With a reputation as the best Chinese cook in the world, Chef Chan Yan Tak has a lot of customers who visit with high expectations. When the Michelin guide arrived in Hong Kong 8 years ago, his restaurant Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons received the ultimate recognition of three stars, an accolade it has retained ever since.
Despite the grandeur of its reputation this restaurant has a friendly feel, the staff provide every guest with professional but personal attention and Chef Tak’s passion for traditional but creative cooking is very much evident throughout the menus. With no formal training, Chef Tak’s creations are inspired by family recipes and traditions. The kitchen is known particularly for its exceptional seafood and dim sum.
Located on the fourth floor of the opulent Four Seasons Hotel, this large open-plan dining room is understated and elegant. It is a subtle space in comparison to the hotel’s other award-winning restaurant, Caprice. We sat at a central table, and quickly the restaurant filled up around us- families, friends and business lunches – it is definitely a restaurant for any occasion.
Most local guests choose tea to accompany their meal, so we did the same. The warm fragrant drink cleanses the palate between courses and the delicate taste complements the bold dim sum dishes. A small tasting menu had been prepared for us, highlighting a few of the chef’s specialties, whilst taking my dislike of fish into consideration. First, a few classic dim sum mouthfuls to wake up our tastebuds… each parcel was an explosion of flavour and excitement. The pineapple pork dumpling was the best, a yellow topped pastry (it doesn’t actually contain any pineapple) with a juicy meaty filling.
Also on the table were a few traditional sauces, all homemade at the restaurant. Particularly notable was the XO sauce, which is notoriously difficult to make, and needs a precise balance of components to create the correct taste.
The BBQ meats were perhaps my favourite part of the meal. Melt in the mouth sweet and tender pieces of pork, goose and duck that were each carefully roasted in the dedicated roasting room at the hotel, to attain an addictively good sweet crispiness.
Wok-fried Superior Australian Wagyu Beef Cubes with Morel Mushrooms was a hearty dish. High quality meat and fresh seasonal vegetables were coated in an irresistible sauce. The final savoury dish was a classic Chinese staple. Fried rice with shredded chicken sounds simple, but here it was made to perfection. Comforting and filling, every grain of rice was carefully separated and coated in a tantalizing salty hint; it was tasty and rich without the normal cloying greasiness.
Dessert was a trio of strange and delicious treats. Vibrant green lime pudding with aloe and mint was a light jelly dessert. I appreciated the lightness of the jelly though didn’t quite understand the flavouring. We also tried Osmanthus Jelly, a typical floral jelly that was intriguing and delicious; ideal at the end of a meal.
Lung King Heen translates to ‘view of the dragon’, and I was pleased to find the food is every bit as majestic as the name suggests. This Chinese cuisine is fit for royalty but the staff make everyone feel welcome, and it is that unusual balance that makes this 3-Michelin star establishment so special and unique.
More information and book a table at Lung King Heen here.