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Hong Kong restaurant reviews

Restaurant review: Thai Yuen, Wan Chai – knowledgeable staff, prompt service

Fish and pomelo salad and marinated crab the standout selections, but avoid the pork hocks and the sautéed water spinach

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 April, 2016, 8:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 April, 2016, 8:00am

Cuisine: Thai

Price: about HK$280 without drinks or the service charge

Ambience: strange. It seemed more like a bar than a restaurant, and the seafood counter made us wonder if it had previously been serving Japanese food. There were only two other tables of customers on the night of our visit.

Pros: the food arrived at a good pace, and the server was happy to explain the dishes.

A fresh spin on East-meets-West in airy Hong Kong apartment

Cons: in addition to the regular menu, there were several laminated menus listing specials and seasonal dishes, which made things confusing. Green curry lamb ribs (HK$158) had good meat, but the mild sauce tasted almost solely of coconut milk. Thai special pork hocks (HK$148) was very dull: the sauce was light in flavour, but heavy on the cornflour. Sautéed water spinach with belacan (HK$88) was tough and stringy.

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Recommended dishes: raw marinated tomalley crab (HK$238) had bright flavours, although it should have been marinated longer, which would have improved the texture of the shellfish. The Thai style fish and pomelo salad (HK$218) was well priced. Instead of the fillets we expected, it was a whole fish that had been fried so it was moist and slightly crisp, before being topped with pomelo, cashews and peanuts in a slightly spicy dressing. Thai larb with 1,000-year-old egg (HK$98) was an unusual combination with potential. It was a one-way street: the taste of the larb didn’t improve from the egg, but the egg tasted better because of the flavours from the larb.

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What else? Our suspicions that the restaurant had previously served Japanese food proved correct when we received the bill – the receipt still said the name of the previous incarnation, Bubbles Sushi.

Thai Yuen, 3/F The Hennessy, 256 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, tel: 3746 9999

Open: Monday to Saturday noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm