The first day of our itinerary in Hong Kong was so jam-packed, but still we found a weeny bit of time to explore Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) and go “panic shopping” even for two hours before calling it a day. From Hong Kong Ocean Park 海洋公园, we asked our tour bus driver to drop us at TST and he gladly did. In TST, we saw high-end brands of clothing, shoes, bags and accessories. Ahead of shopping time, dinner came as priority. It was a must to eat, or else our energy level would be down to zero. The least I aspired for was to be knocked unconscious because of hunger. 😛 So, this brings us to the question: Where to eat in Tsim Sha Tsui?
Finding a decent local Chinese restaurant where we could taste local Hong Kong food ate up much of our time. Apparently, we were down at Kimberley Road, which is like the little Korea town in Tsim Sha Tsui. Lots of Korean restaurants and shops stood, and they even expand to the neighboring roads: Nathan Road, Chatham Road South and Cameron Road. Eating other cuisines than Chinese didn’t sound appealing. We walked and walked and walked (too tiring leh) until we found Yuen Kee Restaurant 源記燒味粉麵茶餐廳. Oh finally, God must have answered our prayers!
Review of Yuen Kee Restaurant 源記餐廳 (Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong)
Upon first glance, Yuen Kee Restaurant was as unassuming as it gets. Nothing fancy. No bells and whistles. As we went in further, we appreciated the interior design more as it was simple, much like those fair Chinese restaurants we have back home in Chinatown, Binondo, Manila. Some recipes of their menu were displayed via back-lit LED pictures on the wall. Overall, the place was well lit and spacious. Bright, busy and packed with dining customers, Yuen Kee was glamorous as a Hong Kong-style fast food establishment.
The staff understood little English; it was better to speak with them in Cantonese for efficient communication. They acted fast and accommodated our requests from entrance to exit. However, they lacked warmth and cordiality with regard to serving and treating guests. How exactly?
I asked for iced cold water. The server gave hot water. We ordered an additional bowl of steamed rice, and it never came. Not wanting to waste and throw away leftover food, we asked for it to be packed. We were given an empty Styrofoam and plastic bag. The waiter told us to wrap the food ourselves and left us hanging. No guidance or help was provided when we asked how to separate the sauce and food in the Styrofoam to prevent spill-over. Thus, they would certainly not realize that mom already had just taken away one of their sauce containers with the sauce.
I guess that was an instance of culture shock for us. We have grown too familiar with Filipino customer service, which I describe as generally polite, full of cheer, and knowledgeable. And I was terribly missing those all the time when we were in Hong Kong.
Food presentation impressed the camera, but the food tastes fell short on my expectations. We ordered Two Poultry Legs with Rice 雙脾飯 (HKD 68). The chicken meat was hard to chew and didn’t seem fresh. The flavors were not intense enough to polish our plate. This is a dish you would not dare to order on your second trip back. Unfortunately, the portion was hearty. I don’t know if it’s meant for sharing, but good luck in advance if you plan to finish it alone.
We also tried their Noodles in Oyster Sauce with Shrimp Wontons 雲吞撈麵 (HKD 33), which as well didn’t deserve to merit high marks. The egg noodles were springy in texture (that’s okay); the wonton balls, fully stuffed with shrimp popping out in every bite; and the broth of the soup, too light and almost tasteless. It’s not the version of shrimp wonton noodle soup that I crave.
Price for Value: ★★☆☆☆
Considering the quality and taste of food and the customer service we have experienced, the price for value is really not that good and not worth for a regular dinner. It wasn’t as good as I wished. So if only I was not too hungry that night, I would have rated Yuen Kee Restaurant’s food lower. 😐 See Yuen Kee Restaurant’s menu here.