Zhe Jiang Heen
2/F and 3/F Kiu Fu Commercial Building, 300-306 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai
Tel: 2877 9011
Price: about HK$300 without drinks and the service charge.
Ambience: tables are comfortably large and set far enough apart, and the sound level is low.
Pros: some overlap between Zhejiang and Shanghai cuisines, so the menu lists a lot of Shanghainese favourites.
Cons: the table linen, including the napkins, is made of a shiny, slippery material that feels horrible to the touch. The kitchen sent out the food too quickly and in random order. Ningbo fried eels (HK$88) had good flavour, but the texture should be gently crisp; these were a little too hard. The pork belly in soy sauce (HK$46), better known as dongpo pork, had roughly textured meat that was too firm, rather than soft and melting. While the fresh bamboo shoots that were cooked with string beans (HK$128) were crisp and tender, the string beans were overcooked and stringy. We tried two desserts, the Ningbo black tong yuen (HK$16 for two) and sesame dumplings in ginger and flower tea (HKK$36 for four). The glutinous flour wrappers on both were too hard, and we couldn't detect any scent or flavour of ginger or osmanthus in the latter dessert.
Recommended dishes: small yellow croakers in wine (HK$78) had good flavour and the meat flaked away from the bone. Golden prawn balls with duck egg yolk (HK$180) were absolutely delicious: the shrimp were sweet and perfectly cooked and seasoned, with plenty of mashed duck yolk. Deep-fried chicken (HK$168 for half) had tender, succulent meat. But the surprise favourite was the fish head (HK$198). Translated into English as 'fish head cooked two ways' (in Chinese, 'cooked with chillis'), the steamed fish head was covered in a colourful mixture of minced fresh chillis, garlic and spring onions. It looked as if it would be fiery, but after we scraped aside the coating, it was just spicy enough. The head had soft, sweet flakes of meat and plenty of gelatin.
What else? Private rooms are available.