Hakka Ye Ye
5/F, The Goldmark, 502 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2577 8018
Open: 11.45am-3pm, 6pm-10.30pm
Price: about HK$180 per person without drinks and the service charge.
Ambience: the casual eatery features a brightly lit dining room designed with a modern twist on traditional Chinese tea salon motifs (right). Tables are close together, and the wait staff had a hard time hearing orders over the din.
Pros: when I called to make a reservation, I was given a shortlist of popular items I might want to order ahead, in case they ran out early. At the table, we appreciated the easy-to-read and attractive menu, with items marked as signature and/or vegetarian dishes. A complimentary bowl of the daily soup (pork and dried pak choi on our visit) was a nice way to start the meal.
Cons: service was lacklustre. The overall quality of flavour and freshness was inconsistent. The steamed turnip ball appetiser (HK$48) was nicely presented, but the shredded turnip and corn flour mixture had the texture of plasticine with none of the sweetness native to the vegetable. Duck with taro (HK$98 for a half order) was a flattened, deep-fried 'cake' of duck and mashed taro, which was too stale and dry to be enjoyable.
Recommended dishes: Hakka fried milk balls (HK$78) were enjoyable, with a slightly spicy dipping sauce, though maybe a little too heavy as a starter. The pre-ordered stir-fried pig's stomach with pickled mustard greens (HK$128, above right) was absolutely delicious - the offal was fresh, crunchy and sweet, and the salty sourness of the vegetables made for a lovely, balanced dish that pleased everyone. The presence of Hakka rice wine - evidenced by the bits of red rice in a dish - is an acquired taste, as it has strong alcoholic notes. My guests particularly enjoyed its flavour in the stir-fried prawns with braised cucumber (HK$128, above left), although I found it a little overpowering.
What else? the original Hakka Ye Ye is in Central at 2/F Parekh House, 63 Wyndham Street.