Saturday, January 29, 2011

Man Wah @ MO (文華廳) - ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

  I have visited here several times and highly enjoyed some of its dishes (although the dim sum skins became over-cooked on 1 visit, which also happens anywhere), and even recommending some overseas friends to visit here and had written the same on my old photos blog.  Man Wah Restaurant is one of the most prestigious Chinese Restaurants in Hong Kong and situated on the top floor of Mandarin Oriental Hotel ~  and apart from Island Shangri-la, my personal favourite hotel locally…!  They even hand out free Chestnuts to customers during winter, a nice gesture!  Thanks to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel who had invited me to join fellow HK Lifestyle and the best of Food Bloggers to this meal to trial and give comments on new Head Chef Lee Man Sing’s new creations.  They might not know about this already, but I used to have meals and afternoon teas here frequently @ M.O, and they used to make a very unique Toffeed Grape in the Tea Set, which has now become seemingly extinct from everywhere in town.   Pierre Restaurant (Lunch Visit 1 & Dinner Visit 2) is also one of my favourite French Restaurants in town, not to mention the delectable goods coming out from the Mandarin Cake Shop, The Chinnery and The Mandarin Grill & Bar kitchens… 

Other Blogger Reviews:
-  Our favourite and best local Lifestyle blog by Hip Hong Kong’s Review can be found clicking here. 
-  You will also find a very detailed Review in Chinese by local prolific Food Blogger 搵食能手 on his blog.



Menu of Tasting Degustation

Chinese Tea, served in traditional way for brewing

XO Sauce
XO Sauce is delicious here, with a lot of conpoy used…

Chef Lee
has worked for some prestigious restaurants in the past including the HK Jockey Club and other notable Cantonese places, his experience belying his youthful appearance ~ he has also won multiple awards in the past from his culinary creations, which we got to try a few.  It’s actually a surprise to me that no Michelin Stars have been awarded to here yet ~ as the food is easily better than many starred restaurant in town and Lung King Heen, particularly their dim sum items.   I can foresee this finally gaining it’s Michelin Macaron or two sooner rather than later..

三元及第 – 3 Types of Dim Sums in Basket

X.O. 醬帶子鳳眼餃 - Scallop, Shrimp and X.O. Sauce Dumpling
This was quite good as you can taste the sweetness from the scallops and shrimps, but the XO Sauce wasn’t as apparent, which is actually a good thing ~ 9/10

鮑魚滑燒賣 – Abalone with Kurobuta Pork Siu Mai
The abalone was great, and so was the Japanese pork taste. This is a very expertly cooked dim sum and easily the best of a similar dish I’ve had in Hong Kong.  In fact, their other Abalone Taro Tart which I’ve had before was always one of my favourite dim sum item, I’ve attached that picture below ~ 10/10

素翅珍菌餃 – Vegetarian Shark’s Fin & Mushroom Dumpling
This had a wonderfully earthy filling of mushrooms, which is hard to come across. I thought the skin of this could be just a tad more thinner yet more elastic, but I enjoyed this ~ 7/10


竹絲雞石斛杞子燉珍珠肉 – Double Boiled Silk Hen Soup, Pearl Clam, Chinese Herbs
A very sweet Wintery Soup with an incredible amount of Chinese medicine taste, superbly done and had depth, despite looking quite transparent! ~ 10/10

海棠龍蝦 – Stir Fried Lobster, Egg White and Slow Cooked Scallop Mousse
An Award Winning dish from Chef Lee, this was served a little differently from its normal presentation, as this was already divided into individual portions and plated with flowering chives.  The lobster with egg white was good, but it needs some white rice to go with it.  And the slow cooked Scallop Mousse definitely stole the show this time, as that’s like eating a pillow full of scallops flavour ~ 8/10

Scallop Mousse was like a savoury marshmallow and so light, a big thumbs up.
Slow Cooked by Chef Lee, this even over-shadowed the egg whites with lobster..

桂花梨黑醋脆豬柳 – Wok Fried Pork Loin, Kuei Hua Flavoured Pear with Chin Kiang Vinegar
Another multiple Award Winning Dish, plated like a flower and very artistic.  The fried pork was very well done, way better than I’d envisaged. I had initially pre-formed an idea that its slightly unconventional and perhaps Westernised plating method will be more show than taste – but I was wrong because it was crispy yet light, not too fatty, and the sauce coating well balanced like an aged vinegar.  This is actually better than 得龍飯店’s Sweet & Sour Pork and I’ve had that 3 times already to compare, and I sincerely hope this is not a once-off performance!  The Kuei Hua flavoured Pear was pretty well done as a garniture but served way too cold to compliment the meat, it’ll be tremendously better if it’s served warmer ~ 9.5/10

四喜竹笙卷 – Vegetarian Platter
The presentation of this is a once-off I’ve been told, as it’s usually sold separately, but due to the degustation tasting style we were trying out today it adopted the French presentation technique. Not a bad thing mind you, and this was very enjoyable ~ 9/10

Bamboo Pith with Vegetables -
My favourite item

Braised Morel Mushroom with Bean curd -
This was good, but could do with some shavings of Yunnan Ham!

