Restaurant review: Yuet Lai Shun - well-made Cantonese classics
Retro and proud of it, this place in Sheung Wan offers a taste of the good old days
Yuet Lai Shun is retro and proud of it. You can tell from the black-and-white "Hong Kong of yesteryear" photos on the walls, the rickshaw by the entrance, old-fashioned knick-knacks, and a menu of well-priced, well-made Cantonese classics.
We pre-ordered the double-boiled pork lung and almond milk soup (HK$268 for a large tureen). It was excellent, made not only with the expected chicken and soft, tender chunks of pig's lung, but also ginkgo nuts and whole fresh water chestnuts.
Poached fresh chicken with soy sauce and honey (HK$288 for half; the fresh poultry needs to be pre-ordered, the regular version, which costs HK$128 for half, does not) was another winner. The chicken, served with its innards, including liver and intestines, had firm, moist meat and a light, balanced sauce.
Deep-fried spare ribs with olives, black beans and honey (HK$98) had sweet, sour and salty flavours that coated the delicately crunchy chunks of meat. Sautéed oysters with ginger and spring onions (HK$188) were presented in an earthenware casserole. The six oysters were plump and succulent, and the heat of the sizzling casserole helped infuse the aromatics.
Stir-fried fish noodles with vermicelli, dried scallops, dried shrimp and XO sauce (HK$98) was subtle, and went well with the large chunks of steamed angled luffa with fried garlic (HK$88).
The only dish we wouldn't order again was the deep-fried shrimp balls with cheese filling (HK$108). Wrapped in fine pastry strands, it looked interesting, and the shrimp paste had the correct bouncy texture, but it was heavy and lacked refinement.
We finished with complimentary orange slices and layered date jellies. The food came at a good pace and the staff were friendly.
Yuet Lai Shun, Seaview Commercial Building, 21-24 Connaught Road West, Sheung Wan, tel: 2771 8870. (Branch in Mong Kok, tel: 2788 3078.) About HK$290 without drinks or the service charge