|Taste ||Environment ||Service ||Hygiene |
Value for Money
New venture from the world famous Lei Garden! Aug 05, 2012
Lei Bistro brings diners both Northern and Southern Chinese cuisines, including soup, barbecued favourites and dim sum. Bistro menu emphasis on steamed braised and stewed dishes and less deep fired items.
Food rating: 5/10*
* Food Rating: 6/10 is equivalent to 1 Michelin star, 8/10 to two Michelin stars, and 9/10 or above to three Michelin stars
This was a classic shanghaiese dish. The 烤麸was spongy, steamed well. The 面筋has washed away and there weren’t any 豆腥味, a very successful四喜烤麸.
The chicken was steamed very well, absorbed the marinate nicely, and the meat was extremely tender.
The mushroom was spongy and the vegetable was soft and slight crunchy. I loved the sauce, no wonder is one of the dish recommended by the chef.
The wrapper was pretty thin, moist the outside. The meat was juicy and the soup inside the wrapper wasn’t hot enough.
The wrapper was smooth, but its rather not spicy, and the filling wasn’t marinated enough.
It was very interesting; the outside was crispy yet easy to bite. The taro was soft and slightly salty. Loved the complexity.
It was steamed nicely, strong 紅棗 flavour, spongy like 千層糕.
Give me a thumbs up if you like it!
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)
Date of Visit: Jul 26, 2012
Spending per head: Approximately HKD110
Value for Money4
terrible Nov 15, 2011
reached restaurant 9pm and have to wait 4 mins to be seated even when there are empty tables and restaurant was just over half full. was served 3 glass of 'house tea' and a piece of chinese order paper handed over, stress to lady that we don't read chinese and finally menu was presented. no recommendations (maybe we are not locals) and definitely not helpful when have to write orders for us.
dinner went on quite usual until time to pay. can't believe we were charged $9 for three glasses of 'house tea'. when asked about this, the lady says $3 per glass comes with free refill, then why hasn't our tea refilled thorughout dinner? other customers in other tables get their refill. she then called one of the waiters to fill up our glass, come on, we have asked for the bill and ready to leave. and we have to pay 10% service charge on top of that? for what? first we were asked to take our own orders, 'house tea' wasn't refill, food was just served without greetings and every staff member was just standing by service counter talking. 2 young chefs (uniform very dirty, unbutton and kept strocking their hair) walked out and started talking with the group of waiters. no one seems to care for the customers.
the food was just OK, some local 'cha chan teng' serves better food and definitely provide better service. how they get that star is a mystery.
Recommended Dish(es): try local 'cha chan teng',food is better
Table Wait Time: 4 minute(s)
Date of Visit: Nov 14, 2011
Spending per head: Approximately HKD90(Dinner)
Just another Tsui Wah Jan 29, 2011
I was running an errand at lunch today, and decided to check out Lei Bistro (利小舘), a cheap eatery run by the Lei Garden Group that somehow got themselves a macaron from the obviously delusional Bibendum. I haven't given Lei Garden a dime of my money since my disastrous meal a year ago, and I was curious to see what this place was all about.
Make no mistake, this is a cheap eatery for the masses - not unlike the Tsui Wah (翠華) chain of 24-hour restaurants. In fact, the staff here wear yellow polo shirts, too... We ordered by ticking a few items off a double-sided checklist.
Puff pastry with shredded radish (蘿蔔絲酥餅) - this was pretty decent. The flavors of the radish were good, and the center was hot enough without scalding my tongue.
Deep-fried taro puff (蜂巢芋盒) - yes, this was something that made me want to scream "Why?!" The dish arrived cold, with the inside barely lukewarm. And the taro stuffing tasted of alkali, like someone just dumped a spoonful of baking soda. Yuck.
Deep-fried pork chop (椒鹽排骨) - this was OK, but not sure why they decided to put curry powder in the batter.
