Sunday, February 10, 2013

Yan Toh Heen 欣圖軒 - (Hong Kong)

Michelin 1 Stars 

Yan Toh Heen 欣圖軒 is the successor to the old Regent 麗晶軒 and has been on the most elite level of Cantonese Dining in HK ever since their inception in the 1970’s.   Memories of my days eating here started from  10-25+ years ago as a mere kid,  also at nearby Ginza Japanese restaurant and the now long gone Tokyu Department store..    Back to topic,  the kitchen pedigree dates back for almost half a Century and even equally institutional  Fook Lam Moon, Sun Tung Lok and Ar Yat Abalone’s can’t challenge here to dethrone it from the highest regarded position,  if not the other way around!   New owners Intercontinental Hotel Group continues to work with many old Chefs from the Regent epoch and it’s a well known fact that many of the current Hong Kong Top Chefs once trained under this regime.    Instead of leveraging comfortably from it’s past glorious days -  the kitchen’s approach has always been on an endless pursue of creating it’s own latest eating trend and is a true pioneer of  new Cantonese foods.    Numerous famous Hong Kong dishes that have spread and resonated throughout the global culinary world were indeed invented by Chefs within this very kitchen and even to this day they strive to continually reshape Cantonese Cuisine at the highest of levels.   Below is a summary of some of the best dishes I have had the pleasure to eat,   over a number of repetitive visits just because I really enjoy eating here. 


Classy but not Tired -
One of the rare Chinese Restaurants in town which reinvents itself each year.   I found that the food has improved substantially since 2010-2012 period too,  I personally wouldn’t be surprised if this is elevated to 2 Michelin Star Status come end of 2013.




The Jade Tableware remain from the Regent days -
We’re talking decades ago and perhaps after their name change,  we conveniently forget that this place is steeped in history and is one of the most glorious restaurants in town. 



Honeyed Walnuts -
Fresh and crunchy.  Not stale oil flavour definitely..



Some Perrier Jouet Champagne as Aperitifs

Japanese Daikon Radish Cake with Carp Fish Broth -
A Chinese New Years dish,  the ones here use imported and large sized Japanese daikons,  instead of local turnips.  This is reflected in the final super sweetness from both Japanese Daikon & Fish & Pork broth.  Definitely one of the best re-invented versions in town and why we order this again and again each year.   ~  10/10



XO Sauce - The XO Sauce here is excellent. 
And as mentioned above,  Yan Toh Heen’s mentality is to become a pioneer in Chinese Cuisine.  Here you can distinctly taste a whiff of Lemon-Grass blended into their seafood XO Sauce,  just to bring it to another level.  Highly recommended.



Fried Scallop and Prawn Mince Sandwich with Pears [龍梨玉帶香] -
Regent-Yan Toh Heen originally invented this dish in Hong Kong.
   Nowadays a few other restaurants also offer this because their chefs trained under here,  including Michelin 3 Star Lung King Heen & Island Tang,  or spotted periodically at other places.  Opinions differ but personally I like this original version the best,  because it is lighter and the pear is crunchier and not too sweet to dominate the subtle scallop and prawn mince.   The fried texture here is also more powdery dry which suits me as I dislike oiliness in fried food.  ~  10/10



Roast BBQ Pork -
The one here is amazingly good !!  Crunchy and layered with marbled fat and full of pork taste,  I actually suspect if this is made from Kurobuta pork as it’s really sweet.   One of the best in town and better than most of the Lei Garden branches.   ~  10/10



Osmanthus Honey and Grilled Eel -
I found this a little too under-grilled to my liking and sliced a little too thin.  I think I prefer the West Villa version.  ~ 6.9/10


Char Siu Pork -
The version here surprised me in 2 ways:   It’s quite savory,  also quite thinly sliced.  This is how Char Siu in the past tasted like.   A lot of the modern ones are too sweet and too tenderized,  how about somewhere in between?   ~  7/10



2013 New Years Auspicious ‘Lo Hei’  [新年撈起] -
With finely julienned vegetables, pine nuts, honeyed walnuts, herbs and giant sea cucumbers,  shark fin and fish maw.  With Yuzu Sesame dressing and XO Sauce.  An extravagant version of Lo Hei and very crunchily enjoyable.  HAPPY NEW SNAKE YEAR 2013 !!   ~   9/10




