Lung King Heen
8 Finance Street
Central, Hong Kong
Return to the three-star Michelin rated Hong Kong restaurant with some of the best Cantonese Chinese Food…
Upscale IFC Shopping Center – Glitzier than any USA Mall
Lung King Heen (View of the Dragon) is a top rated Michelin restaurant in Hong Kong, with 3 stars, making this like the French Laundry of Hong Kong. In 2011, Sun Tung Lok, which we also reviewed in 2011, joined it with 3 Michelin stars. Controversy erupted after the decision, with some in Hong Kong questioning the decision. Lung King Heen is located on the fourth floor of the posh Four Seasons Hotel on Hong Kong Island, and connected to the ultra high end International Finance Center – IFC shopping complex. Needless to say, we highly anticipated dining here in Winter 2008. We returned for lunch in the Summer of 2010, and returned in April 2011 for dinner.
If you have a short stopover in Hong Kong, you can take the MTR express train from the airport and get to the IFC complex in 24 min.
The restaurant serves contemporary Cantonese Chinese cuisine using the freshest local ingredients and some modern twists of classic dishes. We came for lunch, which adds a limited dim sum list to their standard menu. We attempted to sample items off both menus, concentrating on items marked as a specialty.
Decor, Vibe – Elegant, open decor with lots of marble, hard woods, glass and silver that highlights the great harbor view they have. The view is especially impressive at night, so ask for a window side table when you make your reservation. Mostly locals and a couple tourists were dining. Several bigger parties and regulars. Mostly people in their 40’s and 50’s including ‘Tai Tais’ or rich old ladies reading the newspaper. The dress was far more casual than other three-star restaurants.
Extensive menu with a wide variety of dishes spelled out in Chinese as well as English. Dim Sum menu supplemental to main menu. Summer 2010 saw a supplemental truffle menu. The menu changes every 3 to 4 months, so some items we reviewed may not be on the menu. In 2011, we noticed that they had a vegetarian substitute for sharks fin, yu gut fun or fishbone powder. Lung King Heen prices are on the high side, but similar to other restaurants of this caliber.
2011 Dinner Picks:
Amuse Bouche Marinated Pork Knuckle in a sweet and sour sauce with a spicy kick.
Combination appetizer platter (HK$320) brought together roasted goose, barbecue pork with honey, and barbecued suckling pig, a combination that we love. The char siu was warm, super tender, and came with a sweet sauce. The Goose was boney, flavorful, dark, and riched flavored. The pig as Awesome with its crispy skin and unique thinness. This has to be one of the best versions around.
Peking Duck (HK $600) needs to be ordered in advance, so let the reservationist know ahead of time. Ridiculously expensive, this course comes in 2 acts, carved tableside traditional skin and meat on wheat crepes and also as minced duck meat in lettuce cups. The duck was carefully cut up and pre-made peking duck servings were presented to us. Excellent crispy skin coupled with tender meat with excess fat removed. The lettuce cup version was even better, with crispy lettuce, nuts, and sauce in every bite. This dish is enough for 4-6 people. A hot sauce was served with the duck, that proved to be ridiculously good.
Wok fried Australian Wagyu beef cubes with spring onions, garlic, and black bepper (HK $420) came to us medium rare, with lots of onion flavor and juicy, settled beef flavors. The signature dish’s high quality meat melted in our mouths.
Lung King Heen Roast Chicken (210 for Half) was excellent with a slight salty slant. Again the high quality chicken in Hong Kong eclipses anything we have in the US.
Egg Vegetable Tofu Sheet (180) was a healthy, silky, excellent vegetarian dish. A must get for tofu fans.
Poached Baby Cabbage with Qi Zi herbs in Soup (HK $140) was most surprising dish of the evening. This beautiful baby cabbage vegetable platter was simply awesome. Artfully arranged, impressive cooking style, a robust supreme broth utilizing Chinese wolfberry, pork bones, chicken, and ham. Yes, this isn’t exactly vegetarian, but stellar nonetheless.
Complimentary dessert – Chinese wolfberry jello and soft egg tart, both very good but not amazing.
2011 Dinner OK: ( Order only if you really like this dish)
Crispy scallops with pear (HK$ 180) were not cooked how we thought they would be. These signature dish crispy fried scallops had some neutral flavored pear that added up to a bland dish. This dish needs a robust accompaniment to the subtle flavors of a scallop.
3 sauces are brought to the table: XO, lot jew hot sauce, and a ponzu sauce.
Cripsy Taro dumplings with assorted seafood and black truffle (HK $60) was excellent, is highly recommended, and was the best dish we had in 2010. This dish came with truffles on top and inside adding to its nice crispy texture.
Steamed Rice Rolls with Lobster in Black Bean Sauce (HK$7.8 to US$1 – HK$90) – kicked up a basic dish with lots of tender fresh lobster. This dish also had pea shoots, adding to this complex flavored noodle.
XO Rice Rolls (120) were full of bean sprouts and hot zesty wide noodles fresh from the Wok.
Abalone chicken rice rolls (HK $88) had a sweet soy sauce base in were fairly chewy. Not much abalone and mostly chicken flavor, but still a solid dish.
Truffle braised E-Fu Noodles (180) were on the special lunch menu and proved to be beautiful, and full of rich truffle flavors.