Stir-fried flat noodles with barbecued pork and scallions (薑蔥叉燒撈粗麵) - not bad, although it would be better if the noodles didn't have the taste of alkali.
Xiaolongbao (小籠包) - these were actually decent. The skin was reasonably thin and soft, while there was plenty of pork juice inside.
Do I feel like I've just eaten at a Michelin-starred restaurant? Not remotely. The food is average at best, and there were failed dishes. So I ask again: what the heck were those Michelin guys smoking, and can I have some?
Table Wait Time: 1 minute(s)
Date of Visit: Jan 28, 2011
Spending per head: Approximately HKD100
Value for Money2
Disappointing! Don't bother!! Dec 24, 2010
The place was deserted during late afternoon.
The tea set seemed quite reasonable ($28) but don't forget the tea charge ($3) and 10% service charge on top of it.
I ordered the fried Shanghai noodles 上海粗炒 and a plate of braised bamboo shoots.
The noodles were a bit greasy, with tons of pork strips. Nothing special, very ordinary.
It took a long time for the bamboo shoots to arrive even though there were only a few customers (the lady sitting at the next table had the same problem, she had to remind the waiter 4 times about her order of steamed dumplings). It seemed that the bamboo shoots just came out of the microwave oven!!!
Service was not attentive and the quality of food was below average. I am not quite sure how this place earned a Michelin Star!!!!!
Table Wait Time: 1 minute(s)
Date of Visit: Dec 10, 2010
Spending per head: Approximately HKD76(Tea)
Value for Money2
Very Disappointing Dec 04, 2010
VERY BAD service... the environment is very noisy and crowded.
It is not suitable for gathering.
The service is bad and the price is unreasonable.
There are many other similar choices of this kind of chinese food around the causeway bay area. So I will definitely not coming back to this place.
Most of hte food is ok, but the meat is relatively salty.
It is quite disappointing since there is a higher expectation from the restaurant of the Lee's group.
Date of Visit: Nov 23, 2010
Spending per head: Approximately HKD250(Dinner)
Value for Money1
Class Action Aug 28, 2010
Luxury Brands developing a more affordable line of clothing or accessories seems like a good way to expand its market, or target audience, After all, fashion magazines are becoming more popular among audience at increasingly younger age groups, 'Style at every age' is finally being realized, and while trendsetters may not want to admit, it's great to see that those who think they can create styles, or influence their change with details and trends, are developing variations or alternatives to reach a larger mass. It doesn't just happen in fashion, clearly, to food as well.
Lei Bistro is the latest line for the Lei Garden Restaurant chains. With affordability and casual atmosphere in mind, the first establishment opened in Causeway Bay, right at the basement of Times Square, where the hungry traffic is huge throughout the day. If there is one thing about Lei Bistro that goes hand in hand with its luxury counterparts, it's the need for reservations. You need one to get in, unless you don't mind waiting outside. But then if you don't mind waiting, there are a few things you shouldn't mind when you get there -- the ambience, service, and food quality, three of the most obvious elements in a restaurant's visit.
Without further judgment, Lei Bistro is more laid-back, but that also involves the owners trying to maximize their already narrow dining space with more tables, each closer to each other. The lack of elbow room also evolves into having your next table neighbors eavesdropping into your conversation, or not, because the place is a hub of noise -- you may not be able to hear what the others are talking about, or for that matter, the person right opposite you.
