Been here at last! What a shame that I, having lived in the Western district for twenty years since i was born, have never been to many of the most renowned restaurants/eat-outs in the district. As i was scrolling down the list of restaurants with the most smiley faces, I spot Kwan Kee. Been there for a takeaway order of the lamb pot but never a eat-in as the place was always crowded, especally during autumn and winter time. Since the weather is changing and its significantly becoming warmer, we decided to place a bet for that the place would be less crowded. We even booked a table in advance.
The place was 80% full as we arrived at around 8. Quickly orders were placed and i started insepcting the interior of the shop: it was genuinely local and even the tables were irregular, the chairs were mismatching each other, and the four walls of the shop was full of posters carrying names of dishes they offer, making customers to literally 'look around' while ordering for food. The staff were mostly middle-aged and were chatting with each other, too, in quite a loud voice.
Soon the order of 貴妃雞
arrived. Shining with the grease on the skin, the chicken meat was tender and juicy - dad said its because of the usage of fresh chickens. Perhaps this was really the case as the chicken was significantly better than the tasteless, rubbery sh*t you get at many chinese restaurants!生菜鯪魚肉豆腐煲
(fish paste in lettuce and tofu soup). The soup was in a pleasant milky colour and smelt good of fish and pepper. There were quite a lot of fish paste balls in and it was quite aromatic, despite more dried mandarin skin could be added to further intensify the smell of it. The lettuce was not over-cooked, i really love the taste of the soup but the tofu was really bland in taste. The soup tasted more like broth cooked with fish paste, with tofu later added. I just cant feel the ingredients have been put into the same pot until the moment of final reheating.窩蛋牛肉片煲仔飯
- the two pots came simultaneously - and first we chose to finish the beef with a raw egg on top. After some quick stirs the egg was quickly cooked by the heat retained in the pot but the taste was covered by the soya sauce which came with the pots. It was not just salty but somehow sweet, and was perfect to add into the rice with! The beef on the other hand was just so-so, not very strong in taste and was weirdlly too soft in textrure- the consequence of using meat tenderizer?北菇雞飯
- next we stratched out arms to the chicken,mushroom in pot. The mushroom was a huge disappointment as it was basically tasteless but chewy, and did nothing to the dishes but to add a texture of rubberiness to the rice and stuff. The chicken was great - it seems that the kitchen here has got the straight way to handle the poultry!
One thing that you cant miss is the 飯焦
(burnt rice) on the bottom of the pots. They could be esaily stratched off with a spoon an just with some light efforts, toy could get a whole back of crispies which textured like potato chips. The irregular sprnikes of soya sauce has added a savoury taste to the crispies, making them even moe delicious to have. At this point i just cannot understand why people are gooing to places like wing hap sing which serves baked rice with no burnt rice in the bottom at all. The crispy rice is the essence of the dish and i enjoyed hearing the happy pops in my mouth as i bit onto the pieces of krispies.避風塘炒蝦
-the fish was extremely aromatic when freshly served from the kitchen and it immediately attracted the customers on the adjascent table to enquire the waiter what dish it was! the huge prawns were entirely covered with nicely tossed salt, ginger and spring onion and even the shells of the prawns were so crispy and light that they were edible! The shrimp was not particularly tasty but was definitely fleshy, and had absorbed the taste of the salt and onion well. Love the crispy salt too - i actually mixed it with the rice and ate them together!
the place got crowded soon after my arrival as customers went in and out constantly throughout the course of my meal. The shop was certainly one of the busiest in the district and thus do not expect much service and smiles from the waiters. The use of a charcoal grill had given the pots their distinctive aroma but it is also the source of the heavy smell which taints your clothes and hair and stuff, so dont go in your most expensive and smell-taking clothes.
The place was economical to eat at - our dinner costed only $301 and was very cheap considering the dishes we ordered. But given the popularity among both local and trans-district customers, it would definitely be safer to secure a table by making a prior reservation-but as i have said, be prepared for a not-so-polite, if not rude, response from the other end of the phone.
Date of Visit: Apr 14, 2011
Spending per head: Approximately HKD100(Dinner)Other Ratings:
Value for Money 5