Chuen Kee Seafood Restaurant
51-55 Hoi Pong St
Sai Kung, Hong Kong
Chuen Kee Seafood Restaurant is a seafood restaurant located in Hong Kong’s northern Sai Kung area, about an hour subway and bus ride from tourist central Tsim Tsa Tsui. Take the MTR to Choi Hung (Kwun Tong line), exit through at Exit C2, walk a couple feet forward, and take bus 92 or 96R at the bus stop (arrives every 5 minutes), and get off at the end of the line after a 25 minute bus ride. This restaurant opened in 1988. Chuen Kee Seafood has another location a block farther down the promenade.
Other Hong Kong Reviews: Lung King Heen, Lei Garden, Yung Kee, Chuen Kee Seafood, Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao, Conrad Nicolini’s Sunday Brunch Buffet, Harbourside Buffet, 2010 Hong Kong Mini Restaurant Reviews.
The area is famous for having a multitude of seafood. Local fisherman return with their catch of the day and sell straight off their boats. Many local restaurants have enormous tanks full of exotic seafood.
I remember visiting the area in my teenage years, with the limited memories of tons of seafood tanks and picking your own food. My return visit validated those memories and created a new set.
REAL Seafood Tanks
There are serveral sea front restaurants here with big tanks. You can go to the tank, select your items, and they are cooked for you in the style you choose. It cannot get any fresher. You pay by the weight of the items plus a per person cooking charge.
We picked the only one with a long line and almost all locals in it. We avoided the two in the Fodor’s book. This restaurant was listed but not starred in the Michelin guide. Anthony Bourdain has also visited the restaurant.
Decor, Vibe – Busy, noisy, crowded, typical Chinese restaurant. Interior decor was above average, but with so many people during lunch, you could not see much. Lots of big parties enjoying a leisurely lunch dim sum.
Holy Jaws – PC Police are cringing
Different Cooking Styles
Menu with Live Seafood costs
Keep in mind that they have an extensive menu and most people during lunch eat dim sum. We were here to exploit their tanks.
After you choose seafood from the tank, they will ask you how you want each prepared. It is important to select an appropriate cooking style for each item. We goofed with blanched cuttlefish and had to have it sauteed.
Mantis Shrimp – lài niào xia (HK$41+160, HK$7.7 – US$1) or pissing shrimp (it urinates when cooked) were 2 huge shrimp deep fried with spicy salt (paprika) on top. They were the best version we’ve ever tasted. The lower legs were crispy and could be eaten. The internal meat was very sweet and tender. Needed to use special scissors to cut these boys open.
Scallops (HK$36+120) were 6 good sized scallops cooked by steaming with garlic and thin rice vermicelli noodles. An excellent dish with super tender scallops balanced perfectly with the savory sauce and noodles.
Cuttlefish (HK$38+140) was initially poached and cut then sent back to be stir fried with mushrooms. Very tender and not too chewy. It seemed even better the next day as cold leftovers.
Chicken’s Feet (HK$15) were in the normal classic style and very good.
Glutinous rice in lotus leaf wrap – Lo mai gai (HK$18) was good and had tons of meat filling.
Shrimp Dumplings – Har Gow (HK $18) was very good and 5 high quality shrimps in each one. More than we’ve ever seen before.
Deep Fried dumplings (HK $15) were good but not great. Beautiful, very crispy, and a little greasy.
Razor Clams (HK$39+130) were stringy long clams cooked in a spicy black bean sauce. The dish was too spicy and the clams a little too chewy for our tastes.
Chinese Radish Cakes – Lo-bak Go (HK $12) were of average quality.
Chuen Kee Seafood Restaurant had fair service, we often had to track down the servers. The freshness of the seafood and the cooking style of it was top notch. This is place is a must visit for foodies coming to Hong Kong. It was not only a great meal, it was a great experience visiting this fishing village area. In 2011, we ate at nearby one Michelin starred Loaf On, and found similar quality food, but a far nicer atmosphere.