Located in the Four Seasons hotel in Hong Kong, Lung King Heen is the first Chinese restaurant to be award three Michelin stars. Naturally, Mike and I had to fit this into our Hong Kong trip to see what all the fuss is about.
Lung King Heen translates to “view of the dragon”. While it’s only located on the fourth floor of the hotel, you still get an unobstructed view of the harbour front.
Unlike many other restaurants we ate at in Hong Kong, Lung King Heen is spacious and is decorated in a contemporary manner. It was a nice break from sharing tables with strangers. We were given a large round table (which could easily sit 8-10 people) for the two of us which overlooked the water. It was quite the treat!
Lunch and dinner is served every day but their weekend dim sum is what they’re best known for. During the week, they offer a smaller a la carte dim sum menu as well as an executive lunch set for 520 HKD per person (as of our April 2015 visit). I tried making a weekend lunch reservation three months in advance and the weekend I wanted was already fully booked so we had to settle for a weekday lunch. I know, I know… #firstworldproblems, right?
Since the executive lunch set doesn’t require full table participation, we decided to order one set and supplement with a few a la carte items:
Executive Lunch Set (520 HKD per set):
The executive lunch set started off with the Chef’s dim sum selection which included the Steamed Shrimp Dumpling and Steamed Assorted Mushroom Dumpling. The shrimp dumpling (aka har gow) had a nice delicate skin and was stuffed with perfectly cooked shrimp. The mushroom dumpling was solid but nothing particularly notable.
The dim sum selection also included a Crispy Spring Roll – with shrimp & garlic which was really delicious. The wrapper was incredible crispy without being the least bit greasy and I loved the garlicky shrimp filling.
Up next was the BBQ Combination – poached chicken, BBQ pork with honey, marinated jellyfish. I loved every component of this dish. The poached chicken was reminiscent of soy chicken and was wonderfully moist and flavourful. The BBQ pork was also quite memorable, consisting of thickly sliced pork with a nice meat-to-fat ratio. To balance out the richness of the pork, the refreshing jellyfish was a nice accompaniment.
Following the BBQ plate was the Sautéed Prawns – with black truffle and bell peppers. There’s no doubt that this was a simple dish which has been dressed up with truffle, but it was done incredibly well. I mixed in some XO sauce for an added kick. Gotta love XO sauce!
For the carb course of the set, we had an option between the steamed fried rice wrapped in a lotus leaf or the Fried Puntalette – with minced beef in XO chili sauce. We went with the latter. It was essentially a fried rice dish with beef and XO sauce but instead of using rice, they used puntalette which is a type of pasta similar to orzo. It was pretty enjoyable. I’m a sucker for XO sauce. And these guys make a really good one!
One of the desserts included in the set was Sweetened Water Chestnut Cream – with aloe and osmanthus. The dessert had a consistency thicker than water and wasn’t too sweet. I liked the bits of chestnut which provided a much needed crunch. This certainly isn’t a dessert for everyone but I found it to be a nice light way to end off the meal.
We also were served some Petit Fours which included bite-sized slices of pudding and almond cookies.
A la carte:
Since we wanted to try a variety of items, we only ordered one set lunch and supplemented with several a la carte items. The first one on the menu which caught our eye was the Steamed Lobster & Scallop Dumpling (50 HKD per piece) which arrives in its own mini dim sum steamer.
The dumpling consists of a layer of lobster and a layer of scallop which gets topped with a plump shrimp. The indulgent bite is wrapped in a thin green wrapper which holds it all together. It was a delicious dumpling but it’ll certainly cost you a pretty penny. And I’m not sure it’s worth the steep price tag (approximately $8 CAD).
We also added an order of Steamed Goose Dumplings – with water chestnuts and vegetables (69 HKD). The thin translucent skin encased a filling consisting of chopped goose and crunchy bits of water chestnuts. They were tasty dumplings but nothing particularly memorable.
One of Lung King Heen’s signature items is the Baked Whole Abalone Puff – with diced chicken (60 HKD per piece). I’m not sure if this is something often available at other Hong Kong dim sum restaurants but I found this to be really unique. It’s made up of one large abalone baked on top of a buttery crust (reminiscent of shortbread).
The abalone was super tender and the combination of it with the buttery crust was phenomenal. This (slightly) sweet and savoury combination was a real standout and truly is a must-order.
Another must-order is the Baked BBQ Pork Buns – with pine nuts (69 HKD). The buns were filled with generous chunks of BBQ pork and the crusty topping had just the right amount of sweetness. In terms of meat-to-bun ratio, there was definitely a lot more meat than bun. These buns really hit it out of the park for me. It was another perfect sweet and savoury combination. Between Lung King Heen and Tim Ho Wan’s version (another restaurant famous for their baked bbq pork buns), I have to give the edge to Lung King Heen.
Overall, we had a nice experience at Lung King Heen. The service was definitely top notch and is exactly what you’d expect from a three Michelin star restaurant. However, I didn’t feel the same way about the food. Sure, there were some real standouts and without a doubt, the food was certainly delicious but on the whole, it didn’t blow me away.
At a glance:
- 3 Michelin star restaurant; the first (and only) Chinese restaurant awarded 3 Michelin stars
- Located in the Four Seasons hotel in Hong Kong; connected to the IFC shopping mall
- Contemporary décor; very spacious; no sharing tables here
- Nice view of the harbour front
- Top notch service
- Weekday lunches feature a set “Executive Lunch” for 520 HKD (as of April 2015); an a la carte dim sum menu is also available
- Reservations are a must; tried booking a weekend lunch 3 months out and they were already fully booked
- Must order: abalone puff, baked BBQ pork buns
- Enjoyed the experience but on the whole, the food didn’t blow me away
Ratings (out of 5):
- Food: 3.5 stars
- Service: 4.5 stars
- Atmosphere: 4 stars