Review: Zither Restaurant, Wan Chai - new Chiu Chow fare a winner
Cuisine: Chiu Chow
Price: about HK$250 without drinks or the service charge.
Ambience: generic decor, with marble, mirrors and pressed wood. It was quiet on our visit.
Recommended dishes: the oyster omelette (HK$98) was excellent, with sweet, plump and soft oysters that were larger than usual. Satay beef (HK$78) was delicious, with tender beef and crisp, sweet stalks of gai lan in a thick, peanutty sauce that was so good we asked for a side bowl of noodles (which they didn't charge for) so we could eat more. A huge portion of fish balls and fish cake with cabbage in a cloudy broth (HK$88) was light and comforting. We loved the rib-sticking desserts: the sweet-savoury sugar-coated taro (HK$88), flavoured with spring onions, and sweet potato fritters (HK$68) filled with sugar, sesame seeds and crushed peanuts.
Pros: the service was some of the best we've had at the price.
Cons: the Chiu Chow master sauce selection (HK$138) was a mixed lot — the goose breast was tender enough, but neither it nor the sliced tofu had absorbed enough marinade. Chiu Chow pan-fried noodles with sugar and white vinegar (HK$108) were too thick and uneven.
What else? I visited the place, thinking it served Cantonese food, only to be told that two days previously, they had switched to Chiu Chow and were changing the menu. The Chiu Chow selection was quite limited, but should be more extensive now.
Zither Restaurant, 4/F The Phoenix, 21-25 Luard Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2967 9322. Open: 11am-3pm, 6pm-11pm