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Hong Kong budget eats

Restaurant review: Mei Garden, Wan Chai – affordable Chinese dishes

Whether it’s dim sum, bento boxes, Cantonese siu mei (roast meat) or other Chinese dishes, Mei Garden has them all at affordable prices

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 January, 2017, 8:15am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 January, 2017, 8:15am

A new branch of Mei Garden opened recently in Wan Chai, the original restaurant being in Tsuen Wan. Unlike many Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong, Mei Garden is not owned by a large corporate group and does not serve standard, factory-made dim sum.

Customers are left in no doubt that the chefs have put their heart into making the dim sum here. The egg custard buns (HK$25.80 for three) look like cute little pigs and were served piping hot. The custard almost burned our tongue. The rice noodle roll (HK$32.80 for six pieces) was a portion of shrimp wrapped in crispy vermicelli, creating a lovely contrast in texture.

One of the restaurant’s signature dishes is scooped-out balls of winter melon flavoured with grape juice and placed on a plate like a bunch of grapes. Unfortunately, it was sold out by the time we arrived, testifying to its popularity.

For those who need to grab a quick bite, try the dim sum bento box (HK$68). It contains a decent portion of rice, fried short ribs, pumpkin purée and a selection of different dim sum. Our favourite dim sumwas the “fried durian milk”. It tasted like deep fried milk custard, and the creamy filling had the strong flavour of durian. Mei Garden also serves a similar version of the dish, but with a purple yam filling that is slightly sweeter.

The fried rice with shrimp (HK$58) was so large that we were only able to finish half of it, though we would have preferred a stronger taste from the salted egg yolk. We really wanted to try the healthy choice – brown rice with vegetables served in a pumpkin (HK$58) – but we were already too full.

We left feeling stuffed and satisfied, and since the restaurant does not add a service charge for lunch, the bill came to just HK$201 for two.

Mei Garden, 128 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2880 0112

Other budget restaurants in Wan Chai:

Restaurant review: Crabtain in Wan Chai – delicate and delicious Guangdong dishes

Restaurant review: Hay! in Wan Chai – low-cost Shanghai fare