New Causeway Bay restaurants: delicious, refined Chinese fare at affordable prices at GeGe Fu Royal Cuisine
Opulently decorated interiors, attentive service and dishes such as the excellent chrysanthemum tofu soup, and the excellent fried vermicelli with egg and mung bean sprouts, are proof this newcomer has a bright future
My friends and I had a good feeling about GeGe Fu Royal Cuisine from the moment we walked in. It’s a beautiful, opulently decorated space that stops on the right side of being over the top.
We visited the restaurant, which replaces Mango Tree in the Cubus building in Causeway Bay, when it was so new that the menu wasn’t finalised – we were handed sheets of paper, rather than a bound copy, and many of the dishes that were listed weren’t available (we were told this in advance).
We were initially offered just the set menus, which seemed like reasonable value (the more expensive one, at HK$588 per person, had sea cucumber as one of the courses) but decided to go à la carte and asked for the assistance of the affable general manager.
Chrysanthemum tofu soup was an excellent deal at HK$68 per bowl. Usually, this is a pricey soup because of the skill involved in cutting the soft beancurd into strands so fine the tofu resembles the flower it’s named after. The chef did a good job of that, and the beancurd came in a broth that was clear and subtle.
That dish set the tone for the other dishes we tried, several of which were much more delicate than versions we’ve eaten at other restaurants. Shanghai braised pork belly had a sauce that was completely the opposite to the heavy, thick, brown versions we’ve been served before.
The meat and fat of the skin-on belly were very soft, although the dish should have been served hotter (we sent it back to the kitchen to be reheated, and when it was returned, it was much better).
Citrus free-range chicken steamed with tangerines (HK$188) was slightly overcooked so the meat was dry, but the sauce was light and clean tasting. Braised beef in special gravy (HK$68) was wonderfully tender, while the golden tiger prawns with salted egg yolk (HK$208) were large and crunchy.
The general manger recommended something we probably wouldn’t have ordered if he hadn’t pointed it out: a humble dish of fried vermicelli with eggs and mung bean sprouts (HK$188). Who knew that scrambled eggs could be this fantastic?
It was skilfully cooked so the eggs were firm without being dry, the strands of vermicelli were distinct and not clumped together (this is a difficult ingredient to cook) and the mung bean sprouts had a delicate crunch.
There’s only one dessert on the menu (for now), listed as “Empress Dowager’s preferred after dinner delight, malva nuts” (HK$68). The Sterculia lychnophora Hance was prepared two ways: as a jelly and a tea that was served (deliberately) tepid. We’d never heard of malva nuts before, but enjoyed the cooling feeling the dessert gave that seemed to calm our stomachs after the large meal.
GeGe Fu Royal Cuisine, 5/F, Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2779 1038. About HK$400 without drinks or the service charge
While you are in the area: