Hong Kong restaurant reviews

Restaurant review: Sun Fook Kee, North Point – Fujian favourites made to order

Lychee sweet and sour pork and steamed mud crab with dried longan were standouts in an interesting menu at this small restaurant, where many of the dishes need pre-ordering

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 August, 2016, 4:04pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 August, 2016, 5:47pm

Sun Fook Kee seems a little off-putting, at least initially. It seems awfully expensive: when we made the reservation, we were told that we’d have to book a private room with a minimum charge of HK$7,800 (although the charge seems to vary), and that if we didn’t want a private room, we’d have to sit in the corridor, which we were prepared to do. But when we arrived, the diners who booked one of the private rooms had cancelled, and we and another party got to sit in there without being charged for it.

When we looked at the menu, the prices didn’t seem too expensive. Then the manager recognised me – not as food editor, but because she had worked at the now-closed Manor restaurant, a place I ate at regularly. She told us that the chef is also from the Manor so he came out to say hello, and by the time we left, we were treated like old friends (which I guess we were).

The restaurant specialises in the food of Fujian province, where the chef is from. When you call to book, you need to pre-order most of the dishes, some of which need a long time to prepare, and also because they need to buy the ingredients (the restaurant is quite small). Because everything sounded so tempting, we over-ordered slightly, but finished almost everything.

Stir-fried vegetables with Chinese crepes (HK$268), the dish we were looking forward to most, had a mixed reception – it disappointed my friends who had eaten it before, but it was the first time I tried it, and I enjoyed it.

It’s a dish that needs a lot of preparation: vegetables – including carrots, bamboo, water chestnuts, snow peas and yellow chives – were all sliced before being cooked with sliced pork and small oysters. The waitress piled the ingredients on a tender crepe, added sweetened chopped peanuts, seaweed with fried vermicelli, and fresh coriander, then folded the whole thing together. My friends complained the vegetables should have been sliced finer, and the crepe should have been more delicate.

We were in agreement about the steamed mud crab with dried longan (HK$500 for one catty). It was an unusual and delicious combination. The crab with its rich roe went very well with the sweet, slightly smoky dried fruit.

We also enjoyed the razor clams pancake (HK$168) – a successful variation on a dish that’s made more often with fresh oysters. The razor clams were fresh and plentiful in the delicate batter.

Lychee sweet and sour pork (HK$138) was well balanced: slices of pork belly had been wrapped around a crunchy water chestnut before being fried then served with a light sauce made with fresh lychee.

Crispy pork ribs marinated in red wine lees (HK$68) had crisp, tender meat but we couldn’t taste much of the marinade. Stir-fried taro cake (HK$188) was a delicious, homely mess of a dish. The taro cake – lighter than you’d expect – was cooked with cabbage, pork and small fresh oysters.

Sun Fook Kee, 1/F, Circle Court, 3-5 Java Road, North Point, tel: 2566 5898. About HK$180 without drinks or the service charge.