Hong Kong restaurant reviews

Shanghai Yu Yuan in Causeway Bay: lion’s head with hairy crab worth the visit, other dishes less so

  • There were minor problems with many of the dishes we tried, but the crab made up for it
  • The fried river shrimp with longjing tea was another stand-out dish
PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 January, 2019, 12:33pm
UPDATED : Friday, 04 January, 2019, 6:27pm

In retrospect, we were glad we ate at Shanghai Yu Yuan during hairy crab season, because one of the crab dishes we ordered made the visit worthwhile. It wasn’t the fun pei (mung bean sheets) with hairy crab roe (HK$398), which, at that price, we had high hopes for.

Sadly, though, it wasn’t nearly as good as the versions we’ve tasted in Shanghai, which were far more generous with the crab.

Instead, it was a dish of lion’s head with hairy crab that we loved, and which was being offered with a starter of mock goose (both dishes for HK$398).

The mock goose (also called vegetarian goose; bean curd sheets wrapped around shredded mushrooms, carrots and other vegetables) was a little too oily, but the lion’s head was just fantastic – large, pillowy, delicate meatballs in a rich, delicious broth with tender leaves of napa cabbage.

We’d also be happy to eat the ham braised with osmanthus honey with fried bean curd sheet and cucumber in a steamed bun (HK$88 for two). Unlike at many other places we’ve tried, the thin slice of cured ham wasn’t stringy, the bean curd sheet was crisp, and the honey didn’t overwhelm.

Fried river shrimp with longjing tea (HK$198) were small, soft and delicate, with a subtle flavour. Pea shoots with garlic (HK$198) were a good, seasonal dish, although the vegetables were only tepid when they were served.

Our starters were the least successful part of the meal. Drunken foie gras (HK$168) was too winey, and needed some sweetness to balance the harsh flavour. Smoked fish fillet in sweet soy sauce (HK$78) had good flavour, but was difficult to eat because of the fine, needle-like bones.

Of the desserts, the well-filled sesame glutinous rice balls (HK$48) in a light, winey broth were better than the deep-fried banana soufflé balls with red bean paste (four for HK$68), which were dense instead of light.

Shanghai Yu Yuan, 26/F V Point, 18 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2156 1688. About HK$570 without drinks or the service charge.

While you’re in the area

Hunan Bistro in Causeway Bay review: delicious spicy specialities

New & noted: Papi, Causeway Bay – great casual Italian

New & noted: Chongqing Liuyishou Hotpot, Causeway Bay