The menu is decidedly mixed -- and much similar to the case in many restaurants trying to be more than they can be, no matter what brand the restaurant's developed from, Lei Bistro is trying very hard to change that. It's signature 冰燒三層肉 can be sold out early afternoon. The quality wasn't bad, but for a signature product to be in such short supply is an alarming fact -- were they trying to make it look more popular than it does? 油炆筍尖 are not very thin bamboo shoots, braised in plenty of brown sauce which is overseasoned and over-glazed. The slim bamboo shoots went from crunchy to soggy, with what may be an overdose of oyster sauce in the marinade they're cooked in. 蜜汁火方 (配蝴蝶包) is a failed attempt for a well established brand to redeem itself. The ham, despite softened through repeated steaming, was soft with bits of fat still clinging on each slice, the honey sauce it's cooked in was truly too sweet, almost like biting into a hunk of ham followed by 10 repeated licks of an artificial-sweetener-laden lollipop. It's so sweet it tasted fake. The "butterfly buns" were soft, and what's up with the deep-fried soybean sheets that went with? Can they be any less generous about it? (despite them being crunchy throughout)
The only thing 'dirty' about 荷香蒸污糟雞 is its name. Bony chunks of marinated chicken steamed inside a lotus leaf parcel with red jujubes, shreds of preserved mustard tubers, and dried shiitaki mushrooms were tender and juicy, with a strong welcoming aroma of lotus leaf in every bite of the chicken, if only the dish could be less oily -- the chicken was sitting in a shallow pool of oil. 故鄉濃茶燻釜米鴨 came from the barbecued department. It fell right into the deadly mistake as the smoky flavour overrode everything else. The duck no longer took on any flavour other than a slightly burnt taste. If you try to tell me the duck was smoked to death, I would've believe you too -- the smokiness truly was too much, even for someone who loves tea dearly!
韭黃炒鱔糊 came in a small portion, but that usually didn't matter, but instead you can find more chives than eel, which came in dark miniature curls that were slightly too tough. The chives were too tough though and grassy to taste. 飄香荷葉飯 is the only dish we couldn't complain -- the full lotus leaf parcel was packed with moist rice granules, while bits of dried shiitaki mushrooms and chicken bits were perfectly diced and moist. The aroma of lotus leaf was strong but not too dominating. If there was anything, the serving portion was way too big for this one, as a group of three each had 2 bowls full. Desserts are not a strong suit here, but claiming originality is Lei Bistro's 楊枝甘露. Being original is one thing, being up to par is another. This concoction was too thin and too sweet. Despite featuring chunks of mangoes with translucent pearls of tapioca, the shreds of pomelo were too tough and bitter to taste. It was truly disappointing to think that the restaurant which created the same dessert could differ so much from the original restaurant, is it what restaurants are trying to do -- toning down the prices by lowering the quality of their food?
Food quality aside, for any brand intending to keep its reputation, a keen eye on the management is important. It took forever for anyone to get their teacups refilled, to a point that diners wanted to refill by themselves. The service staff seemed to be in a rush walking around trying to be accomodating instead of actually doing it. It's equally a pain to see that despite the placemats are artfully designed, some of the plates and bowls were already chipped (please see image) despite the restaurant has opened for no more than a few weeks. To claim that a restaurant group is trying to reach a wider target audience by lowering the prices is fine, but to lower the quality of anything that goes out of the kitchen isn't. The food isn't all bad, but it's the careless bits here and there that makes diners wish that they'd been in the original Lei Garden Restaurants instead, as one couldn't help but wonder, when the new Lei Garden opens later this year in the same building, will the bistro be as popular as now?
Recommended Dish(es): 飄香荷葉飯
Table Wait Time: 15 minute(s)
Value for Money2
利小館 Lei Bistro - Utterly disappointment Jul 24, 2010
By looking at the menu, one can easily noted that the variety of the dishes offered by Lei Bistro is actually not very different from other Shanghainese or Cantonese restaurant. Because of the reputation of its parent, Lei Garden, I had tried Lei Bistro with an "above-average" expectation. But it turned out that this restaurant has disappointed me on the food quality and I considered that it is not value for money at all.
The roast duck (so called duck roasted in an old fashioned style with tea leaf) is of a very small portion and we were offered a plate of about 8-10 pieces of duck ribs with thick fatty duck skins. OMG...I could barely taste the roasted duck meat. If this was actually the restaurant owner wanted its customers to taste, I have nothing to say but utterly disappointment especially when you got to pay HK$68 for it.
