Date of review: September 1, 2015 | Reviewed by: Beverly Cheng
We were seated on the first-floor because the ground floor was closed for renovations at the time of our visit. Yung Kee may seem palatial on the outside given its once large golden façade but once indoors, the low ceilings and subtle Chinese décor, replete with carved wooden panels, gold accents, Buddhist sculptures, and plush red carpeting makes it feel more intimate. The clientele is predominantly well-groomed Mainland Chinese tourists and businesspeople there on an expense account.
As with many classic Cantonese restaurants, Yung Kee’s menu is quite extensive. There are several banquet-style, set menu options that offer the best value for money, as well as a seasonal menu that offers creative dishes using interesting ingredient pairings. We start off with the signature roast goose and opt to pay an additional $50 for the drumstick – the meat is flavourful, however the skin wasn’t crisp and the flesh was too fatty for our liking. Other dishes such as steamed beancurd with Jinhua ham and sauteed garoupa fillet with vegetables hit the mark in terms of freshness of ingredients – extra points are given simply because it doesn’t come smothered in a greasy, starchy sauce found elsewhere. The star of the meal was surprisingly the braised pomelo with shrimp row - a simple yet flavourful dish that instantly reminded us of our mother’s homecooking. Desserts run the traditional gamut of red bean soup to mango pudding, though we’d suggest on filling up on savory dishes and going elsewhere for a sweet finale; our black sesame sweet soup tasted as if it was straight out of a ready-made package.
The wine list is pretty comprehensive, offering glasses and bottles from various regions, including a couple of bottles of whites and reds from China. There’s also an assortment of Chinese baijius ranging from a couple hundred to in the thousands.
The service is attentive and patient, and we found the servers apt at explaining dishes and wine pairings.
For $1,200 for two, including Chinese tea and a small bottle of baijiu, it’s a pretty good deal given the location, dependable food quality and attentive service.