Restaurant review: Zither Garden in Wan Chai – tasty Chinese fare that did not disappoint
Friendly and helpful staff got the meal off to a good start, the Peking duck speciality had a nice flavour and moist meat, while an appetiser of deep-fried eel pieces, and the stir-fried shrimp with salted egg yolk, were also delicious
It’s quite rare with Chinese restaurants in the HK$200 to HK$300 price range to have to book very far in advance – there are so many in this category that if you can’t get into one place, it’s easy enough to try the next one on the list.
But such is the popularity of Zither Garden that when we called a week before eating there, we were told that we could come in any time between 6pm to 6.30pm, but we’d have to give the table back by 8pm.
Our waitress was friendly and helpful: she prevented us from over-ordering, and very discreetly and apologetically told us when our time was up.
The speciality here is Peking duck, and three of us ordered a half portion (HK$168; whole is HK$328). The skin wasn’t as crisp as we would like, but it had good flavour, while the meat was moist.
The carved duck was served with a nice array of accompaniments – not just the usual sugar, leek and cucumber, but also melon (which added a subtle sweetness), home-made barbecue sauce, honey apricot sauce, and a sufficient number of pancakes.
An appetiser of deep-fried eel pieces (HK$88) were crisp, mildly sweet and addictive.
Preserved egg with bean curd (HK$68) was surprising – usually at this price, this dish isn’t presented very well because silken bean curd is so difficult to slice neatly. Here, the bean curd came in thin, even slices, although the century egg was just roughly chopped.
Wok-fried minced duck with iceberg lettuce (HK$98) had a nice mix of textures: tender meat, crunchy vegetables and crisp lettuce leaves.
Stir-fried shrimp with salted egg yolk (HK$178) was another surprisingly good dish. The shrimp were plump and succulent, with a good, bouncy texture, and there was plenty of salted egg.
The only disappointing dish was sauté bean curd sheet with pickled vegetables. The bean curd sheets had a rough, coarse texture, and the dish was too salty.
Zither Garden, 19/F, QRE Plaza, 202 Queens Road East, Wan Chai, tel: 2351 0528. About HK$260 without drinks or the service charge
While you are in the area: