Ying Jee Club: Cantonese classics with delightful eye for details

Sliced giant grouper with rice in fish broth proves unexpected highlight at high-end restaurant where attentive staff focus on the little things

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 November, 2017, 10:46am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 November, 2017, 11:03am

The entrance to Ying Jee Club offers an indication of what this high-end Cantonese restaurant offers. Secreted away on the upper-ground floor of the Nexxus Building, the façade is a plain wall with a discreet sign bearing the establishment’s name.

Once inside we were greeted by a team of attentive staff who were delighted to go into great detail about each menu option, with seven or eight options per category - be it the chef’s recommendations, poultry, seafood or vegetarian pages.

The amuse-bouche was a duck terrine with crispy goji berries, and a spoonful of braised bean curd in fish stock: both delicately flavoured, finely balanced morsels fired a desire for more.

We began with the Jing Yee combination platter (HK$200), comprising four tiny appetisers: the marinated diced beef shin with jellyfish and home-made XO sauce was the stand-out offering.

Then we moved on to the chef-recommended stir-fried lobster with shallot, red and spring onions (HK$380 per person) - the tiny, halved crustacean was beautifully presented, but perhaps overpowered by the onion.

As with most of Ying Jee’s other dishes, the wok-fried Australian M9 wagyu beef in leek and black pepper sauce (HK$520) was truly a high-end variant of a Canto classic, as was the braised crab meat and conpoy with asparagus and broccoli. Every dish would be immediately familiar to anyone who knows Hong Kong, yet each one was rendered here with great attention to detail.

The unexpected highlight was the sliced giant grouper with rice in fish broth (HK$520): it was richly rewarding - the fish stock clearly would have been a labour of love for Ying Jee’s team.

Praise must also go to the cocktail selection: the Ying Jee Fizz (dark rum, peach liqueur, home-made ginger syrup, lemon juice, egg white and soda, garnished with gold leaf) was that rare, refreshing, gender-neutral drink any non-teetotaller can enjoy.

To end your own upscale Cantonese experience, we recommend the chilled sago cream combined with avocado and chocolate (HK$55). I never thought I’d wax lyrical about sago, but here we are: it is unmissable.