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For most mass-market Chinese restaurants, design is the least of their concerns. As diners, we’ve come to expect that overly bright fluorescent lights, garish furniture and tables packed too close together are the norm. Tsui Hang Village in Causeway Bay, however, has clearly made it their imperative to break away from all that. With slightly dimmed, comfortable lighting, tables placed at generous distances apart from each other, solid timber furniture influenced by the clean lines of 50s modernism, and even a large window showing the inner workings of the kitchen, they are definitely going for a design-led, but welcoming, approach.
Focusing on traditional, homely dishes, Tsui Hang Village’s menu breaks Cantonese food down into finer districts and styles, such as Shunde and Hakka, and features dishes rarely found in other restaurants.
To start, we have their signature barbecued pork. Better known locally as char siu, it is a little underwhelming. The glaze is a beautiful plum red and the surface is well-seasoned. The interior, while extremely tender and juicy, is relatively bland, meaning the pork was not sufficiently marinated.
The crispy minced carp cakes and bread topped with milk custard is a well-executed example of a hard-to-find dish from Daliang, in Shunde. The fish cakes have bite and are flavourful, and the deep-fried bread is surprisingly free of grease and crisp; the perfect base for the wobbly milk custard on top.
The mustard greens in clear broth with dried scallops are tender and the light bitterness of the greens cleverly subdued by the sweetness and umami of the dried scallops and chicken-based broth.
Light and not too sweet, with a crisp, open crumb, the freshly baked walnut cookies are a lovely way to end the meal.
The wines are well priced, with most bottles around HK$300, but feature exclusively large, safe labels. Sadly for a Chinese restaurant, no premium teas are available.
Staff are knowledgeable and efficient, however they seem incapable of paying attention to more than their task on hand and it can be hard to catch their attention mid-meal.
A meal for two is just over HK$700, which is excellent value given the high quality of food and comfortable environment.