between tables, and additional booth seatings, the restaurant is now more a place for intimate Chinese dining rather than boisterous family meals.
The menu, while still focusing on Cantonese, has been revamped with more adventurous choices focusing on presentation and taste. While you can still get some classics like crispy skin fried chicken and an extensive choice of steamed fresh fish and seafood, we recommend trying some of the chef’s newer creations. A collection of appetisers inspired by Shanghai and Sichuan, the brown fungus in mustard sauce ($48), spicy garlic eggplant ($48) and sliced bitter melon in plum sauce ($48) is a lighter alternative to the usual Cantonese starter plate of roast meat and jellyfish.
Moving on to something more substantial, the sautéed baby lobster meat with bird’s nest ($438) is an entirely different way of consuming this crustacean. With the meat removed, the steamed, tender, succulent flesh of the fresh lobster needs little seasoning. Although there is still a reasonable amount of bird’s nest in the dish, we suspect it is more to add drama than to enhance the flavour dimensions.
Soup is a huge part of the Cantonese diet and we opted for the double boiled fish maw soup with Chinese herbs ($338). Prepared and served in a small clay teapot, this soup is poured into a tiny cup, resembling the Japanese dobin mushi. The rich broth has a silky finish from the hours of simmering with ingredients such as chicken, fish maw and the pricy Chinese medicinal herb, cordycep. There is little oil as the clay is absorbent and the subtle flavour resembles a consommé. The individual serving portions allow guests to drink slowly during the entire meal while keeping it hot. Our favourite, however, is the stuffed acorn squash ($138). A small organically grown squash that resembles a pumpkin, the ‘lid’ is lifted to reveal a delectable combination of chopped vegetables, pine nuts and Australian wagyu. It resembles a popular homestyle dish and the joy of different textures in each spoonful is satisfying, especially when wrapped in crispy iceberg lettuce.
The dessert platter ($120) takes inspiration from Japanese wagashi, made up of six mini versions of popular sweets like egg tart, red bean jelly, and Chinese mochi. It’s light on the sweetness and beautifully presented in a compartmentalised tray.
Yee Tung Heen gets a high score for innovation and we look forward to returning for a trial of its dim sum. Leslie Chan
2/F, The Excelsior, 281 Gloucester Rd, Causeway Bay, 2837 6790. Mon-Fri 11.30am-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm & 10am-3pm, 6pm-10.30pm. Dinner for two: around $700.
|Venue name:||Yee Tung Heen|
2/F, The Excelsior, 281 Gloucester Rd, Causeway Bay