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Sitting along the beach at The Pulse in Repulse Bay, Meen & Rice channels a classic dai pai dong, with interior decorations that include a board of hanging plackets, noodle strainers fixed to the ceiling, and a mirror decorated with Chinese calligraphy. Seating is kept casual, with options that include semi-booths and tables scattered throughout the space. The restaurant is particularly popular with families, although you will also find many beach-goers looks for a quick meal. The sounds and smells of the open kitchen at the back of the restaurant drift throughout the space, which again pays homage to the once-ubiquitous dai pai dongs of Hong Kong.
Expect a range of local Cantonese comfort foods on the menu that have remained popular in Hong Kong through the times. The plain homemade rice noodle rolls are served with hoisin and peanut sauce for dipping, steamed with just the right consistency. A classic rendition, the fresh shrimp wonton noodles are served in a flavourful broth, and we found the crustacean to have a nice springy bite. Less successful is the baby pak choy and minced shrimp fritter—although the flavours were enjoyable, the dish was too greasy for our liking. The roasted pork belly consists of a good lean-to-fat ratio, with the skin crisp and meat tender. The dish is served with a side of mustard sauce for dipping, although this can be used sparingly. If you still have room for dessert, the light homemade crispy dough twist is generously drizzled with honey—a sweet finish to a satisfying meal.
There is a limited wine selection here, with one sparkling, two whites, one rosé, and two reds on offer. On the beer front, Tsing Tao or Yona Yona may be ordered. Alternatively, non-alcoholic beverages include: milk tea, lemon tea, coffee, yuanyang, Chinese teas, and a selection of homemade lemonades.
Servers are polite and knowledgeable of the menu, although it may be difficult at times to get the attention of wait staff when visiting during busy hours.
A filling meal for two including a drink each can easily hit below the HK$400 mark—a price we’re willing to pay (even if it’s dai pai dong-inspired cuisine) for the quality of food and comfortable surroundings