FOOD & WINE

Restaurant review: Hu Nan Heen’s food is so good you’ll go back for more

Causeway Bay restaurant serves the best Hunan food we've eaten in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 August, 2015, 10:22pm
UPDATED : Monday, 24 April, 2017, 12:08pm

We knew from reading the menu that Hu Nan Heen would have China connections: the translations — direct from Chinese — were amusing and often, not very appetising (green bacteria fried meat, anyone?). On the last page, it reads that wine corkage is “50 yuan/ bottle”, the charge for tea is “15 yuan/person”. We were right, and Hu Nan Heen in Causeway Bay is the first branch of a China-based restaurant chain.

We hope it succeeds — this is the best Hunan food we’ve tasted in Hong Kong. There was so much on the menu that our group of five wanted to try that we visited the place again less than a week later.

The food is refined but doesn’t lose any of the rich, assertive flavours that the cuisine is known for.

Songhua preserved egg (HK$49) featured two century eggs in a light, sharp and garlicky sauce that we liked so much we sipped at it throughout the meal. Hunan smoked bean curd with fried meat (HK$82) was our favourite dish of the evening; the firm bean curd was subtly smoky and went well with the slightly salty meat. Bamboo fragrance maotai duck (HK$169) was unusual: the bird was dried so the meat was chewy (although not unpleasantly so), with crisp skin and an intense flavour. It would have made a great beer snack.

Chopped bell pepper steamed Hunan taro (HK$68) featured miniature whole taro that had been cooked so they were very soft, before being covered in minced chillies. Hot and sour lotus root (HK$98) was another delicious vegetable dish — delicate, thin sliced stalks of young lotus root in a refreshing sauce. The two-pepper steamed fish head (HK$168) — pickled green chillies on one side, fresh red chillies on the other — was perfectly cooked and had plenty of meat and a spicy sauce.

The only dish we didn’t finish was the hot and sour pig kidneys (HK$138), which was too pungent.

Hu Nan Heen, 4/F Circle Plaza, 499 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2602 6808. About HK$225 without drinks or the service charge