Yan Toh Heen (欣圖軒)
Awarded as one of the world's best Cantonese restaurant, the Michelin-2-starred Yah Toh Heen is possibly my favourite Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong so far.
Located at the basement of InterContinental Hotel In Tsim Sha Tsui, Yan Toh Heen helmed by Executive Chef Lau Yiu Fai offers refined Cantonese dishes by using the top seasonal ingredients. With a clean and simple white-and-jade decor, the restaurant is very elegant and offers a breath-taking view of Island Hong Kong.
Yan Toh Heen servers a wide range of Chinese dish which are mostly specialised in Cantonese, include the all-time favourites, as well as new creations. Yan Yah Toh Heen offers an amazing view of the harbour and Island Hong Kong especially in the evening, i also recommend lunch because 95% of the dim sum are only available during lunch time.
Assorted condiments (top) for each table, I loved their homemade XO sauce (bottom) which goes well with the dim sum. We also bought several jars of Yah Toh Heen's XO sauce after the meal.
One of my favourite snacks before the meal is the toasted walnut with honey and sesame (芝麻琥珀核桃)from YTH. The crunchy nuts was caramelized with honey, it was aromatic with roasted sesame. I can imagine myself being a sofa-potato with boxes of this.
Most dim sum from Yah Toh Heen looks exquisite and pretty, i totally understand that you might doubt how these beautiful food tastes like, honestly speaking - they never disappointed me. As a signature dim sum platter here, the superior dumplings should not be missed. Include steamed Scallop with Black Truffles and Vegetables Dumpling (黑松露帶子餃), steamed Lobster and Bird’s Nest Dumpling with Gold Leaf (金箔燕液龍蝦餃), and steamed King Crab Leg Dumpling with Green Vegetables (長腳蟹肶菜苗餃), the crystal skin was thin and well-steamed, textures of the fillings inside was right-to-point and very delicious.
Besides the food itself, i also like the fine serving ware at Yan Toh Heen that they use China steamed kit instead of the traditional one. Although putting much effort of the outsiders don't work for all the restaurants, the food was really satisfying. From the 'fish skin', you can even see the marbles of the prawns inside, which was bouncy and umami.
So far my favourite buns in Hong Kong, the signature baked roasted duck bun has a incredibly soft skin which is also very thin for buns.
Its skin was really die-for, so soft and a bit flaky on the top. Bottom part was well-baked with a gold crust. The roasted duck in the center has a lovely sweet taste like Char siew, the minced taro added a creamy texture and more aroma to the entire bun. Great balance of sweetness of the filling and a mild milky flavour from the skin.
Crispy fresh prawns and toast is a signature deep-fried dish at Yan Toh Heen. It was very textural with a crispy toast on the bottom and bouncy shrimp on top, while we found the black truffles a bit underwhelming. Yet still a satisfying dish.
*we ordered half-portion at half price ($126)
Nowadays some of the top Cantonese eateries such as Lung King Heen also serves this dish, but Yan Toh Heen as the birthplace no doubt serves the best in a lot of locals' opinion. The cutie ball is more like a sandwiched fresh pear and scallops with minced shrimp in the center, it was perfectly deep-fried which was not oil at all, and all the ingredients were well-cooked. This dish is served with pepper salt and lemon juice to balance the taste. A must.
*we ordered half-portion at half price ($126)
I debt it is not hard to tell how crunchy the skin was from the picture above - they were as crunchy as they looks. Underneath the skin was a thin pancake and sliced pork, served with sweet sauce, the entire bite was nothing but textural and flavourful.
Another must-do when you eating at a Cantonese restaurant in Hong Kong: double boiled soup. HKnese really know the techniques to cook the best double boiled soup by cooking the ingredients themselves and only use pinch of salt for flavouring, let the ingredients speak by the correct timing. I have tried this hearty bowl of fish mar and sea whelk soup a few times, i think i'll never get bored of it.
Another favourite from Yan Toh Heen is the famous golden stuffed ran shell with crabmeat, it is widely considered the top crab shell in town. By siding the meat from the entire crab, and mixed with its broth, onion, and fresh milk to wok-fried, and finished with a thin layer of battered bread crumbs, every bite was so mouthful. Underneath the golden crust, you can find gorgeous mouth of fresh crab meat with a sweet hint, each component inside was balanced well and the flavour was right to point. Still my favourite crab shell in Hong Kong so far.
The deep-fried golden crab claw with minced shrimp too has a crispy outer-layer, the minced shrimp inside was bouncy and delicious. While not that memorable compare to the previous crab shell.
It was asparagus season and we ordered a plate of wok-fried white asparagus with assorted mushrooms, healthy and tasty.
I am not a rice lover but fried rice steamed with lotus leaf is an exception.The one from YTH comes with a fragrance lotus smell, the rice was well-cooked, not too dry or oil. Since the little seafood and meat used in the rice, we coincide that the flavour of the rice could be better. Personally much prefer the seafood friend rice wrapped and steamed in lotus leaf from Tin Lung Heen at Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong.
Fresh fruit 'ice mountain' to end the meal.
It was another satisfying meal at Yan Yoh Heen. We tried both our favourites as well as few dishes we never tried, all were satisfying with several highlights. Besides the food part, the decor and view are too un-beatable. Accompany by the flawless service and reasonable prices, Yan Toh Heen is definitely a right choice for top-quality Cantonese food.
Yan Toh Heen 欣圖軒
Address: InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Hours: Lunch 12:00- 2:30pm (Mon-Sat) 11:30am-3:00pm(Sun & Public Holidays) Dinner - 6:00pm to 11:00pm