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Hong Kong budget eats

Restaurant review: The Menu, Tai Kok Tsui - prices you won't believe

Opened by a disciple of celebrity chef Jacky Yu, fusion restaurant offers remarkably good value. Star dishes include tom yum seafood penne, chilled pineapple soup and pandan tiramisu. With just 11 seats, you’ll need to book days in advance

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 October, 2016, 12:31pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 October, 2016, 1:51pm

A hole-in-the-wall restaurant has opened in Tai Kok Tsui, offering delicious fusion dishes at incredibly low prices. Opened by a disciple of famous chef Jacky Yu, the proprietor of the Xi Yan chain of Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong and Singapore, the Menu has only three tables and a small menu.

An appetiser of white wine mala spicy clams (HK$32) is a must-try. The clams and chayote squash soaked up the flavours of the wine, and there was a numbing effect on the tongue from the Sichuan peppercorns. We also liked the deep-fried pork trotter with fennel and cumin (HK$32 for four pieces). The trotters were first stewed until tender with spices that include star anise and cinnamon, before being deep-fried. They were flavourful and went well with the slightly spicy sauce.

We recommend the chilled pineapple soup (HK$28), made by combining fresh pineapples with milk, fried green apple, onions and yellow peppers, which are puréed then sieved. The resulting mixture was thick – more like sauce – than soup, but was sweet, sour and appetising.

Most of the 11 main dishes of rice or spaghetti are fusion dishes. We liked the tom yum seafood penne (HK$44) with shrimp, clams, octopus and okra. It was quite spicy, but the penne absorbed the rich, seafood flavours of the sauce.

Chewy Japanese rice was used in the dish of dried seafood and shrimp roe risotto (HK$48). Although the dish used generous portions of dried shrimp, scallops and oysters, it was too salty and briny for my taste.

For dessert, we order the pandan tiramisu (HK$18) and doughnuts with osmanthus glaze (HK$18), which were delicious and creative.

The Menu has simple but comfortable furnishings. Dinner bookings have to be made days in advance as there are only 11 seats.

Shop 13, Fu Tor Loy Shopping Centre Phase 2, 64 Beech Street, Tai Kok Tsui, tel: 5600 4458. Open: Monday to Saturday noon-10pm