Truffle Crispy Spring Roll (66) were very good featuring a crisp golden brown crust and rich truffle flavor.
Steamed Lobster and Scallop Dumplings (HK$68) came with 2 very good individually steamed dumplings filled with high-quality lobster and scallops, and a shrimp on top. Very luxurious and pretty. 2010 visit reconfirmed its quality.
Steamed beef dumplings with vegetables (HK $64) were see-through, chewy, hot dumplings in which we tasted each distinct ingredient, not a mishmash of each.
Steamed scallop dumplings with black truffles and vegetables (HK $60) emerged from the kitchen very hot, with a hint of truffle flavor, and lots of pea shoots.
Crispy Turnip Puffs with Lotus Root (HK$45) was the best we have had and it looked great. Perfect texture, crisphy outside, very smooth, a bite of lotus flavor.
Steamed Fried Rice with diced abalone wrapped in Lotus leaf (HK$80) was a single huge lotus wrapped delicious rice dish with conpoy, tried scalloped, chicken and even had high quality abalone in it. It came from the kitchen very hot and featured flavors that were infused into the rice. They probably cooked fried rice and a walk and then wrapped and steamed it in the lotus leaf. 2010 visit reconfirmed its quality.
Barbecued Suckling Pig (HK$240) was a beautiful dish. The crispy skin was incredibly even. They had shaved some fat from the bottom of the skin and also placed a thin bun in the middle. Very tasty and a surprisingly big dish. 2010 visit reconfirmed its quality when we had a three meat chef’s signature appetizer dish with the following two items:
Barbecued pork with honey (HK $90) was on the sweet side with its honey sauce, but tender and perfect.
Soya chicken (HK $80) have bits of spiciness and saltiness infused into small bony pieces of chicken. Chicken’s in Hong Kong are not the huge, antibiotic infused versions as in the United States.
Braised Shark’s Fin with Fresh Crab Meat (HK$320) had extremely clear broth and a ton of crab meat. Lots of very good intense flavor.
Crispy Pigeon (HK$80) was a reasonably priced but small squab with good flavor. Cooked very well, was probably frozen as they strictly adhered to bird flu guidelines of no live poultry.
Double Boiled Superior Bird’s Nest served with Almond Cream, Coconut milk, and crystal sugar (HK$450) was a decadent, almost US$60 dessert that I had to try. It was awesome. The birds nest had a very smooth texture and I was able to blend in my desired level of high quality add ins.
Crispy sesame balls (HK $48) with sweet potato and pickled ginger was an innovative version of the classic. It possessed a thin skin and some unique flavors.
Portuguese Egg Tars (52) were fresh out of the oven, tiny but soft and excellent. The next best thing to visiting Macau.
Dessert Sampler (HK$80) consisted of 5 items from their dessert menu, Chilled Coffee pudding layers, Baked Walnut puff, Chilled Mango and Sago Cream with Pomelo, Chilled Osmanthus rolls flavored with green tea, and Sweetened almond crea with egg white. All items were very good.
We also got the complimentary desserts with awesome but delicate lotus seed paste filled pastries and multilayered coconut pudding. 2010 included a delicate and not super sweet Osmanthus jello.
Steamed Shanghainese Pork Dumplings with crab meat (HK$48) came with 4 elegantly decorated dumplings. Having come from Shanghai a couple days prior, we tasted better ones for a lot less.
Wok-Seared Turnip Pudding with Conpoy and Black Mushrooms (HK$48) was a decidedly average dish. A clinker, nothing special to it.
Chilled sugarcane pudding with Dragon fruit seeds (HK$48) was an okay dish with weird chewy seeds and not much sugarcane flavor.
Lung King Heen had top notch service, with our tea cups never empty. On our visit in 2010, service had clearly faded, so we lowered their rating. Our dinner in 2011, brought service up to a new high, with extremely knowledgeable servers and all her wishes fulfilled promptly. The servers were extremely knowledgeable, courteous, and could recite how each dish was prepared. It is clear that the Michelin inspectors value highly, a stylish restaurant and tip top service. There was no need to spend thousands of dollars or be a regular to get outstanding service. Lunch at Lung King Heen is much more affordable than virtually any other three-star Michelin restaurant. 10% service charge, HK$20 per person for standard Chinese tea.
While you are here, be sure to visit City Super in the IFC Mall. A beautiful high end international grocery store with items like A5 Wagyu, Iberico ham, and more.
While other restaurants may make a particular dish better, few could put together the combination of excellent food, service, and atmosphere. We would have no hesitation coming back on our next trip to Hong Kong. This is definitely a place to be experienced. There may not exist a Chinese restaurant of this caliber in the USA, with the closest high end Chinese restaurants in North America located in Vancouver, BC, IE Kirin. Koi Palace is about as good as it comes in our home area, San Francisco, and their food and service are significantly below Lung King Heen’s.
Be sure to check out our Hong Kong reviews of Lei Garden IFC , Ming Court, Chuen Kee Seafood, and Yung Kee. The 2nd Chinese restaurant to receive 3 Michelin stars appeared in 2011. We would also almost rank Sun Tung Lok in the same class as Lung King Heen, with top notch carefully prepared food, but with a different style, and a lower key location.
MTR: Central or Hong Kong Station