REVIEW

Lung King Heen

We think Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons Hotel is Hong Kong’s best Cantonese restaurant, but it is a very, very close call between it and Man Wah at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Tin Lung Heen at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, and really depends to some extent on what you intend to order and what sort of experience you desire to have. Man Wah is probably the most civilized, the most aristocratic; people dress formally and in contrast to dim sum at Lung King Heen where you can barely concentrate on the food due to the unrestrained wailing of babies and kids running around as if at the circus, people seem to be much better behaved. All three restaurants have excellent views – Man Wah’s is probably the best at night during the Symphony of Lights and Tin Lung Heen’s during the day and at sunset. All three have excellent service, though Lung King Heen and Man Wah tend to have more reliably professional severs. All three have elegant décor, though Lung King Heen comes in third here, after Man Wah and Tin Lung Heen, respectively. And all three have very impressive dim sum, though Man Wah’s is even better than Lung King Heen’s. It certainly sounds so far that Man Wah is the superior restaurant, and perhaps it is, but what gives Lung King Heen the edge in the end for me is its marginally more consistent, more elevated cuisine at dinner.

There are several dishes we have had at virtually every fine Cantonese restaurant in Hong Kong whose version at Lung King Heen is as good as or better than anywhere else. These include the barbecued pork with honey, which we found much better than the char-grilled Iberian pork at Tin Lung Heen; the barbecued suckling pig, which is very fine at around a dozen or so places; the baked crab shell, which is stuffed with the most generous and freshest filling of crab meat we’ve tried; the lobster fried rice with seafood, which is equal to the best we’ve had elsewhere; the chilled mango and sago cream with pomelo and baked cream custard puff, also equal to the best we’ve had elsewhere; and at dim sum, the baked whole abalone puff with diced chicken, a revelation that I have seen devoured by professed haters of abalone, and the baked barbecued pork buns with pine nuts, probably the best in the city, though Summer Palace and Tim Ho Wan also have excellent versions. That’s a pretty illustrious roster, and even the dishes that weren’t home runs still maintained a very high level of quality.

The restaurant’s contemporary design is a study of wood and glass in counterpoint. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer a panoramic view of Victoria Harbour and the Kowloon Peninsula, most prominently of the 118-story ICC building and its nightly LED light show. A rippling vaulted ceiling is covered with silver-leaf and giant cylindrical pillars are covered with strands of raffia wound around them. There are always fresh flowers on the table and sprinkled throughout the dining room. In terms of atmosphere, however, it’s also worth keeping in mind that the fact that Lung King Heen is the only Cantonese restaurant with three Michelin stars (and that it is the most affordable of the three star restaurants in Hong Kong) can actually be a liability. A great many tourists and mainlanders will visit Lung King Heen solely for that reason in order to check off a box, while Man Wah tends to be frequented more by expats, locals and a smattering of Mandarin Oriental guests.

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INFORMATION

Central
8 Finance Street
+852 3196-8880
Mon-Sat, noon-2:30pm, 6pm-10:30pm; Sun, 11:30am-3pm, 6pm-10:30pm
    Chan Yan Tak, Chef

    TAGS

    • Hong Kong
    • Cantonese
    • Chinese
    • Dim Sum
    • Best Brunch
    • Best Service
    • Best View
    • BYOB Corkage Fee: $500HKD
    • Private Dining Room Private Dining Room: 14 seated
    • Romantic

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