Diner’s Diary

Michelin star Man Wah restaurant in Central: fresh dishes from new executive chef Wong Wing-keung

The fine-dining restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental hotel has a new chef and he is coming up with some creative dishes. Stand-outs included the sea urchin pudding and the signature pastry puffs

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 September, 2018, 1:01pm
UPDATED : Monday, 24 September, 2018, 1:01pm

Dishes at Man Wah, the fine-dining Chinese restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, are going to be more creative under the newly installed Chinese executive chef Wong Wing-keung.

Wong will also head the kitchen at Yee Tung Heen in The Excelsior Hong Kong, making him one very busy chef. But he has managed to find time to think up some interesting menu items for Man Wah, which we sampled at a recent media tasting.

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One of them is sea urchin pudding, diamond shaped and deep-fried. Bite into the crunchy delicate layer and inside is a very creamy umami filling. Wong suggests we have a bit of sugar with it, but we were already impressed by the execution and taste.

When it comes to dim sum, there’s a pretty dumpling coloured with beetroot and chock full of mushrooms. We like the presentation of the beef dumplings wrapped up in a bean curd sheet and topped with roe for a bit of crunch to contrast with the minced beef.

The giant soup dumpling was a challenge to eat without creating a mess, but somehow Wong and his team managed to fill it with diced shrimp, scallop, pork, and shiitake mushrooms and still have room for lots of supreme broth.

Iberico pork char siu is commonplace in high-end Chinese restaurants, and here it isn’t too fatty; it’s very juicy and with a touch of sweetness from the longan honey.

Meanwhile, the delicate pastry puffs are divine – there’s the signature taro with chicken, scallop and shiitake mushroom, and another with wagyu beef seasoned with black pepper sauce. The flakiness of the pastry is pretty amazing.

When it comes to the main dishes, the wok-fried lobster with scrambled eggs, osmanthus and bean sprouts was underwhelming as it was under seasoned and needed some XO sauce to perk it up. But it’s best to err on the side of caution.

The braised abalone in casserole was absolutely divine, meaty, yet not tough at all. It was accompanied with chicken and the dish had a bit of a kick from the chilli, although the sun-dried shrimp was on the dry side.

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At this point we were all getting quite full. Noodles with wontons are typically served in supreme broth, but here they were presented dry on a plate. We couldn’t quite finish the egg noodles, but did our best to tackle the wontons that had meaty shrimp in them.

Finally came dessert – glutinous rice dumplings filled with finely ground black sesame in almond soup with egg white.

We look forward to more of Wong’s creations, Hopefully a second Michelin star isn’t too far off.

Man Wah, 25/F, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road Central, tel: 2825 4003