Pearl Dining House・ 明珠小館
Tsim Sha Tsui
Date of review: October 9, 2013 | Reviewed by: Mark Peaker
Located on the second floor of The One shopping mall in Tsim Sha Tsui, Pearl Dining House is a smart and spotless Chinese restaurant by JC Group, behind restaurants such as Harlan’s, Kaika (both also in The One) and Inakaya in the ICC. Massive walls of glass afford a view over the hustle and bustle of Kowloon whilst inside neatly crammed tables seat eager diners, while a glass window to the kitchen shows the adept skill of the resident noodle maker as he deftly hand pulls his dough. Expect long queues at lunchtime as office staff patiently wait to savour this new culinary delight.
Pearl Dining House brings the flavours of Huaiyang and Shanghainese cooking to life, thanks to head chef Alex Sit, who understands the subtlety of flavour and texture – this is reflected in his cooking, which is simply put, excellent. Chilled chicken in Chinese wine is a dish often submerged under the intensity of the wine; here the moist chicken is lovingly layered into a broth that infuses its flavours into the meat. Freshly made daily, the taste is never exactly the same as the herbs and spices used may vary depending on the chef’s impulses. Braised pork with beancurd sheets is another well-known dish that is taken to new heights; the finest quality pork delicately covered with a deep rich sauce served on a bed of freshly-made bean curd sheets is superb. Another pork dish, the crystal pork aspic, despite its unappetising name, delivers individual mouthfuls of pleasure from the beautiful texture of the pork. A sign of popularity is the fact that no noodle dishes were available in the evening, all having been deliciously devoured at lunch. An array of desserts were similarly unavailable; yet a sweet wine dumpling in osmanthus soup was a wonderfully fragrant and delicate end to the meal.
A very limited selection of quaffing wines are available, with two choices each of red and white by the glass and by the bottle. A wider range of teas, spirits and beers complete a small selection of choices, but there are also special tea blends available, which change monthly. On our visit the menu featured chamomile, chrysanthemum and lilyturf tea; and mixed date and wolfberry tea.
The staff are attentive for all the correct reasons, with questions on the menu answered with knowledge and orders taken swiftly. Dishes are all served with an introduction and water and tea constantly refilled; a sense of pride from the staff is evident as they share your dining pleasure.
A meal for two with tea will cost around HK$800, which is excellent value for money. Pearl Dining House a great place to linger with friends and share plate after plate of inspired cooking.