Friday, April 1, 2011

Chee Kei Wonton Noodle

Chee Kei Wonton Noodle 
84 Percival St
Causeway Bay
Hong Kong
Ph : +852 2890 8616
Open : 11am - 1130pm daily

Other Locations:
Shop 10, Level 4, Langham Place, 8 Argyle Street, Mong Kok
G/F No.37 Lock Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Maritime Square, 33 Tsing King Road, Tsing Yi
Shop No.F27, Telford Plaza, 33 Wai Yip Street, Kowloon Bay
52 Russell St., Causeway Bay
70 Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai

As you can tell from the sheer number of branches listed above, this is a popular chain of  purveyors of noodles, wonton and the like. Clean and modern, but with old-fashioned traditional decor, they are seen as providing good quality and well-priced noodles and wonton in particular, though their crab congee is also well-known. I didn't realise it at the time, but it appears that they are also in Michelin's list of recommended Hong Kong eateries.

If the two branches I visited are anything to go by, they are very busy. So busy in fact, that queueing is mandatory at peak periods, though turnover is rapid, so you will never have to wait for too long. They are crowded, but not uncomfortably so, and be prepared to share tables if necessary. Pleasant though they are, they are not to places where you sit, eat and enjoy tea for a few hours.

Whilst everything is in Chinese, an English menu is available upon request. Ordering is a very efficient process, with the bill being placed under the plate of glass that covers the table as soon as you place your order.

My first visit here was on a family recommendation which, funily enough, turned out coincidentally to also be the recommendation of @ljLoch, who had told me that I must try the crab congee.

So I did.

Crab Congee ($60). Special deal with Gai Lan (total $75)

The congee is made to order, so it takes a little longer to arrive than other dishes, which seem to arrive in a matter of minutes.  Served in an aluminum pot set into a bamboo container resembling a bucket/ tub, the sheer size of the portion was totally unexpected.

Full to the brim with steaming hot congee, it contained an entire crab which had been cut up into segments. I doubted that I could finish it on my own, but as everyone who ordered it did so as a single serve, I could hardly let the team down and not eat it all. The crab roe was simply mixed into the congee, with ginger and scallion the dominant seasonings.

As you can see, a bowl of the congee had to be 'removed', barely causing much of a dint in the serving, before the crab was actually visible. The congee is filling, the flavour of the crab rich, and I understand its popularity. Congee is comfort food, and this is comfort food ramped up a notch.  If someone did a crab congee like this in Sydney, I'd be happy.

The side dish of Gai Lan was young, cooked perfectly with that little bit of crunch that I like, and the ideal accompaniment to balance the richness of the congee.

Another popular dish at this chain is the Jia Jiang Mian (Noodles), which you can have either 'dry', or with soup.

Having tried both of them, I can't say that I have a preference for one over the other. The soup is a flavoursome chicken broth, and the choice would probably come down to the simple banality of whether you feel like soup on the day. Either way, the noodles were cooked to just the right degree, the dry noodles still warm.

Two bowls of Jia Jiang noodles, Gai Lan and this plate of fried wonton cost the princely sum of HKD91. I ordered the wonton purely on the basis that they looked good at the neighbouring table. They were hot, crunchy, not oily, and contained a generous amount of well seasoned filling.  

During my trip to Hong Kong, the Percival St branch of Chee Kei was one of my most visited food destinations, and not just because it was conveniently close to my hotel. Constantly full, and with queues from opening time all through the peak lunch period, it's quick, inexpensive, solid quality food, and simply good value for money.



initialjh said...


maybe you should do an App for Apple App store for where to eat in HK???

Mim said...

One of my fave places to eat in HK!!