The other one made me frustrated is vegi with bean sauce. By reading the English translation of this dish, I thought I would get a dish of fried vegi with bean sauce. Again, it turned out that it looked and tasted like a dish of boiled vegi and bean with a boiled vegi water underneath (sorry not boiled vegi with stock!). How dare they charge customers for HK$50 for such boiled vegi (not with stock, just water).
Guys, I suggest that you don't waste time waiting a long queue for this restaurant. You can find a much better value by paying a similar amount of money in other restaurants nearby. If Lei Bistro or Lei Garden want to attract young customers for good quality Chinese dishes, please do not cut down the food quality. Making it value for money is equally important to ask the customers to come back. Good reputation takes many years to build, but it can be ruined fairly quickly and easily.
Value for Money1
good, but you must know what to eat. Jul 16, 2010
I went to the restaurant with my family, we arrived at 12:05, just before the lunch rush, so we didn't have to wait for the seats. We ate something else before. So keep that in mind for the prices.
Once we arrived, we ordered the 粉皮. The sauce was good. But the 粉皮 was stuck together, making it hard to mix. Took us some time to tear apart the 粉皮.
雞絲粉皮- $42. Good taste, nice texture. reasonable amount.
Then we ordered 生煎飽. The outside was crunchy, yet inside the bun, the bread becomes soft, large amount of ingredients were in the middle. Definitely not one of those cheap ones with almost no ingredients inside. There were pork, mushrooms, spring onion and also several other vegetables.
生煎飽- forgot the price, but despite my forgetfulness, it was good.
The next dish we ordered was 小籠包. One order comes in 4 of them, the skin was thin. Alot of juice in the bun.
小籠包- $26- an above average piece of 小籠包. Worth it! XD
The last dish we ordered before dessert was 三層肉. You could clearly see the three layers: thin layer of meat, thick layer of fat, and another layer of meat. Nicely salted, taste even better with mustard. I love the skin of the piece, thin, crunchy but not oily. Delicious!
三層肉- $68- a very fine piece, but too expensive. It is also a very small dish. I wouldn't eat it again, 試過就算.
Lastly: dessert. Since its been recommended by others that the 楊枝甘露 is very tasty and is in special offer, we ordered three bowls of it. When I first opened the cover, it looked like any of the other ones on the street. But when I took a sip, it was far more than what I expected. It was sweet, not like some outside where it's sour. Although I could taste there were heavy amount of sugar added into it. It was a good dessert.
楊枝甘露- $12 (original price $24) very cheap compared to the price. Hope this offer doesn't disappear so soon. I will definitely eat it again next time. (Only one order from the promotion price per customer.)
Recommended Dish(es): 小籠包,
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)
Date of Visit: Jul 13, 2010
Value for Money3
Efficient delivery and quality foods Jul 09, 2010
Read the intro of this new brand and new line under the Lei Garden group. Booked a table and got in quickly. The reception got a lot of people and long queue. The receptionist was far too busy to deal with the annoyed people who have been waiting desparately for tables.
After we're shown to our table, we were given a think menu displaying a lot of beautiful photos. The variety was impressive, this restaurant serves not just Shanghainese or Beijingnese foods, it also serves Cantonese dim sum and South East Asian foods, e.g. Hai Nan Chicken Rice
As a 1st try, we ordered the famous siu lung bao - the steamed dumplings, dan dan mian - spicy noodle with peanut sauce, dumplings with soup, and barbecue pork.
The xiao lung bao - steamed dupling/bun came with 4 pieces - they were nicely done, very juicy and pretty.
The barbecue pork was tender and juicy. However, it was far too salted
The dan dan mian noodle was quite spicy - the texture was okay.
The dumplings in soup was okay too.
The vegetiable with beans was also done well.
We will come back!
Table Wait Time: 5 minute(s)
Date of Visit: Jul 09, 2010
Spending per head: Approximately HKD120(Dinner)
Value for Money4