Somehow I’d found myself back in the Hong Kong, probably motivated by a cheap flight and the sirens of good food. After a night spent eating seafood hot pot in Causeway Bay and then too much ice cream at Holly Brown, the fitting next was a stop with friends at Lee House Restaurant for Sunday dim sum. My expecting friend Becca and her daddy-to-be husband Karim led the ordering, and they did a bang-up job.
A small dish of tripe, crunchy and sweet, with just a touch of heat from the sliced peppers. I don’t often eat chicken feet. Outside of having it at home in Fuzhou sometimes with my extended family, I rarely order it at dim sum, even with seasoned (read: Chinese) eaters. But something about that early afternoon said ‘chicken feet’. Manners be damned.These little fried tofu cubes were quite good as well, with a deceptively light batter (just a dusting, really) and soft fresh tofu center.
The rice noodles with soy sauce and beautifully charred turnip cake were both excellent. This fried eggplant dish was also wonderful, also delicately coated and fried (retaining the eggplant’s meatiness, which is nice, not mushy for a change), and in a bed of vinegar mixed with pickled chilis.
These rice sheet rolls (野菌脆腸粉, and another version of maybe pork) were my absolute favorite dishes of the meal, particularly for the filling of fried bits. Yes, it was exceedingly crunchy and you can taste some of the oil through the sweet soy sauce they typically give with these rice sheet dim sum things, but I loved the airiness that using this fried silken batter gives (compared to sturdier youtiao, for example). There’s room to appreciate the crunch, and you’re not weighed down so much by the greasiness, which is immediately followed by the savory punch of the wild mushroom stuffing. It was hard to go on after consuming so much of the rice rolls, so I nibbled at a few things: some really juicy shrimp dumplings, some harmless veggies, a fried-tofu-skin soup that tasted like a play on tom yum soup, and delicious pineapple char siu buns that were buttery and seared on the bottom like the famous ones at Tim Ho Wan. I guess after writing that sentence, it wasn’t so much nibbling as force-feeding – but who am I to say no to buns? In retrospect, these buns were actually pretty phenomenal, and I highly recommend them. I was just on the verge of food coma by the time I got to them.
Lee House Restaurant
2/F, Cre Building, 303 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai