New restaurants in Central: beef the name of the game at Ngau Saam Gun
In its new location on Gough Street, Ngau Saam Gun continues to serve up a wide variety of tasty beef dishes, with stand-outs including the deep-fried beef dumplings and the satay beef vermicelli
The entrance to the basement space that is the new Ngau Saam Gun can be reached through sister restaurant, Min Saam Gun. The staff lead you down narrow stairs into a small space (part of it is the kitchen) that has grey brick walls and retro dark wood furniture. Things are brightened up with colourful embroidered silk cushions and lovely covered lanterns hanging from the high ceilings.
Just as with Min Saam Gun, the clue to Ngau Saam Gun’s focus lies in the name: they specialise in beef.
Brothers mala beef (HK$110) features beef shank and beef tongue in a spicy Sichuan sauce. The first hit was of the numbing Sichuan peppercorns, but the flavours balanced out. Although the sauce was spicy, it wasn’t overwhelming, and both meats were very tender.
Deep-fried beef dumplings (five for HK$120) were crisp and juicy; one of my guests liked them so much he wanted another order. Beef brisket in broth (HK$210 for small, HK$280 for large) was just fantastic: lots of really succulent meat and thick slices of sweet radish in a light, clean and delicate broth.
Beef brisket on Wellington Street (HK$210; the restaurant used to be on Wellington Street) consisted of battered and fried brisket with three dips. While the meat was tender, the coating was too thick so it was slightly oily.
Satay beef vermicelli (HK$160) seemed expensive, but the quality of the beef was excellent. The fatty beef slices were laid over mung bean noodles in a rich, peanut sauce.
We ordered rice in the cow (HK$150) because the description sounded so odd. It turned out to be fried rice with Italian parsley wrapped in thinly sliced fatty beef with melting cheese. The presentation could have been better, and it needed more cheese, but when you got the right mouthful, it was oddly satisfying.
We ordered one non-beef dish: chicken in the windy desert (HK$220 for half, HK$430 for whole), which had moist meat and crisp skin.
Ngau Saam Gun, B/F, 43 Gough Street, Central, tel: 2865 6899. About HK$300 without drinks. No service charge.
While you’re in the area: