SOUR AND SPICY NOODLE
10/F Jardine Centre,
50 Jardine's Bazaar, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2567 9808
Price: about HK$225 without drinks or the service charge.
Ambience: most of the seats in this small restaurant were in comfortable booths overlooking a busy area of Causeway Bay.
Pros: you can order the dishes with different levels of spiciness. We ordered at level three (out of five) and it was fine for our palates.
Cons: the chilli marinated stir-fried crab (HK$328) was the most expensive dish of our meal, and by far the worst - there was a scant amount of mushy meat in the shells and a claw was missing.
Recommended dishes: Sour and Spicy Noodle started off specialising in noodles, so we ordered three and liked them all for different reasons. The organic purple sweet potato noodles with minced pork (HK$42) had a slightly creamy sauce because of the addition of sesame paste. Sour and spicy bracken root noodles with fresh chilli pepper (HK$36) were lighter in texture and more refreshing. Chilli-marinated organic purple sweet potato pasta sheets (HK$68) were stir-fried with pickled yellow chillies that added both heat and tartness. Spicy sliced beef shank and stomach (HK$45) was my favourite non-noodle dish. The shank and stomach had distinctly different textures, and the heat was alleviated by cucumber and Chinese celery. The Chongqing spicy chicken casserole (HK$148) wasn't that spicy, but the green Sichuan peppercorns that flavoured the tender chunks of meat were numbing and aromatic.
What else? There are many branches of Sour and Spicy Noodle throughout Hong Kong, but this one has the largest number of non-noodle dishes.