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Tucked away on the second basement level at The Royal Garden in Tsim Sha Tsui, Dong Lai Shun is a bright and well-ventilated restaurant thanks to the marble water fountain and the cleverly set light fixtures. The open and airy layout makes for an ideal space to enjoy its signature Beijing and Huaiyang cuisines, such as lamb hot pot. Dark wooden furnishings, lattice grilles and screen partitions also add to the traditional ambience.
The restaurant boasts a dazzling selection of dim sum at lunch but we find it is the main courses that truly steal the show. Their wok-fried crabmeat rock lobster with salted egg yolk on rice crackers is an award-winning dish, and it is easy to see why. The dish is a fantastic melange of luscious crabmeat, decadent crab roe and salted egg yolk, with deep-fried taro rolls to enhance crispiness and tiny crab-shaped ginger tea jellies to offset the greasiness of the dish. It is hands down the best dish of the meal. In comparison, the dim sum are less successful. The crabmeat and egg white spring rolls are too bland, and would have benefited from some more strongly-flavoured ingredients to lift the entire dish. On the other hand, the black truffle scallop dumplings tip the other end of the scale, with the black truffle overshadowing the freshness of the scallops. The deep-fried boneless chicken in eight pieces is surprisingly tender and succulent in texture and well seasoned in flavours, and the Dong Lai Shun signature fried rice with shredded beef, mutton and shrimp is a warm dish that can easily satisfy your cravings for carbs and is impeccable in terms of flavours and textures.
Just like many Chinese restaurants in town, the wine menu in Dong Lai Shun features a limited selection of vintage wines and only a few by the glass options. The recommended Tormaresca Chardonnay Puglia 2013 from Italy has charming notes of white flowers, thyme and orange rind, with a persistent aftertaste, and pairs well with the seafood dishes. Comparatively, their Chinese liquor and tea menu has much more to offer. If you feel like splurging, a Qian Fu Hua Diao 30 Years is yours for HK$5,600. The tea menu also includes detailed description under each item for reference.
We are very satisfied with the service in Dong Lai Shun. Staff are cheerful, attentive and well-versed with the menu, as well as good at recommending dishes and suggesting appropriate portions according to the number of guests.
A sumptuous meal for two with a glass of wine each costs around HK$1,200. We find that it is very good value for money given the high standard of food and superb service.