Lei Garden is a restaurant group with locations in Hong Kong, Singapore, China, and Macau. We visited their location in the upscale IFC mall in Hong Kong for lunch. This location earned one star in the 2009 Michelin guide.
We learned the hard way, we walked in without a reservation and we were told that there would be a table for us in one hour. Since we wanted to try this restaurant; we left our name and walked around the shopping mall to waste time.
Lei Garden specialises in Cantonese food and they were the ones that invented the XO sauce in 1981; which I did not know. You learn something new everyday. The decor is modern with white, brown and beige as the main hues. The restaurant is large with many tables and people; but due to the proper spacing of talbes, it was comfortable and easy to have a conversation.
The first dish was leaves of a bean (I have no idea how to translate the Chinese name into English); just believe me that this was one of the best veggies I have tasted. Almost like spinach but had a nuttier taste. Deep green colour, nice soft texture and delicious.
The first dim-sum. Thin skin, good texture and nice taste.
A basket of Xiaolongbao. One of my favourite things to eat. Thin but sturdy skin filled with a tasty broth and pork filling. Oh so good.
The next dim-sum was siu mai. Thin skinned with plump and juicy shrimp. Delicate & delicious.
The next dish was boiled shrimp dumplings. Soft and tender skin with minced shrimp and herb filling. Topped with a special soy sauce. Yummy!
The first main dish was soft tofu in special Lei Garden sauce. A lovely dish with lots of textures; from the soft and velvety tofu, slight crunch of the vegetable and soft black mushroom. The sauce was a combination of spicy, salty & sweet. Very good.
The next dish was peking duck. Very nice crispy skin and tender meat with a light duck jus. Amazing dish.
The dessert was Lei Garden's famous egg tarts. We at first did not want dessert; but the waiter insisted that the egg tarts were very delicious. So, we took his advise and we were very glad we listened. The egg tart crust was light & flaky, the egg tart was rich, thick and creamy but not too sweet. I am sure this dessert was not very good for my cholesterol level due to the amount of butter they use to make this tart so good. However; like Julia Child always used to say: "Butter never harmed anyone".
A very good experince and very delicious food. We were very glad that we waited the extra hour to get a table at Lei Garden. For sure will come back when we are in Hong Kong. Or, I hope they open a branch in Bangkok.
1 Harbour View Street, Shop 3008-3011 IFC Mall
Central, Hong Kong