Smoked Beancurd Roll -
Neat and enjoyable, smokey!

Crispy Imitation Eel with Shredded Mushroom -
My 2nd favourite and everyone adored this, I could eat 10 times the amount
easily! Nearly as good as the real thing made from eel

龍蝦湯泡脆飯 – Lobster Consommé with Crispy Puff Rice
I didn’t really get this dish to be honest. Firstly lobster was already used above in another dish. And most pertinently, the crispy puff rice was like eating a breakfast cereal!  This tried-too-hard and deviated too much from Cantonese cuisine for my comfort – I would rather this soupy rice be served with say 70% normal white rice and then sprinkled with some puffed ones, or just serve them as whole pieces of Wo Ba Crackers.  The lobster consomme itself was very tasty and like the sea mind you.  Man Wah to me is really spot on with their soups and broths, as one of the Shark Fin and Seafood Dumplings in broth I’ve eaten here  before was easily the best version I’ve had in town  ~  6/10

酥皮蛋撻拼炸涼瓜湯丸 –
Flaky Egg Tart, Fried Bitter Gourd with Winter Melon Filling & a Jasmine Ginger Tea completed the meal. I’ve had their egg-tarts before and I’ve already said so, this is the best egg-tart I’ve had in Hong Kong and today it continued to be the case!  Flaky yet crumbly without the annoying fattiness, and the egg custard was so strong of egginess, one wonders why other egg tarts out there is missing this important taste!  ~10/10.  The Bitter Gourd and Winter Melon ball tasted slightly Chiu Chow in style and was equally well received by fellow invited eaters ~ 10/10.  Jasmine Ginger tea worked very well with the desserts but not much Jasmine fragrance was detected. They should have this trio of combination permanently on the menu!  ~ 8/10

XO Sauce
Take Away X.O. Sauce -
I am going to do a lot of different dishes with this!   It’ll make the perfect gift for New Years ~ the only X.O. Sauce I’ve had which is even comparable is from 龍苑中菜廳 & that of 永利軒 Macau,
but this one here is immensely better…

The Man Wah dining area is set up a little too close together, but this makes it more exclusive and the view is unbeatable.  Peking Duck is supposedly very good here as well, even though that is not traditionally Cantonese cuisine.

****** Some Recommended Dishes from My Past Visits to Man Wah ******

Drunken Chicken with Sliced Jellyfish

Prawn 'Har Gau' Dumpling -

文華廳四喜烤夫 -

Abalone Puff
Crispy Taro Puff with Abalone and Assorted Meat -

Wagyu Puff
Wagyu Black Pepper Puff -

Shark’s Fin & Seafood Dumpling in Supreme Broth -

Spotted Garoupa, Black Truffle and Asparagus Dumpling -

Goose Dumpling
Roast Goose with Pickled 'Young' Ginger Dumpling -

Lobster Puff
Baked Lobster Puff with Parma Ham -

Bresse Pigeon
Tea Smoked French Bresse Pigeon with Spiced Salt and Worchestire Sauce -

Lotus Steamed Rice with Conpoy, Chicken & Abalone Sauce -

Man Wah Egg Tart -

Petit Four
Petits Fours: Coffee Jelly & Custard Puff -



Price: Around $250 to $350 Per Person + 10%
Score: ★★★★★☆
Mon to Fri: 12:00pm - 23:00pm
Sat to Sun: 11:30am - 23:00pm

Address: 中環干諾道中5號香港文華東方酒店25樓
25/F, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road Central, Central
Ph: 2825 4003


  1. Dear HK Epicurus,

    On behalf of Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, I am Geoff, responsible for E-Commerce and Social Media for our hotel property. I would like to thank you for your wonderful review on our signature Cantonese Restaurant Man Wah and we are delighted to read that you have enjoyed your many visits to our restaurant. We will for sure share all your review with our team.

    Should you require our further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact myself and we look forward to welcoming you back to our hotel very soon.

    May we also wish you an early Kung Hey Fat Choy!

    Best Wishes
    Geoffrey Wu

    E-Commerce and Social Media Manager

  2. Wow - an epic post. Things also came out really well considering the light situation!

    We went back and had some of the same dishes. Despite my love for the lobster consumme on the first pass I think you are actually right - a touch off point. Everything else, exceptional though.


  3. If dim sum restaurants in Northern California, particularly the area where I live and work, could perform at a fraction of Man Wah, I would be super happy. Thanks for this writeup, it gives me an idea what upscale hotel dim sum is like in HK, and why people would pay US$8 to $12 for a steamer of goodness.

  4. @ Geoff, thanks for organising a great meal which shows off new Chef Lee's talents. Impressed.

    @ Tom, yeh it took me a while to cancel out the red noise, I think next time I should shoot in RAW format! Can't wait for your review of your subsequent meal.

    @ Beef No Guy, yes I think a lot of restos in HK either do really traditional stuff, or some might make specialty dim sims might fails in the taste part of the equation. Dim Sims are like Tapas to me, some of the nouvelle style tapas are really amazing and much harder to cook!

  5. Yeh sorry don't know what happened haha. Got out of hand, as its a combo of a few visits. That's why I am not touching my Robuchon and Amber reviews :)



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