Here comes the sun

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 January, 2008, 12:00am

The Royal Garden Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, which was already tempting diners with Sabatini Ristorante Italiano (the original branch of which is in Rome), Inagiku (tempura specialists from Tokyo) and Dong Lai Shun (a Beijing chain known for its mutton hotpot), has added another branch of a famous restaurant: the Vietnamese Le Soleil (bottom right). Dennis Wong Tiec Thu started Le Soleil 15 years ago in San Francisco and was persuaded to open a second branch by the Royal Garden's general manager, Keven Chan, who was impressed by its authentic food and casual atmosphere.

'Vietnamese cuisine in Hong Kong is not authentic,' Wong says. 'It's been mixed with Thai and Malaysian food.'

The Hong Kong menu is similar to that in San Francisco, but has more beef dishes - including some made with Wagyu - to cater to local demand. Local carnivores will enjoy Le Soleil's raw beef salad with licorice basil (HK$145), stir-fried Wagyu tenderloin with bell peppers and king mushrooms (HK$180), Hanoi noodle soup with thinly sliced Wagyu beef and tendon (top right; HK$90) and bo la lot (pan-fried minced beef with onion, peanuts and lemongrass wrapped in tangerine leaves; HK$75). Non-beef options include crispy sticky rice balls filled with pork (top left; HK$75), organic king mushrooms rolled in rice paper (bottom left; HK$75), baked lobster in satay sauce (HK$415) and roasted crab (HK$215).

Le Soleil is at 3/F, The Royal Garden, 69 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, tel: 2733 2033.