Peking Duck  [北京烤鴨] -
It’s a Cantonese restaurant here but many tourists inevitably order one anyway,  so it’s good to compare a few Cantonese versions which are always bigger ducks than the Beijing ones.  The duck was shining and you can see the crystalline transparent skin which was super crispy.  Very well done job!   If only 1 small adjustment can be made,  I prefer my Peking Ducks to be sliced with more meat attached.   ~  8/10



Duck & Bamboo Shoots “Sang Choi Bao” with Fried Vermicelli -
The 2nd dish of the Peking Duck.  Wanted some Spring Onions or Sesame for some reason.  But the sauce was great.



Figs and Morel Mushroom Soup with Fish Maw -
This was so balanced between Morel essence and Figs sweetness,  with a base subtle chicken broth.  Radiating elegance with balance.  Yummy!    10/10



Poached Lobster with Roe on Steamed Egg White and Bird’s Nest -
This was cooked to exemplary standards and the lobster was so sweet but cooked just right,  the whole dish screaming for a new exuberant and prosperous year ahead !    9/10




Steamed Garoupa Fish with Mandarin Zest and Yunnan Ham in Bamboo Basket -
The sauce beneath the fish was the highlight for me,  and the taste of this doesn’t require extra sauce as it was just so natural.   ~  9/10




Braised Pig’s Trotter with Sea Moss and Lettuce  [發財紅燒元蹄] -
I found the sauce to be a little too Cantonese brown sauce like,  but the addition of Sea Moss was so Cantonese and New Years themed.  Meat could be slightly more melty tender in my opinion.  ~  6/10



Pea Sprouts with Tofu Sheet in Fish Broth -
This was cooked better than a similar dish we ate last year and the fish broth was balanced enough to let the veggies and tofu sheets shine through.  Very enjoyable.  ~  9/10



Semi Dried Golden Oyster & Salted Egg Yolk Fried Rice  [金蠔鹹蛋炒飯] -
Red heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heartRed heart 
~  Divine/10



Japanese ‘Black Sugar’ Kokuto Pudding with Red Beans,  fried with Egg Coating -
This year’s batch seems to be more elastic and it is still one of the best Nin Go pudding u can get in Hong Kong.  The kitchen virtually reinvented this dish but still retaining an elegant feel about it.  ~  9/10




Fruit Platter on Ice -
Interestingly this was Glowing in the Dark in the middle with a lamp.


Chinese Petits Fours -
Served after Dinner time only.   The Pastries are based on traditional cakes but with slight twists.  Filled with ingredients like Melon Paste,  Lotus Seed Paste,  Pi Dan,  Ginger,  Salted Egg Yolk,  and in one of the pieces I ate I thought I tasted でんぶ  in it.   ~  9/10




Chinese Cured Sausages and Turnip Pastry  [臘味蘿蔔絲酥] -
This is so flaky.  Note that Dim Sum items work on rotation and occasionally new items are created here.   During one visit this was made using Fish instead.  ~  9/10


Pan Fried Wagyu Beef Buns [和牛生煎包] -
Remembered the beef could have more stronger beefiness.   ~  7/10


Glutinous Rice Roll  [糯米卷] -
Only had this once but it was over-steamed a bit.  So never re-tried it.   ~  6/10




Prawn Dumplings with Bamboo Shoots  [晶瑩筍尖鮮蝦餃] -
Pretty decent here,  especially with their Chili Sauce or House Made XO Sauce.  ~  8.5/10




Hokkaido Snow Crab Dumpling in High Broth  [北海道長腳蟹魚翅灌湯餃] -
This was lovely as the soup was clear but not weak,  just balanced.  Although the Dumpling that is injected with soup and then steamed is more traditional.   ~  8/10




Sliced Fried Chicken with Batter Coated Yunnan Ham [燒雲腿併片皮雞] -
One of the signatures here.   This was lovely and comes with a plate of salt with cinnamon stick and also lemon juice.  Had this 2-3 times now as it’s a must order!   ~  9/10




Suckling Pig -
This was quite good here.



