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Hong Kong budget eats

Restaurant review: Hay! in Wan Chai – low-cost Shanghai fare

Enjoy delicious dan dan noodles and vegetarian goose that won’t break the bank in Lee Tung Avenue

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 June, 2016, 1:11pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 June, 2016, 1:38pm

Lee Tung Avenue, the gentrified pedestrian area where “Wedding Card Street” formerly stood in Wan Chai, is full of upmarket cafes, coffee shops and bakeries. But a new Shanghainese restaurant – Hay! – is a surprising departure from the rest. The restaurant’s decor is cosy and brimming with character – booth seats, mirror inscriptions, old letterboxes, red lighting fixtures of the type you see in fish markets – that evoke old Hong Kong. The decor and convenient location might lead you to believe it’s going to be expensive, but the food here is surprisingly reasonable.

Hay! is the newest outlet opened by Modern China Restaurant Group, which is known for Shanghai and Beijing cuisine. The group has more than 10 restaurants in Hong Kong and China.

We enjoyed the vegetarian goose with bean curd (HK$48). The crisp, house-made bean curd sheet was wrapped around a generous filling of carrot, mushroom and ginger shreds. We also liked the dan dan noodle in spicy soup (HK$38). Made from a flavourful old boiling hen, the broth was mixed with minced pork, chilli and sesame sauce.

While Chinese restaurants usually serve whole Peking duck that often needs to be ordered in advance, Hay! offers Peking duck pancake (HK$38) which is just the right amount for one or two diners. The two slices of crisp-skinned Peking duck came with a generous amount of hoisin sauce and spring onions.

For dessert, we tried the coconut juice sago (HK$19) which wasn’t too sweet, and tasted strongly of coconut.

Shop G01, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, tel: 2388 3666. Open: 8.30am-10.30pm

Other places in Lee Tung Avenue we’ve written about recently

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Restaurant review: Hei House, Wan Chai – unsatisfying Malaysian fusion fare

First impressions of global chain Le Pain Quotidien’s debut Hong Kong venture