|Packed even at 10pm|
Yung Kee, as the Chinese name suggests, serves up a myriad of home style dishes, with a twist, says its owner. His philosophy of less salt, less oil and less MSG, is apparent in the food, all designed to make you feel like you're dining in a Hong Kong home away from your own. Small, tight, spartan and with the air-conditioning way too cold.
|Old style tea pot and tableware|
We went way too late to try any of the specialties but what we got, we came away pretty satisfied and look forward to going back next time, and pre-ordering the specials, especially now that we know that Mr. Chatty Boss knows one of our cohorts for many a decade..
|Preserved vegetable and pork congee 菜乾豬骨粥|
Cutting back on carbs meant I passed on rice, also so I could try a lot more of the dishes ordered. But to warm myself from the North Pole A-C, I settled on the congee which was nicely done. And yes, tasty but not salty so you feel can drink this endlessly without any guilt. Smooth with just a little bite from the broken grains.
|Pan fried Pork Patties 鹹魚茸煎肉餅|
By far the winner of the night, these were as good as any I've ever had, and I've had quite a few. Bouncy insides and a subtle hint of salted fish for that added umami. Any thought that this was too big a pattie each for one person was thrown out the window, since I could have done with more than half a pattie after they halved it.
|Stewed pork trotters in Italian Balsamic 意式豬腳薑|
This was my other fave for the night. Presentation was underwhelming since the vinegar looked thin and tasteless, but the taste was definitely there. Unlike traditional ones which tend to have a caramelly finish to the tartness, this had a cleaner sweetness and we were told by Mr. Chatty Boss himself that he combines balsamic with fruit vinegars to keep it light. He insisted we drink every last drop of the gravy, and I had no difficulties complying with the order. The ginger had some heat to offer a kick but not overly so as to take away from the dish so you can literally polish this off without remains (save for the bones).
|Steamed tripe 薑蔥牛珀葉|
This is one of those touch and go dishes since I give up if the tripe has the texture of tyres. But this one was executed to perfection, crunchy but not chewy. Oh so easy to pop, especially in a sauce that has hints of sesame oil, and a dip that is soy, spicy chillies and fresh garlic.
Other dishes were competent but less to write home about.
|Sweet sour pork ribs 菠蘿生炒骨|
|Stir fried little cabbages with fermented tofu 椒絲腐乳白菜仔|
These vegetables are usually just fried without much else or served in a roasted garlic bulb laced superior stock. This way was different and darn tasty. LIKE!
|Stir fried lettuce with dace 油麥菜炒鯪魚|
|Chicken and pork liver casserole|
Since the special chicken was sold out, this was recommended as an alternative. Tasty and good with a bowl of rice, chicken was succulent and gives you a hint of what they can really do with their own farm-reared chickens which we were assured were not from north of the border. Pork liver slices were done just nice to be tender and soaked up the essence of the gravy.
|Tofu barrel 竹筒肉碎豆腐|
This was where the dish didn't live up to its looks. What I conjured up in my mind when I saw the wooden barrel was a rustic beany taste from the tofu in a robust sauce. What I got on my palate was just regular tofu pieces with ground pork and Chinese mushrooms. Won't be a repeat order from me.
One more thing: Mr. Chatty Boss raves about his home made soup which goes on the boil forever. I found it a little tasteless and thin. If you don't get access to soups often because of your lifestyle you might make do but otherwise skip it since it ain't cheap compared to everything else.
That said, I will venture back to the heartlands to sample his supposed specialties of crispy roast pork, steamed chicken with secret sesame sauce, and his vegetarian tofu rolls. Stay tuned.
G/F, 118-120 Fuk Wa Street
Sham Shui Po, Kowloon