It's been a while since I was able to take time off to really sit down, and enjoy a good fine dining experience. Fortunately, during one of my recent business trip to Hong Kong, I got to do just that with my colleagues. The venue for this long overdue experience was the Yan Toh Heen Chinese Restaurant in Intercontinental Hotel, Tsim Sha Tsui.
It is not easy for a restaurant to be under the same roof as other prestigious names such as Nobu and Spoon by Alain Ducasse. Instead of falling into oblivion, Yan Toh Heen has grown from strength to strength, from being known as Tsim Sha Tsui's best restaurant to being awarded the prestigious Michelin 1 Star. Expectations were sky high from the moment we congregate at the entrance - waiting for their 6pm opening hour.
Entrance mildly grandeur but inviting nevertheless.
Apparently the name of the restaurant loosely translates as 'elegant dining with picturesque view'. The name was spot on.
View was nothing short of breathtaking.
The restaurant ambiance provided good 'Ying and Yang' balance as well. Here's the Ying:-
And here's the Yang:-
The setting of each table within the restaurant is nothing short of refined luxury. All handcrafted out of green jade.
First dish - Crispy pork belly, roasted to perfection and cut in cubes.
Second dish, one of my all time favorite, perfectly roasted Peking Duck Skin. The waiter skilfully demonstrated his slicing skills next to the table as we watch the succulent meat and skin being carved with grace.
The result was paper fine crispy skin with on your plate waiting to be folded and devoured.
The duck meat was later brought back to the side of our table to be cooked with vegetables. Simple brilliance.
Third dish was a little overshadowed by the duck dish that we just had - Crispy fried wanton prawns.
As expected, close to perfection - fresh prawns with healthy ingredients complementing the flavours.
The other dishes were stars in their own way too.
The remaining trio were - wok-fried wagyu beef with shishito pepper and mushrooms served on a sizzling hot plate, braised garoupa fillet with ginger and spring onion in bean paste, and my all time favorite - Sweet and sour pork - A dish to remind you that the simple pleasures in life need not be expensive.
Oh, I almost forget the soup that clears lingering taste so that we can move from dish to dish - Seafood abalone soup.
It was getting dark when we were about to end our dining experience and the skyline that painted the backdrop of the restaurant quickly changed to an illuminated light display. Just nice to create an appetite for dessert.
Overall, it was a brilliant experience to say the least. Feels as if for the first time, each dish is carefully thought off, masterly planned and brilliantly executed. My colleagues and I were denied the opportunity to pay, hence our only regret is not being able to tell you the cost of this experience. We highly recommend dining at Yan Toh Heen to complete your Hong Kong experience.
Yan Toh Heen