By David Sutton
39 Electric Road, Tin Hau
Tel 2869 8801
Vibe: Keep your eyes peeled as the restaurant doesn't have an English name. It's on the left as you walk from Tin Hau MTR, opposite the end of Yacht Street. The dining area is long and narrow. With its black and white decor, it has a fairly modern look, but close inspection reveals it is not as new as you might at first think.
Who to take: Go with family or friends - the more people you go with, the more dishes you can try. It's not a big restaurant, but tables can be pushed together to meet the needs of bigger parties.
What's hot: Not many of the staff speak English, but the extensive menu is bilingual so pointing out the dishes you want is easy enough. A little graphic thumbs-up symbol by the side of some of the dishes indicates the chef's recommendations and a chilli tells you which dishes are spicy.
The menu begins with an appetiser section so extensive you could easily spend an entire meal exploring just these: pan-fried shrimp or oyster omelettes, beef wrap rolls, salty fried chicken bites and Taiwan sausage to name just a few. The crispy tofu with special sauce boasts a well-deserved thumb.
If your group is large enough you could opt for the deep fried platter which includes fish cakes, chicken bites, meat balls and squid. But it is worth remembering that all dishes are suitable for sharing anyway.
There is a good selection of stir-fried dishes such as spicy pork with cabbage or beef with eggplant and there is also a good range of hotpot options such as braised black mushroom and tofu or eggplant with fish. They also offer three-cup chicken or prawn hotpot. The three-cup name actually refers to the equal quantities of three types of seasoning that are used in the dish. The most distinctive of these seasonings are the deliciously aromatic basil leaves. The prawn variation comes with mushrooms and onions in a bubbling tomato broth.
Aside from tofu the vegetable section offers lettuce, water convolvulus (known to most of us as spinach) and cabbage.
The cabbage with garlic offers a simple, but pleasing, counterpoint to the hotpot.
The dessert section is sparse, but there is a good selection of sweet drinks. Try adding some coconut jelly or wafer flakes to a smooth strawberry slush drink.
What's not: The limited dessert menu:you can only choose from French toast with either condensed milk, or peanut butter.
Cost: Dishes marked as starters are all either HK$28 or HK$32. All the other dishes on the menu are between HK$48-HK$68, so you can expect to eat well for about HK$100 per person.