Yi Deng Long Men Beijing Kitchen
3/F Circle Tower, 28 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2893 1921
Open: 11.30am-3pm, 6pm-11pm
Price: about HK$320 without drinks or the service charge.
Ambience: quiet, as you'd expect on the night before the typhoon signal No 8 was raised. The restaurant has some interesting design elements, including bronze heads of the animals that make up the Chinese zodiac, a circular doorway to the private room, and colourful paintings on the wall.
Pros: the service was attentive, and we didn't feel unwelcome, although I'm sure the staff would rather have been rushing home.
Cons: some of the English translations on the menu were inaccurate. While the flavour of the marinated sliced pig's knuckle (HK$88) was fine, it was slightly dry and could have used a little more fat and collagen. Noodles with scallion oil (HK$58) had fried spring onions as well as dried shrimp, but were bland and overcooked.
Recommended dishes: vegetarian goose (HK$68) was smoky and sweet. "Chilled wax gourd in cubes" (HK$68) was a cold dish of winter melon balls in a refreshing dressing. Dry shredded beef (HK$128) was excellent. The thin pieces of beef, with plenty of julienned carrot, were fried until crisp but still moist, then coated in a sticky, sweet and sour sauce. Deep-fried lamb shank (HK$388) featured cumin-flavoured meat buried under a mixture of fried garlic and peppers.
Stewed beef rib (HK$168 for half) had been cooked in lotus leaf, which didn't impart much flavour. The meat - tender, fatty and served on the bone - was served with a small bowl of sinus-clearing mustard and a garlicky dipping sauce. Leek and pork dumplings (HK$45) had handmade wrappers and juicy filling. If you're a fan of durian, try the unusual toffee durian (HK$168). The crisp, caramel-coated batter held a good amount of the pungent fruit, and the spun sugar topping was a nice finishing touch.
What else? They also serve other types of toffee fruits, including the usual banana, apple and sweet potato.