Man Wah 文華廳

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The final stop on this short Hong Kong trip was dim sum lunch at Man Wah (文華廳) in Mandarin Oriental Hotel. This was my first time trying their lunch and I was quite excited to revisit Man Wah.

Man Wah has been honored with one Michelin star for several years, it has a very good reputation, specializing in exquisite Cantonese cuisine. Located on the 25th floor of the hotel, Man Wah offers an impeccable view of Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong skyline. The beautiful interior decor is also worth-mentioning. Largely accented with classical Chinese redwood, the pink tone gives a very solemn and elegant impression. The dining room is also decorated with gold-plated ceiling lamps and original silk wall paintings. 

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Man Wah offers both an a-la-carte and set menu which features celebrated dishes by Chef Chi-Kwong Hung, who has over 20 years of experience in various award-winning restaurants in Hong Kong. We pre-ordered a menu which included dim sum items we wanted to try, as well as old favourite dishes.

Service was no doubt of Mandarin Oriental’s standard – a warm welcome with deep bows and greetings, followed by tea service immediately after being seated. Complimentary condiments were served on each table.

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Our menu included three steamed dim sum along with three deep-fried and baked dishes. We started with pumpkin dumplings which was almost too cute to eat. Although the skin was a bit thick, it was incredibly soft with a slight chewy texture, the crabmeat in the center gives an umami taste. Even after we had the shrimp dumpling and returned for the second pumpkin dumpling a few minutes later, the skin remained soft. Definitely best to try it freshly served, but not necessarily.

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Prawn dumpling, or 'har gau' in Cantonese, is a classic dim sum favorite in Hong Kong. Encased within the thin crystal skin was juicy tiger prawn with a mild sweet flavor. The prawn stuffing was not too large compared to other restaurants I’ve had in Hong Kong such as Tin Lung Heen, Yan Toh Heen and Sun Tung Lok (TST). Not bad but there's better options in Hong Kong.

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Golden taro puff with whole abalone was one of the main reason for revisiting Man Wah. Despite the smaller size compared to Yan Toh Heen's,Man Wah’s version allowed you to have a taste of the best taro puff while still leaving room for other dishes (as taro is quite filling, especially deep-fried). The golden outer layer was incredibly crispy and not oily at all.Housed within its thin pastry skin was a delicious filling of creamy mashed taro. The well-cooked whole abalone with its yummy sauce on top makes it a must-try at Man Wah!

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My bestie and I missed our hometown flavors,especially Shanghainese soup dumplings 'Xiao Long Bao'. Hopefully Man Wah could satisfy our cravings. Their XLB was filled with a delicious broth and succulent pork. I have heard complains about its thick skin, however traditional soup dumpling in Shanghai tend to have thicker skins compared to those from Din Tai Fung.

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Overall I preferred their baked and deep-fried offerings over their steamed dim sum. More often than not their cute dim sum was notvery tasty. Although their lovely roasted goose puff was an exception. With a mouth-watering baked aroma, the pastry was buttery and flaky, flavours of the roasted goose worked really well. It would have been perfect if the pastry skin was thinner.

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After six dim sum arrived, a few appetisers and hot dishes, we had a dish of pickled baby cucumber with yuzu vinegar to cleanse our palates. Look at this beautiful knife work- looks very simple but we were obsessed with its crunchy texture and refreshing flavours.

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The wagyu roll was not very impressive but I loved the deep-fried codfish. It tastes like an appetizer in Shanghai 'Xun Yu 熏鱼' - with a caramelized crust and tender center.  The taste of preserved olive, black bean and fives spices was subtle.

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Another dish I loved was the deep-fried bean curd. The skin was thin and incredibly crispy, while the tofu inside had a surprisingly soft and creamy texture. The spices in the batter paired well with the mild sweet tofu inside. A dish thatshould not be missed.

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Next to arrive was the BBQ Iberian pork loin 'char siew', one of the most popular items at Man Wah. We ordered half a portion and thought it was the one hanging on a frame serving ware (lol). The sauce was served on the side to accentuate the flavor. The meat was moist and flavourful but still had room for improvement. We felt the sauce was not sweet enough for our liking.

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Vegetable dishes can be boring however the sautéed Chinese broccoli with ginger and Chinese Huangjiu (yellow wine) was lovely. Tender and juicy Chinese brocolli ‘Gai Lan’ nicely wear tasty homemade ginger wine. Healthy and delicious.

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The last dish we had was the chef's signature fried glass noodles. Wok-fried with roasted duck, shredded pork and dried shrimp to lend some umami flavour, this aromatic dish was quite enjoyable. The noodles were not too oil nor too dry, they didn’t stick together either as it cooled.

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Homemade ginger and wolf berry ice cream was another favorite, not too sweet nor too strong in ginger flavours, a nice palate cleanser. We were really stuffed but we always have room for good egg tarts. Those mini egg tarts were one of our favourite items at Man Wah. Buttery and flaky tart base with super silky and smooth egg custard in the center.

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It was a great time spent with friends in Hong Kong whom I haven't seen in a long while. We concluded our meal with tea and Chinese Petit Fours which included red bean jelly and walnut cookies, accompanied by an amazing view of the harbour and the Hong Kong skyline..

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Man Wah

Address: 25F, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 5 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong

Hours: Lunch & Dim Sum 12p-2:30pm, Dinner 6:30-10:30pm

Cost: we spent around HK$2650 in total (US$340)