Chinese restaurants tend to walk the tightrope between opulent and garish. On one side is that gaudy glamour of dining rooms clad in rich red walls interspersed with exotic dragon murals or renderings of Chinese temples – the kind of place you might find a nodding gold cat sitting on the takeaway counter for good luck. And then there are establishments like House of Yuen.
The sister restaurant of the Michelin-starred Sun Tung Lok in Hong Kong, House of Yuen exudes class and elegance with its colour palette of dusky blue, cream, and a touch of gold. Taking its name from the owning family, House of Yuen’s lofty dining room seats 250 while the restaurant’s twelve private rooms offer quiet, discrete dining for business parties or family celebrations.
Specialising in Cantonese cuisine, China’s most well known culinary tradition from the Guangdong province on the country’s south coast, House of Yuen’s menu features a host of rare, imported delicacies like abalone, bird’s nest, and spiky sea cucumber, thought to be of aphrodisiacal quality in Chinese culture.
For those with less adventurous tastes there is still plenty to offer. We recommend doing as the Chinese do and ordering a selection of dishes to share, family-style. House of Yuen’s round tables feature the traditional Lazy Susans to make sharing simple.
To kick things off, try one of many dim sum options; their steamed scallop and shrimp dumplings with XO sauce are warm and nourishing, just as good dim sum should be. The stereotypical spring rolls are given a make-over by Chef Wong Tung Sing in their crunchy chrysanthemum shaped pastry tops – pretty and pleasing on the palate.
Main-course-wise their traditional Peking duck is presented with finesse; crispy, bite-sized squares of duck hide a decadent serving of foie gras, ready to be wrapped with cucumber and greens in a traditional steamed pancake. Meanwhile their stewed pork belly with ‘chef’s special sauce’ is more of a manly plateful, and even richer in taste.
If the curiosity to try one of Sun Tung Lok Hong Kong’s Michelin-star-winning Chinese signatures proves too much, one of the most decadent dishes, we are told, is the Roast Suckling Pig Stuffed with Minced Shrimp – an impressive spread indeed.