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Restaurant review: Cornucopia Fine Dining

Susan Jung

 

Cornucopia Fine Dining is an odd name for a Chinese restaurant, and nothing about the interior or food would suggest the lavish abundance that its namesake brings to mind.

But the other part of its name - "fine dining" - is appropriate, because the food is of very good quality, the service is attentive, and the surroundings quiet and comfortable. And although the decor has accents of red and brushed gold, with several large, bright lions' heads on the walls, the effect is tasteful, rather than brash and kitschy.

The high-ceilinged space had only a few other diners on the night of our visit. We pored over the menu and chose a good meal. The only dish I didn't care for was the ox tongue with spicy salt (HK$68). It had been lightly battered then deep fried, which made the rich meat too fatty.

Another starter, the deep-fried tofu with salted egg yolk paste (HK$48), was much lighter; the large cubes of bean curd had a delicate crust and were soft within.

Perhaps the spicy hot poached fish head (HK$168) was the wrong dish to serve towards the beginning of the meal, as the chillies temporarily affected our taste buds. We ordered it at the lower end of the spice range, and it was still quite hot. But the fish, which had a plentiful amount of meat, was wonderfully fresh, the broth was light, and the temporary numbing of our mouths was nothing that a little rice couldn't cure.

Fresh prawns with vermicelli in a casserole (HK$168) was a lovely home-style dish that succeeded because of the freshness of the seafood. The mung bean noodles in the bottom of the clay pot had soaked up the rich, prawn-infused sauce. The chicken with longjing tea leaves and soy sauce (HK$200 for half) had a strong, smoky aroma that we could smell as soon as we lifted the lid.

However, the braised fish maw and vegetables in a broth and casserole (HK$168) suffered slightly from sitting on the table before we could start to eat it; my one complaint about the service is that the dishes came too quickly. Some of the vegetables were overcooked, and the mung bean noodles soaked up a bit too much of the broth.

For dessert, a wobbly steamed milk pudding with a surprising amount of bird's nest was a bargain at HK$58; the sweetened almond tea (HK$48) came with egg white that was a little too firm.

Cornucopia Fine Dining, 7/F Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2323 7280 Open: noon-3.30pm, 6pm-11pm

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