[Hong Kong] I remember the good old days when Ho Hung Kee 何洪记 was a casual eatery Causeway Bay serving one of the best wonton noodles and beef horfun ever.
It was subsequently awarded a Michelin star, the first wonton noodle shop to be given the accolades.
No, not even Mak’s Noodle had it.
After rental issues at Causeway Bay, Ho Hung Kee 何洪记 moved to nearby Hysan Place, and the original shop was replaced by Chee Kei. (Chee Kei probably made a right move, because I still know of unsuspecting friends going there thinking it was the old Ho Hung Kee.)
A little on Ho Hung Kee’s history.
Ho Hung Kee was founded in 1946 by Ho Wing Fong and his wife in 1946, and he is the disciple of wanton master Mak Woon Chi.
Yes, the same noodle master whose children and relatives gave rise to all the different Mak’s in Hong Kong.
Ho’s son is fairing pretty well by opening up a few branches of Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop 正斗粥麵專家, and gave his father’s restaurant a brand new look as well. Therefore, you are likely to see many similarities between the two.
Ho Hung Kee is the first wonton-noodles restaurant to be awarded that one Michelin star in 2010.
According to the Michelin Inspectors, ”Ho Hung Kee, which originally opened in Wan Chai in the 1940s is famed for its springy wonton noodles and fresh, sweet soup. More elements have been added here at its new address – dim sum and some Cantonese dishes are now served too. “
Other than Hysan Place, Ho Hung Kee has also opened a branch at Hong Kong International Airport Arrival Hall (non-restricted area), and Shanghai’s 789 Nanjing Xi Lu.
The flagship restaurant one was moderately busy, with an entire different décor – clean, contemporary with Tiffany-blue coloured seats and gold accent.
Coincidentally, a few friends also choose this restaurant as it had noodles, congee, dim sum and a Michelin star. Plus it is located at a convenient location (with Eslite BBookstore just downstairs.)
The prices have also gone more ‘up-market’. The House Specialty Wanton Noodles in Soup cost HK$40 (SGD6.70) for a small bowl, and HK$58 (SGD9.80) for a large bowl, compared to say HK$33 in the past.
The small bowl was indeed not very large, but it provided me loads of joy with its springy thin noodles and warm clear, flavourful soup.
While some Wanton Noodles soup had a strong alkaline siap –siap taste, Ho’s version had very little of it.
Simple and very pleasurable.
Their prized smooth congee cost HK$64 to 88 (SGD10.70 – 14.80) for a bowl with varied ingredients of sliced fish, sliced beef, meatballs, pork liver, salted lean pork, pork intestines, egg and preserved egg).
The congee was cooked for many hours, with a smooth creamy consistency. I think one of the best I had in Hong Kong (though not the most memorable).
Ho Hung Kee’s Spicy Shredded Pork Noodles (HK$75, SGD12.60) are worth a try, though a tad pricey for the size of a small bowl, boasting thin springy noodles, tender pork, and soup that does not scream of too much MSG.
The Stir-Fried Rice Noodles With Beef (HK$108, SGD18.30) is another of their signature dish.
However, I think this dish has seen better days. The last I had it, the rice noodles were oily, didn’t taste soft enough, and lacked of that distinct wok-hei.
Ho Hung Kee environment is definitely more tourist-friendly and comfortable, with wider selection in its menu including dim sum and desserts. Somehow, perhaps psychologically, I feel that food quality may have notched down a little.
Ho Hung Kee Congee and Noodle Shop 何洪记 – Causeway Bay
1204-1205 Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay (Causeway Bay MTR, near Times Square, take elevator or lift up to Level 12)
Tel: +852 2577 6060
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 11pm
Ho Hung Kee – Hong Kong Airport
Arrivals Hall, Arrivals Level (L5), Non-restricted Area
Tel: +852 2323 6690
Opening Hours: 6:00am – 12:00am
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Mak Man Kee 麥文記麵家 (Jordan, Hong Kong)
Mak Siu Kee 麥兆記雲吞麵 (Wan Chai, Hong Kong)
Tsim Chai Kee 沾仔记 (Central, Hong Kong)
Mak’s Noodles 麥奀雲吞麵世家 (Central, Hong Kong)