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Chuk Yuen Seafood Chinese Restaurant

Hong Kong’s dizzying array of culinary options notwithstanding, a sumptuous, hearty Cantonese seafood dinner is always near the top of any visitor’s dining wish list. Chuk Yuen, a household name for its quality traditional seafood at reasonable prices, is high on our to-go list. Having kept the same premises in Happy Valley and Tsim Sha Tsui for almost thirty years – a rarity these days given the skyrocketing rents but also a testament to Chuk Yuen’s staying power – the restaurant remains highly popular with locals as well as tourists from Japan, Mainland China, and Southeast Asia.
 
We were warmly welcomed by the friendly and attentive staff at its Tsim Sha Tsui outlet, a spacious venue that is functionally laid out and comfortably decorated. Our dinner was an all seafood affair and includes most of the restaurant’s signature dishes. We started right away with Braised Shark's Fin Soup (Chiu Chow Style) (HK$218/person), a house specialty. Chiu Chow is a regional cuisine style, which in this case means the soup base contains more ingredients, takes longer to prepare, and tastes richer – a pleasant variation to the usual clear soup. Best of all, the portions are generous, and we licked every last drop of it.
 
Our second dish was the Deep-fried Mantis Shrimp with Garlic and Chili (HK$780/kg), which was simply delicious. The crayfish they serve is quite large which ensures there is plenty of meat to eat after deshelling; its meat was firm and tender, and the fried garlic smells so aromatic and tastes so crunchy it becomes a treat by itself.
 
Next came the highly prized Braised Fish Maw (or Fa Gao) with Shrimps Roe in Supreme Sauce (HK$2,380/piece; HK$1200/half piece), a real delicacy and the highlight of our meal. Fish Maw is fish stomach, extracted usually from sturgeon or croakers and then sun dried and treated, allowing it to be kept for years – the longer the better for thick, quality fish maw. Quality fish maw that are 15, 20 or more years old can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars per kilogram – worth more even than fine wines. To be ready to eat, the fish maw is rehydrated over a few days before it is cooked, either in soup or braised. Our fish maw was thick and nicely chewy, the pleasant sticky taste staying with us even after our meal.
 
Two clam dishes followed, the first a Steamed Clam with Mashed Garlic (HK$50/piece), and the second the Sauteed Clam with Fermented Black Bean (HK$50/piece). Both cooking styles helpfully bring out the flavour of the clam and the meat bites nicely without being too much work.
 
Our finale was the Baked Lobster with Butter and Cheese (HK$780/kg) served with French bread on the side. The lobsters are from the Philippines and chosen for their flavour and tenderness. The cheese works well with the fresh sweet taste of the lobster meat, and tastes yummy with the dipped French bread – a real treat indeed.
 
We ended our protein turbo-charged meal with a trio of popular local mango-based desserts and a fruit plate, a refreshing wrap to this delightful meal.
 
You should definitely include a quality seafood meal in your itinerary and Chuk Yuen provides a topclass option that is value for money indeed.
 
 
 
Chuk Yuen Seafood Chinese Restaurant
G/F, HK Pacific Centre (South Wing),  28 Hankow Road, Tsim Sha Tsui 
2722 0633

 

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