Lei Garden

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 March, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 March, 2005, 12:00am

Shop 3008-3011 IFC Mall 1 Harbour View Street, Central

Tel: 2295 0238

Open: 11.30am-3pm, 6pm-11pm

Cuisine: Mostly Cantonese.

Ambience: Lovely setting with subtly elegant decor.

Price: About $200 per person, although it can get more expensive if you order luxury items.

Pros: Excellent food and good service.

Cons: It's a victim of its own success. You have to book about a month in advance for weekday lunch, when the restaurant is filled with business people. It's quieter at dinner.

Recommended dishes: Everything we've eaten here is good, whether it's cold dishes of refreshing garlic-flavoured pickled cucumber ($28) or tender spicy beef shin ($38), or main dishes of tender, wonderfully flavoured crispy roast chicken ($110) or braised spare ribs with ginger and orange sauce ($55 for small, $78 for regular). Crispy-skinned roast pork ($68) is the perfect version of this popular dish, braised tofu with minced pork and preserved olive leaves ($48 small, $68 regular) is homey and comforting, while steamed lobster with egg white ($298 - left) is luxurious. We also enjoy the desserts of chilled mango with grapefruit and sago ($22), homemade almond paste ($22) and braised bird's nest with coconut juice ($138), which has a generous portion of the expensive ingredient.

What else? The only dish we could find the slightest fault with was sauteed beef cubes with ginger, scallion and dark vinegar ($88), which was a little too salty, although the meat was tender. There are several other branches of Lei Garden, including in Wan Chai, North Point, Mongkok and Tsim Sha Tsui.