Abalone and Taro Nest Dumpling [鮑魚香芋海鮮盒] -
This and Man Wah’s version will both be fighting for Top Honors for serving the best in town.  ~  9/10



Crab Meat,  Black Truffle and Spinach Dumpling [蟹肉松露波菜餃] -
This was available for a while and every time we ordered this,  it was to me one of the signature dim sums here during lunch.    12/10




Baked Crab Shell with Pulled Crab Meat [焗釀蟹蓋] -
So far this is the best I’ve eaten in Hong Kong.  It doesn’t get fillers like onions and canned straw mushrooms like the majority of shops and the meat here are not overly soft or using pre-packed meat either.   Another must-order every visit and it’s consistently good.  ~  10/10



One of the original Signature Lobster with Gold Leaf Dim Sum [金葉龍蝦餃] -
Simple perfect and you can taste the ingredients.  ~  9/10




Wok Seared Sun-Dried Gold Oyster from Japan with Soy Sauce  [豉味煎金蠔] -
Lovely semi-dried oyster which is so intense in flavour but plump inside.  This was the best one I have eaten in HK so far.  ~  10/10



Wok Fried Lobster with Crab Roe and Fresh Milk [龍皇炒鮮奶] -
Slightly similar to a dish above but using milk instead of egg-whites.  Lovely again.  ~  8/10


Fortune Chicken baked in Mud and Lotus Leaves  [杭州富貴雞] -
A Hangzhou dish but just like Peking Duck,  found in every Cantonese restaurant in Hong Kong.  This version here was one of the best ones in town,  a lot of other shops make this too tough or too salty nowadays.   ~  9/10



Stir Fried Wagyu Beef with Peppers and Garlic  [蒜片青椒爆和牛] -
This was quite decent,  though personally I don’t really order this at restaurants.  Luckily the ones here retained the texture and also beef flavour.   ~  8/10



Fried Prawns with Taro and Milk Fritters [鳳尾蝦炸鮮奶] -
This was an interesting combination.  This was decent but seemed a little dense.    7.5/10




Wild Mushrooms with Shredded Duck and XO Sauce Stonepot Rice [野菌 XO 醬火鴨絲石鍋飯] -
This was one good fried rice and flavourful,  also dry and fluffy.  ~  10/10



Wagyu Beef Stir Fried Rice Noodles [乾炒和牛河] -
The noodles were the thinner type and whilst the flavour was excellent,  some strands stuck together slightly.  Beef had excellent flavour and texture,  the bean sprouts were obviously fried during a later stage so they didn’t become stringy like many shops do.  ~  8/10


Chilled Mango Cream, Pomelo and Sago Soup  [楊支甘露] -
A HK invention,  a lot of shops can’t get this right.  Here it has a great mango base and with all the rest supporting it together.  Even arrives with the dry ice effect which totally suited this cold dessert soup.  A Summer favourite !   ~  10/10



A New Years Sweet Dumpling to end…
From Memory with Sakura and Red Beans Paste.  This wasn’t all the food I have eaten here,  especially with the many Dim Sum items and Soups.   If this kitchen continues to improve on this upward trajectory,  we are definitely going to be very lucky customers.  This is currently on top of one of my favourite Chinese restaurants in town.




Price:   Lunch $200 ~ $350.  Dinner around $400 - 700
Ease of Access:   4/5  (Walk 7-8 minutes from Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station.)
Food:   ♕♕♕♕1/2 ~ ♕♕♕♕♕1/2

Disclaimer - this was obviously from many meals,  some Self Paid and some of Invitational nature,  cheers.  There’s still more food I haven’t covered.

Opening Hours:
Mon to Sun -  12:00pm - 14:30pm,  18:00pm - 23:00pm

Address: 尖沙咀梳士巴利道18號香港洲際酒店地下
G/F, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Ph: 2313 2323 / 2721 1211


  1. This looks AMAZING. Happy CNY....everything looked good. Will definitely go try this

  2. Oh my good ! Thanks for all these pictures. I'm going to try this restaurant soon !

  3. To Jessica and Alex Gastronome Parisien - Thanks for the kind words! I personally think the best time to come is during lunch time - as you can order both Dim Sums and A La Carte together!! Hope that helps : )

  4. Wow!! cool clicks i am very impressed to see all the pictures.You provide great information but i just need to know about their beach side beautiful villas. what offers they provide during off season for honeymoon couples.Thanks and regards!!
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