Man Wah Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

| December 15, 2011

Address:5 Connaught Road, Central Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2522 0111,   email:
Opening Hours:Lunch 12pm-2:30pm Dinner 6:30pm-10:30pm
Text/photo: Vasin Srivarathanabul

In Hong Kong, you can find good Cantonese food at every street corner. But to find one with class, and a perfect view would be a challenge. There are only a few with nice views, one of them is Man Wah at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. One place that never fails me in Bangkok is the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok. So to make my couple of days in Hong Kong worth while, Man Wah would be a guaranteed choice.

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The Hong Kong MRT was complex but efficient rail system. It gave us an edge in getting to the Mandarin Oriental from Tsim Sha Tsui in only a couple of minutes. Arriving at the Hotel we headed straight up to the 25th floor where Pierre, M Bar and Man Wah shared the same floor. Behind the Chinese door, a comfortable dining space with large windows providing views over looking the Hong Kong Harbor to the Kowloon side. We were seated at a table by the window looking out to the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Building. As I have a background in architecture, it is always a joy looking at beautiful buildings by famous architects. This one is no exception, design by Lord Norman Foster in the 80s. An industrial look but elegant. The lighting at night makes the building look more complex with many layers.

The dinning space here is no less impressive, inspired by a Shanghai tea house in 1930s. The appealing dark rosewood wall set the tone for the whole space. Elegant golden bird cage lamps is composed informally providing an interesting ambiance.

At the table, the chef suggested some items from the menu. Just by his explanation we could not resist to follow his recommendation. The chef recommendation was a well balanced set with many varieties of ingredients and style of cooking from soup, seafood, beef, to steamed, stir fried, deep fried; all in five dishes. It started with a zhechuan Hot and sour soup. It has a tangy flavor and very spicy. In the soup there chunks of fish, scallops, pawns, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and bamboo mushrooms. When we almost finished the soup, a very beautiful dish appeared on our table. A crab claw on top a winter melon with edible flower garnish. It is a complex dish, there is clear sauce surrounding the winter melon. In the melon a more powerful ginger sauce is hidden. The crab claw was very fresh, sweet on its own but the sauces provided many varieties of ways to have the crab.

The sole fish was another treat. It was made to bit size pieces lightly battered, deep fried than, stir fried with black beans sauce. What was left from the fish was the bones, it was deep fried to form a curved shape to contain the fried fish. It was a long and slow process but it was worth it. The fish was very flavorful from the black bean sauce but it did not over power the fish itself. The crispy bone was fried to the point that it could be eaten. Next, the beef, it was one of our favorites. Usually I don’t like Chinese style beef, it was always too much seasoning giving very little of the beef taste. But for this particular dish the wagyu beef is in large bite size the black pepper sauce did not over power the beef revealing a nice beef taste from the moist wagyu.

To end a nice Cantonese meal fried rice is the top choice. And the fried rice here does not disappoint. The rice was soft but not soggy with many different textures from the seafood and barbecue pork. It has a very distinct aroma cause from the very hot wok and the expert handling it. Not much was left from all the 5 dishes. We had no room left for dessert maybe just coffee. Like our experience in Bangkok, the Oriental always give you a little surprise. With the coffee came complimentary desserts. A Chinese moon cake filled with moist sweeten mash soy beans and a flower jelly.

My Father the expert in Cantonese food.

Sampled Menu:
Hot and sour soup with superior seafood HK$ 98
Steamed crab claw with wintermelon and ginger HK$ 128 per person
Filet of sole in black bean sauce HK$ 438
Wagyu beef in black pepper sauce HK$ 288
Fried rice with mixed seafood HK$ 68 per person

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