Feb 16, '09

Lung King Heen-the best Chinese in the world?

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Lung King Heen is the only restaurant in Hong Kong that got three Michelin stars. Obviously, it is the only Chinese (Cantonese) that i know who has such a high rating. So is it really the best Chinese in the world?

I am not a big connaisseur of Chinese food. Of course I’ve had dim sum, suckling pig and Peking duck with rice pan cakes and plum sauce uncountable times, but i’ve never had anyhting close to what i have eaten in Hong Kong since one week.(Its my first time in China.) The thing is that even if you go to a small and cheap dim sum place here, you are almost sure to eat fresh and delicious food.

So nothing to be surprised of that  rewarding Lung King Heen ( at Four Seasons Hotel) restaurant with 3 stars,Michelin has caused quite a controversy. Hong Kong is a very developed and international city and many locals i spoke to say that there are other Chinese restaurants that are of the same level or even better than Lung King Heen.(I’ve even heard such gossips that the team of Michelin guide was staying in the Four Seasons Hotel and some have been speculating that this is the reason why two of the hotel’s restaurants got Michelin stars.Besides Lung King Heen, another Four Seasons restaurant,Caprice, got 2.)

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I cannot say if there are restaurants much better than Lung King Heen  in Hong Kong. (The other “gastronomic” restaurant I’ve been is T’ang’s Court and i will speak about it later in this post). You have to live in the city for many months or even years to be able to judge that, but for me, Lung King Heen is by far one of the best Chinese I have ever been to in my whole life. Very fresh products and  fine preparation of Cantonese classics. I didn’t have shark fin soup or birds nest, but the dishes i tasted will remain in my memory for a  long time.

Like…

Barbecued suckling pig

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Barbecued pork with honey

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Crispy scallops with fresh pear

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Simmered lobster with coconut milk and chili

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Crispy chicken fillets with sesame in lemon sauce

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Assortment of pastries

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Coming back to the ratings discussion, its true that most of the dishes in Lung King Heen are classical Cantonsese fare and despite of fresh products and perfect execution, there was little creativity or invention. I did go to T’ang Court  in Langham hotel, another Michelin rated restaurant(this time 2 stars),  and i basically had the same kind of delicious Cantonese food starting from barbecued suckling pig finishing with chicken in lemon sauce. To be honest, the only difference i felt between these two restaurants was that Lung King Heen has an amazing view of the Victoria Bay and T’ang Court doesn’t.

Some of the dishes in T’ang Court were particularly memorable, like “stir-fried fresh lobster with spring onion,red onion and shallots”

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or “sautéed prawns and crab roe with golden fried pork ad crab meat puffs”…

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The roasted suckling pig was as delicious as in Lung King Heen…

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So even after spending relatively very little time in Hong Kong i can say,that Lung King Heen is not the only place that is worth very high ratings.On the other hand,i think it is great that the Michelin guide has acknowledged Hong Hong as one of the world’s greatest culinary destinations. People eat very well here and the world should know that.

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