Food review: Cafe Hunan
Koon Wah Building, 420-424 Queen's Road West, Western district
Tel: 2803 7177
Price: about HK$170 without drinks or service charge.
Ambience: basic. The first thing you see on entering is the money cat and the mural of masks on one wall. The small wooden tables are close together and the guy sitting behind me kept bumping my chair with his.
Pros: the food - it was one of the better Hunan meals we've had in Hong Kong. Service was efficient.
Cons: at this price, there wasn't much to moan about.
Recommended dishes: we ordered a lot of food, and there wasn't anything we disliked. The best dish was the yin yang fish head (HK$129) - a fish head split in two then topped on one side with red chillies, and on the other with yellow chillies. We had a side order of plain noodles (HK$28) and used them to soak up the delicious sauce.
The hottest dish of the night was a cold starter of stir-fried shredded potato with hot and sour sauce (HK$59) - it was hard to see the plentiful minced yellow chillies cooked with the crunchy shards of potato.
The other dishes calmed our palates. Stir-fried pork with Youxian dried bean curd (HK$69) was fantastic, primarily for the silky smooth tofu; the scraps of meat were just a flavouring. Stir-fried baby chicken (HK$108) looked as if it would be spicy, but the tiny pieces of boneless meat were moist, tender and subtle. Cauliflower (HK$69) was described as being spicy but it wasn't, as long as you pushed aside the red and green chillies. Iced soup with spicy fern root noodles (HK$49) was both hot and cold: hot from the mild chilli heat, but cold from the ice cubes at the bottom of the bowl.
What else? The small restaurant has an upstairs area that seats about 15.