Located in Excelsior Hong Kong, and renovated a few years ago, Yee Tung Heen exudes cosy, contemporary Chinese luxe. The atmosphere is so seamlessly put together that you’d easily forget that the space doesn’t have a single window. At the reception, you are welcomed by a dramatic floor-to-ceiling shelf showcasing various Chinese teas and tea-making accoutrements, a nod to the beverage programme at the restaurant. The space is anchored by dark timber and lacquered bamboo, which features in the intricate wooden screens and refined Art Deco-inspired furniture. They mingle elegantly with the textile-lined accent walls in rich jewel tones, and is all brought together with thoughtful lighting. The dining room is open plan, but there are banquettes and strategically designed nooks to create a sense of privacy, although for a fully private experience, there are also five standalone rooms.
We start the meal with a selection of three barbecued meats – roasted barbecued pork, crispy pork belly and roast suckling pig. They were textbook versions of their respective dishes and the smaller appetiser portions meant that we were able to satiate our curious palates.
We ordered a standard portion of the braised beef with sesame and onion in beef jus so that we could see the dish in its full-sized glory – an impressive deboned rib, slow-cooked till chopstick-tender, in a glorious, dark, glossy soy-based sauce.
The pan-fried chicken with matsutake and abalone sauce is served in a pre-heated casserole to keep it warm. Packed full of generous nuggets of chicken seared to a beautiful golden-brown, it is accompanied by equally chunky and incredibly fragrant mushrooms.
The whole Boston lobster in two flavours offers the decadent juxtaposition of plump claws steamed with aromatic Huadiao rice wine and light, tender and juicy dices of stir-fried lobster.
For dessert, black and white sesame rolls, a mainstay on dim sum trolleys in the 80s and 90s, evoke a sense of nostalgia. Like the classic version, sheets of sesame jelly are rolled, Swiss-roll-like. While the sheets weren’t the thinnest we’ve seen, this version is replete with the moreish flavours of toasted sesame.
Tea lovers will delight in the menu of specialty brews from all across China, including two signature house blends, all brewed by staff expertly trained in the relevant techniques. Vinophiles aren’t left out, however, with a reputable cellar containing anything from everyday favourites to acclaimed labels, and a good variety of wines by the glass.
The staff works with such graceful efficiency it’s almost like they’re not there, until you realise that all questions have been answered, all dishes served, plates cleared and tea cups filled.
Dinner for two with drinks comes to around $1300, which is excellent value for a faultless experience of brilliant food and service.