Restaurant review: new venture by former Tang’s Cuisine chef keeps the Cantonese tradition
Fans of the now-closed Cantonese restaurant Tang’s Cuisine should pay J&T a visit, because the former’s executive chef has brought his signature roast pigeon and dried chillis to the new Wan Chai spot
Cuisine: mostly Cantonese
Price: about HK$350 without drinks or service charge
Ambience: small and quiet. The staff were friendly and eager to please.
Pros: I suspected the chef was from the now-closed Tang’s Cuisine in Wan Chai even before I confirmed with the staff, because some of the dishes seemed familiar. Each dinner guest gets a roasted half-pigeon for free, which was a signature perk at Tang’s, and the snack – fiery-looking dried chillis (but they’re actually mild and totally addictive) – was also served there.
Cons: Tang’s Cuisine also had a delicious dish of fried roast goose pie made with flaky pastry, which was shaped into a delicate swan. Here, the savoury pies (HK$12 each) take the same shape, but they’re made of mashed taro, and aren’t nearly as good. Pomelo with prawns (HK$138) turned out to be a dish of battered and fried prawns coated with yuzu preserve that tasted like it came straight out a jar. It was too sweet and one-dimensional.
Recommended dishes: the free pigeon was small but moist and meaty. We loved the Iberico spare ribs (HK$268) which were fatty, soft and tender. Stir-fried lobster tail with kimchi, rice cake and cheese (HK$168 per portion; the waitress recommended that we have two for three of us) was an unusual combination that worked. The lobster was firm and sweet, the rice cakes added a chewy texture, and the cheese gave richness without overwhelming. Chrysanthemum greens with tomato and mushrooms in a milky broth was light and clean tasting.
What else? J&T is in the space that the original Xi Yan occupied for many years.
J&T Restaurant, 3/F, 83 Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai. Tel: 2575 6966. Open: 11.30am-3pm, 6pm-10.30pm