Like most of the cheap noodle shops in Central, Kiu Heung Yuan Yunnan Rice Noodle is crowded at all hours. It’s not a place to linger: staff take the next customer’s order even before they sit down, and someone is ready to take your seat as soon as you vacate it.
There’s the odd problem with consistency. A medium spicy soup might be mild on one visit and very hot on another. Orders are sometimes mistaken too, I was once given pork neck instead of the tender slices of pig intestine I love. This time my guest asked for his noodles “dry” (without soup) but it came with soup.
Still, it’s delicious and inexpensive. The most basic rice vermicelli with soup is HK$29 and comes with bean sprouts, garlic chives, fresh coriander and spring onions. The dry version is HK$31and topped with bean sprouts, peanuts, pickled mustard greens, minced pork and “special homemade sauce”. Other toppings – cocktail sausages with cheese, slices of duck kidney and fatty beef and several types of mushrooms and bean curd – are HK$6 each.
The white radish is sweet and generous. The fish skin dumplings are small with resilient, chewy skins and plenty of stuffing. The balls include cuttlefish, fish, beef and mushroom, lobster and fish-stuffed pork (which have a very juicy core and burst if you bite them the wrong way).
Kiu Heung Yuan Yunnan Rice Noodle, 91Wellington Street, Central, tel: 25811337. Open: Monday-Friday 11am-10pm; Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 11am-7pm