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Located in the basement of the InterContinental Grand Stanford in Tsim Sha Tsui East, Hoi King Heen doesn’t really have a sea view (what “hoi king” means in Cantonese) but it’s definitely still a place to see and be seen as it’s an old favourite for local businessmen when entertaining on the Kowloon side. The decor is traditional Chinese banquet hall, with low ceilings, but the atmosphere is always buzzing with excitement with all the wining and dining going on. Expect to literally be on stage if seated on the platform encircled by low balustrades in the main dining room.
The hotel’s signature Chinese restaurant serves up superlative contemporary Cantonese cuisine on the bold rather than the subtle side of the spectrum. Steamed garoupa roll with Yunnan ham marries the oceanic sweetness of the deep sea fish with the salty umami of the preserved Chinese ham. Stewed chicken with preserved plums came sizzling in a hot clay pot, the salted Cantonese plums providing an appetising kick. We loved the generous tender chunks of award-winning braised beef brisket stuffed in pear (or papaya in the summer if Chef Leung Fai-Hung cannot source the perfect seasonal nashi pears for the dish). The three-tastes tofu and fortune bag, though an award-winning dish and often recommended, however, was simply too bland flavour-wise and texturally. Stick to their stir-fries with plenty of wok hei as well as vegetables taking a healthy and prominent place together with the main protein. Hawthorn cakes, with its pleasantly sweet tang, is a refreshing dessert to finish a hearty meal.
Mostly new world wines that complement the flavours at Hoi King Heen. While the wait staff are not exactly knowledgeable about the wine, they’re more than happy to let you have a taste before deciding on a bottle.
Service is friendly and brisk, attentive without being intrusive at all. The wait staff are more than welcome to recommend their signature dishes or rarer items according to your liking.
Fresh, high quality seasonal ingredients and the chefs’ execution of contemporary Cantonese warrants the price range, around HK$1,600 for two, including tea and wine.