Restaurant review: Hei House, Wan Chai – unsatisfying Malaysian fusion fare

The orange cinnamon duck was almost the only saving grace in an underwhelming selection noted for its undercooked rice, soggy pork knuckle and oily, lifeless beef rendang roti pizza

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 April, 2016, 12:30pm
UPDATED : Monday, 27 June, 2016, 5:28pm

 

Open: noon-11pm
Cuisine: Malaysian fusion
Price: about HK$200 without drinks or the service charge.Ambience: it’s more like a bar that serves food than a restaurant that serves drinks.
Pros: they played a great mix of music.
Cons: a lot. We’re not sure why they wanted to do fusion dishes of Malaysian food – which is deliciously fusion as it is. Beef rendang roti pizza (HK$88) had an oily base and nondescript topping.

The rice in the crab rice (HK$168) was undercooked so the texture was chalky, and while there was plenty of crab, the dish didn’t have much flavour, despite the tom yum sauce that the waitress poured over it.
The most disappointing dish was called bak kut knuckle (HK$168). Described as a pork knuckle that was brined in bakuteh, then roasted, it had the pink colour of cured ham and the skin was soft, rather than crisp. The meat had been stuffed with Chinese fried cruller which is usually served alongside bakuteh so diners can briefly dip it in the broth, so it maintains some crispness. Here, it was so soggy it was almost falling apart, having absorbed the too-salty broth.Recommended dishes: the “crisp 30-hour slow-cooked orange cinnamon duck” (HK$168) wasn’t crisp and the meat was mushy except at the edges. The flavour wasn’t bad, though. “NZ beef Scotch egg” (HK128) had the bouncy texture of Cantonese beef balls, and placing it on the coconut wet rice made the crisp coating soggy. If I went back to this restaurant I’d order the dish without the Scotch egg and just eat the coconut wet rice, which was the only part of the meal I could praise without qualifying it.
What else? Hei House is in the new pedestrian area of Lee Tung Avenue.

 

Hei House, Shop G31 and F31A Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai. Tel: 3974 5868

Other options if you want Malaysian food

Restaurant review, PappaRich Malaysian Delights, Causeway Bay – authentic flavours and air-freighted desserts

PR manager Mei Mei Song's favourite Hong Kong restaurants

Another option in Lee Tung Avenue

First impressions of global chain Le Pain Quotidien’s debut Hong Kong venture