Mon to Sat, 11:30 am - 3:00 pm; Sun, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Mon to Sun, 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
3 rooms for 12-16 persons
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Sautéed king prawns with hawthorn herbs in chilli sauce
Steamed fresh crab claw with minced ginger and rice wine
Shallow-fried crispy chicken
Located in the lower lobby of Conrad Hong Kong, Chinese restaurant Golden Leaf does not have the luxury of receiving natural light or our famed harbour view, as there is no window, but the high ceiling, perfectly-lit interior and its classic decorations combined is enough to render a lovely dining ambience. Chinese restaurants have an unfair reputation of being slightly loud and chaotic places, but Golden Leaf refutes that with its optimal noise level and abundant spacing between tables.
Golden Leaf is known for its light touch, with all dishes arriving relatively light without excess oil or overpowering flavours, a welcome change from the heavy-handedness of some of the city’s dim sum chefs. That said, one of our favourite dishes was also one that was more exuberant in flavour: the sautéed king prawns with hawthorn herb in chilli sauce. Perfectly balanced in a sweet and sour sauce, every bite came with a hint of spiciness and was a delight on the palate. Simple Cantonese dishes like braised bean curd with fresh mushrooms in oyster sauce and the Golden Leaf fried rice also subtly show off the chef’s technique, as well as the superior quality of the ingredients used. The bean curd was moderately crisp on the surface but extremely smooth in the core, while the latter dish came with generous ingredients, highlighting pine nuts, bits of crab roe and preserved eggs, all adding their own texture and taste to the dish. There is no shortage of creative dishes. Although the jelly fish with sliced drunken chicken came somewhat surprisingly in the form of sliced sausages and was dry and meek on the “drunkenness”, the fried turtle jelly dessert, with the crispy and sweet crust, was certainly a first and gave a lovely twist to the otherwise unassuming Cantonese herbal jelly.
By the glass, served in premium Riedel glassware, Golden Leaf offers 19 red and white wines, as well as four champagnes for the celebratory evenings. That would normally make an impressive list of house wine in many restaurants, but the wine list, with several hundred bottles from multiple continents, dwarfs the 23 house wines completely. The list is particularly deep on French wine, but also offers rarer finds like a Greek white and a dessert wine from Hungary. Customers looking for the extra Chinese touch will revel in seeing nine different teas with health benefits spelled out, as well as nine Chinese wines including the world famous Moutai.
The service, almost as guaranteed by the renowned reputation of the five-star hotel, is more than satisfactory. Every server was attentive through the meal, without at all being intrusive, and was armed with amble knowledge on food and drinks at all time.
A meal for two costs about HK$1,400, excluding wine and dessert, which is by no means an economical dinner. But sumptuous meals come at a cost and along with the premium hotel service, this is a worthwhile splurge.