Hong Kong restaurant review: Hunan Bistro, Causeway Bay - delicious specialities from the spicy southern province
This sleek modern restaurant serves up classic and less familiar Hunan dishes full of bold flavours and plenty of heat. The only reason we didn’t finish all the food was that we ordered way too much
We ordered too much at Hunan Bistro. We knew we were ordering too much; our affable and helpful server (who turned out to be the owner) knew we were ordering too much. We only realised just how much too much was when the dishes (which came too quickly) covered the table.
Alarmed, we cancelled one of the dishes that hadn’t been served yet (and which we really wanted to try) and asked that they hold back on the others until we’d made a dent in the food on our table.
Next time we come, we’ll bring more people.
Hunan Bistro is a modern, sleek space on the cusp of Causeway Bay and Wan Chai. The pictorial menu is extensive and lists some of our favourite Hunan dishes, including lots of innards, as well as a few things we weren’t familiar with.
Fish head with yellow and red chillies (HK$248), recommended by the owner, was our favourite dish. The fish head, cut into smaller, manageable pieces, instead of served whole (as it often is) had plenty of tender flesh and gelatin-like collagen in a sauce that looked fiery, but was just spicy enough so we were able to drink the flavourful liquid.
The pork intestines in hotpot (HK$168) was more dangerous: the fresh and dried chillies hid in the wrinkles and folds of the intestines, waiting to sear the throats of unwary eaters who didn’t carefully pick them out. The intestines were tender and had been cleaned thoroughly to rid them of any funky flavours, and the plentiful amount of onions cooked with them were sweet and soft.
Pork knuckle with preserved vegetable (HK$138) was a nice variation on the dish that is usually made with pork belly (although that is available too). The knuckles had been simmered long and slow so the meat easily pulled away from the bone and the skin and fat were soft.
Stir-fried sausage (HK$168) was fatty, intense and peppery, and we should have ordered steamed white rice to go with it.
Steamed diao fish with soybeans and pepper (HK$88) was the only dish we didn’t like: we didn’t expect such intense, funky flavours.
Changsha rice noodles (HK$68) and an off-menu item of stir-fried celtuce (HK$78) were non-spicy dishes that calmed our palates.
Hunan Bistro, 409 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2788 0897. About HK$250 without drinks or the service charge.
While you’re in the area