Chijmes Lei Garden Restaurant

Lei Garden's the grand dame of Cantonese fine dining restaurants and one of the heavyweights in the power business lunch circuit. Nestled within the beautifully restored Chijmes cathedral, this well-known Hongkong-based restaurant is one of two overseas outlets. Even with its stellar reputation, it is refreshing that Lei Garden manages an unpretentious and boisterous ambience.

I had lunch with a client there, who's apparently quite a frequent customer. He's a foodie as well, so it was a very good lunch.

We started off with a cold appetizer of Chilled Black Fungus in Vinegar ($6). This was refreshing and zesty, just enough to get your tummy going.

We moved onto the Double-Boiled Pork Ribs Soup ($28), which was simmered for so long that the collagen had been extracted from the bones, resulting in the milky texture of this amazingly delicate but full-bodied soup.

The Pan-Fried Carrot Cake with Waxed Meat ($4.30) was also yummy, soft insides with a slightly caramelised crust.

We also got Baked Mini Egg Tarts ($3.80), a buttery flaky pastry with a wobbly and smooth egg custard within.

The Crispy Roasted Pork ($13.80) was decadently good. Crackling skin, moist and salty meat with a beautiful sliver of fat wedged between the layers of meat.

The Century Egg and Pork Congee ($5.80) was also very yummy. Tiny, discernible grains of rice gruel in a rich pork broth, with chunks of pork adding texture and flavour. Obviously, I left the century egg cubes alone.

We also ordered Steamed Rice Roll with Scallops ($4.80), thin sheets of smooth rice rolls with succulent scallops, and a liberal drizzling of delicate soy.

The Steamed Shanghai Dumplings with Minced Pork or Xiao Long Bao ($4.80 for 3) was also well done. Thin, but strong dumpling skins enveloped savoury minced pork and a good helping of steaming-hot pork broth.

The Pan-Fried Pork Dumplings or Guo Tie ($4.30) was an unexpected surprise. This wasn't too oily, and the minced pork filling was juicy.

The Steamed Custard Buns with Salted Egg Yolk ($3.80) were also very delicious. The chocolate-swirled buns made for a nice sweet dessert.

Salted Egg Yolk filled the cavity of the sweet buns, making this a good balance between the sweet and savoury.

Chijmes Lei Garden Restaurant
Chijmes #01-24
30 Victoria Street
Tel: 6339 3822
Open daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch and from 6pm to 10.30pm for dinner
Website: www.leigarden.hk/eng/

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