Despite the popularity of Xiao Long Bao courtesy of Din Tai Fung, wontons are still better for me and if I want the best I visit Chee Kei in Hong Kong.
We usually visit their branch near Times Square in Causeway Bay, but since its quite a ways from our usual hotels that we end up visiting the place only once. This time, we got some good news as a new branch has sprouted up near our hotel. We ate there three times this trip to Hong Kong as even Lauren became enamored with their noodles.
This branch is not only near it is quite spacious, I think more than double the branch we went to before. That branch was so small, all strollers are left outside, and the staff are not too happy when you enter lugging around a number of big bags full of shopping.
I usually order the Set B for HK$50 (around P275), composed of a bowl of either wonton noodle soup or the wonton dry noodles (top pic). The set also comes with a plate of vegetables, either kailan, choisim, mushrooms or radish. I like the choisim and kailan, lightly blanched, and served with a saucer of oyster sauce to pour over the veggies. The vegetables are fresh and naturally sweet tasting, how vegetables should be eaten.
Add HK$3 (around P18) to get a glass of soy bean milk, either cold or hot.
I used to order the wonton noodles soup, but decided to order the dry noodles instead and I was hooked. Each bowl of noodles is served with a dollop of oyster sauce and a bowl of soup on the side.
Put a couple of spoonfuls of soup on the dry noodles and mix it all up together with the oyster sauce and you get the best of both worlds. You get to taste the soup with bits of dried shrimp seeds and hints of pork and ham, giving it a wonderful umami taste. Lauren loved the soup so much she even cornered it all and only allowed me my few initial spoonfuls.
The noodles are very thin yet still very long owing to the great quality of ingredients they use. The noodles are very chewy and are cooked just right. These egg noodles are the standard by which I compared all others to, so far no one has held a candle to them. We’ve seen the dry noodles (HK11 or around P60 each) available for purchase but this time we decided to buy 6 to bring home.The experiment is a success, next time, we’ll be buying a lot more.
Wontons (four pieces included) are just right, although I think they are a little bit smaller than before, the outer cover is soft and strong, shrimps inside are crisp and fresh….Perfect! I can eat this everyday.
Irene orderd the usual noodle soup, the ones we used to always order but she did order the dry noodles once, she is still torn on which to order every time.
During our third and last visit, I saw something on a laminated menu, about a different kind of wonton. It was quite a bit more expensive than the regular ones at HK$72 (around P390) but I decided to roll the dice on that one and order away. The bowl of wonton soup has a couple of slivers of ham giving the soup a deeper smoked flavor while the wontons not only have shrimps but also shrimp roe and some of the shrimp seeds they use in the soup. The resulting wonton is even better than the regular ones, too bad they cost lots more.
Chee Kei is a permanent fixture on our Hong Kong resto list and with a branch close to us, it means multiple visits. Food is always excellent and good value for money. We used to think they only had a Chinese menu but on our second visit we finally saw the elusive English menu, so be comforted that you can still order without knowing a lick of Chinese or as a last resort you can use the point to the other table method.
Chee Kei Wonton Noodle HouseG/F No.37 Lock Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong Contact No.: (852) 2368-2528
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