Yat Tung Heen in Yau Ma Tei review: oversalted dishes on the chef’s night off mar a decent meal
The respected restaurant has been revamped, and still delights with well-executed Cantonese food, although the seasoning and flavour of two of the dishes was a little disappointing for a Michelin-starred venue
Yat Tung Heen at the Eaton Hotel in Yau Ma Tei isn’t a new restaurant – it opened in 1990 (the branch in Wan Chai was established six years later).
But the one-Michelin-star restaurant recently reopened after a six-month renovation, so we took the opportunity to review it.
We decided to skip the grand opening set menu (HK$1,580 plus 10 per cent for two) and ordered à la carte. We found out after the meal that the head chef was away on the night we visited, which probably accounts for a couple of the dishes being too salty.
The oversalting wasn’t overwhelming on the honey-glazed barbecue pork (HK$238). Although it looked too lean, it was actually succulent.
However, the salt was the first thing we tasted on the pan-fried chicken off the bone with ginger and mandarin peel (HK$298 for half). While the chicken pieces were tender, the dish was dull, and we couldn’t taste any mandarin peel.
We liked the other dishes, though. Stir-fried suckling pig with conpoy, bean sprouts and scrambled eggs (HK$380) was an excellent version of what is often called shark’s fin for the poor because the strands of mung bean vermicelli resemble the expensive and prohibited (to me and many others) ingredient.
The topping of the suckling pig – which was roasted, not stir-fried – was an unusual addition and we weren’t sure if we were supposed to eat it with the other ingredients, or separately (we chose the latter).
The suckling pig had crisp skin and tender meat, the eggs were scrambled so they were in small, moist pieces (although not so small they resembled another name for the dish – osmanthus eggs), the bean sprouts maintained some crunch and the conpoy added flavour.
Stewed goose webs with pomelo peel and black mushrooms with abalone sauce in clay pot (HK$368) shows the Chinese skill of taking inexpensive ingredients and turning them into something luxurious. The goose webs, which were very soft, gave a lip-smacking stickiness, and the pomelo and thick, meaty mushrooms absorbed the wonderfully rich sauce.
We also loved our second clay pot dish of stewed Chinese lettuce with preserved shrimp paste (HK$188). The lettuce leaves, lightly cooked so they still maintained their crunch, were coated with plenty of the pungent shrimp paste.
Yat Tung Heen, B2, Eaton Hong Kong, 380 Nathan Road, Yau Ma Tei, tel: 2710 1093. About HK$430 without drinks or the service charge.
While you’re in the area