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Located in the City Garden Hotel in North Point, Yue is a contemporary version of the typical Chinese restaurant. There are plenty of large round tables, making it suitable for large group catch-ups and family dining. The main dining hall is a popular wedding banquet venue, so it would be wise to check and book ahea. The café-like corridor dining area is always open, however, with spacious banquette seats set on pavilion-style platforms, which are a good option for parties of four or less.
Most of Yue’s menu lists recognisable Cantonese favourites, but the front page is proudly reserved for their award-winning dishes. Out of those, we try two – the first is the seared garoupa with fish maw on egg white with truffle sauce, served in individual glasses and made from layers of smooth steamed mousses, it is a delightful take on the seafood-and-egg combination loved by Cantonese chefs for retaining the fresh flavours from the fruits of the sea.
The second of the prized dishes we try is the steamed mince pork with foie gras and scallops, which appears in a pre-heated stone bowl, similar to a Korean dolsot, as a single, large meatball topped with finely diced scallops and a bubble of spherified pork juices (which gives it the appearance of an egg yolk). We’re instructed to pierce the bubble and mix the pork juices in with the meatball and scallops, however, they are both too firm, and we have trouble breaking it up. As we’re eating, we find that the firmness can be at least partly attributed to it being overcooked in the steamer.
More successful is the baked crab shell stuffed with fresh crabmeat and onion. It is generously filled with crabmeat, and comes topped with a pleasing, golden-brown crust.
The stir-fried dishes of sliced pork neck in X.O. sauce and egg noodles in soy sauce, both virtually Cantonese staples, are much too greasy, while the poached fresh tofu skin, lily bulb, gingko and bok choi in superior broth is so devoid of oil that the tofu skin clumps together and the vegetables are rough against the palate. The broth, one of the core items of a Cantonese kitchen, hardly has any flavour.
For dessert, sweetened almond cream with fresh silken bean curd does the traditional dish justice with its subtle sweetness and rich nuttiness helped along by the soft-set tofu, and is an enjoyable end to the meal.
The restaurant doesn’t offer a premium tea menu, and the wine list is limited to lower-end offerings. Wines by the glass aren’t listed, but are available upon asking the staff. Unfortunately the staff is not familiar with wine, which makes selection a bit of a shot in the dark. If you’re keen on wine, it might be worth bringing your own bottle.
Overall the service seems task-oriented and sufficient for simple orders, but when asked about dishes in more detail, servers appear unsure. Many of the servers seem to walk the floor with their heads down, so it can require some effort to get their attention.
Dinner for two with wine came to around $800, which is quite reasonable and on par with the quality of food and service.