Restaurant Review: Yan Toh Heen, Intercontinental Hong Kong

 

The newly renovated Yan Toh Heen is even more elegant and sophisticated than ever. And bear in mind that this cultural gem of a hotel restaurant is actually a one-star Michelin-rated venue – an accolade that it has enjoyed for five years in a row.

Famed for its exquisite Cantonese food and not-so-shabby harbor view – it’s a sweeping panorama and it’s bloody excellent – this venue is the ideal place for a special lunch or dinner, Canto-style.

Considered by many to be one of the world’s finest Chinese restaurants, Chef Lau Yiu Fai and his team expertly prepare the restaurant’s acclaimed dishes using only the finest and freshest ingredients. The exquisite jade table settings and contemporary interior design add to the experience, but it’s when diners begin the meal that they’re really blown away.

The contemporary setting of Yan Toh Heen.

The contemporary setting of Yan Toh Heen.

One of the many must-order dishes is the Yan Toh Heen superior dumpling order, which is a trio of dumplings comprising steamed grouper dumpling with shrimp roe and peppercorns, steamed scallop dumpling with bird’s nest and gold leaf, and steamed crab leg dumpling with green vegetables. All of the fillings have distinct flavors and textures and are wrapped in a silky smooth pastry. They are accompanied by a set of six dipping sauces, including the extra-special, homemade XO sauce, for which the chef is highly praised.

The delicious superior dumplings by Chef Lau.

The delicious superior dumplings by Chef Lau.

The golden scallops with minced shrimp and fresh pear has been a signature dish since the restaurant opened in 1984. It’s a dish that’s made extra special by the pear, which adds a fresh and crunchy bite, lifting out the flavours. One of the new dishes is the wok-seared cod fish with garlic, preserved olives and herbs – it’s one of Chef Lau’s new creations, and is already a much-loved addition.

Chef Lau and his team hard at work in the kitchen of Yan Toh Heen.

Chef Lau and his team hard at work in the kitchen of Yan Toh Heen.

For dessert, the basil dragon pearls served with ginger panna cotta and ginger ice cream is a real winner. The creamy ginger panna cotta coats the slippery little pearls as they slide over your tongue, and then the ginger ice cream sharpens it right up. It’s both an indulgent and refreshing dish at the same time.

The delicious Basil Dragon Pearl and ice cream dessert.

The delicious Basil Dragon Pearl and ice cream dessert.

Yan Toh Heen is one of the best fine dining Cantonese restaurants in Hong Kong. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

Visit Yan Toh Heen’s website for more info or see all the articles, top ten lists and guides in our Hong Kong travel section.

 

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Christina is a globe-trotting journalist born and raised in Hong Kong, though a former resident of Thailand and London, who loves traveling and currently calls Sydney home. Find her on Google+.