New restaurant in Hong Kong: Chau Yee Thai Restaurant, Shau Kei Wan – friendly service, simple and tasty for less than HK$100
This casual local restaurant is basically decorated and has little in the way of ambience, but the food is hearty and inexpensive and if you are in the area, it is worth a visit if you want something spicy
Tucked away near end of a bustling road with an eclectic mix of businesses – Chinese gift shops, temples and restaurants serving many types of cuisines – is Chun Yee Thai Restaurant.
It’s an unassuming spot serving up tasty, inexpensive food. The entrance is a wide corridor leading into the dining area with a steamy open kitchen to the right where you can watch the chefs at work. It feels like a typical casual local restaurant with teal seats and plastic tables with napkin holders and pots of sauce.
Ambience is not the restaurant’s forte, with a lack of music, very bright lighting and a fridge sitting at the opposite end of the space to the kitchen, but it all adds to the feel of a local shop ideal for a cheap meal.
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The menu is extensive, with many dishes designed to share, and plenty for solo diners. It would be easy to have a satisfying meal for HK$100 or less per person, but if you choose some of the seafood dishes, you could spend more.
We decided to go for the lunch deal: plenty of options for less than HK$60, including a drink, selecting two classic Thai dishes to test Chun Yee’s authenticity. All of the food arrived quickly from friendly waitresses who were attentive throughout the meal.
Pad Thai (HK$58, with lemon tea), showcased noodles with shrimp, tofu, plenty of crunchy bean sprouts and some greens, with lime and crushed nuts on the side. The noodles were cooked well and the portion was a good size, but there could have been more shrimps and spice. We fixed the last problem easily with the array of sauces laid out on the table.
The second dish, spicy minced pork with pan-fried egg and rice, was the recommendation of the waitress (HK$52 with a milk tea) which came in a generous portion. The egg was deliciously crispy around the edges, with a perfectly runny yolk. The plain egg did a good job at complementing the spiciness of the minced pork which had a nice chilli kick and some sweetness from fresh basil.
A side order of deep-fried spring rolls (HK$48) was disappointing.Accompanied by sweet and sour sauce, the rolls were piping hot and the wrapper was crisp, but the filling of meat and vegetables didn’t taste especially fresh.
While we wouldn’t make a special trip just to eat at Chun Yee, it’s a nice place for a spicy bite if you’re in the area.
Chun Yee Thai Restaurant, 39 Shau Kei Wan Main Street East, Shau Kei Wan, tel: 3178 1333.
Open: 11.30am-11pm. Cash only.