This is one of many posts that are part of the series Jen's Guide - Best Places to Eat in Hong Kong for Visitors
I wanted something special for Bryan's birthday.
We had eight friends flying in from overseas to celebrate. There would only be a couple meals where everyone would be in Hong Kong together. Because Bryan has always been a huge fan of Peking duck, I began my search for the perfect restaurant by focusing on Hong Kong's best places for Peking Duck.
After balancing various factors like cost, distance from our hotel, and ambiance, I decided upon Man Wah, a 1-Michelin starred Cantonese restaurant on the 25th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel known for its excellent food and stunning views.
Although I had picked the restaurant based on rave reviews about its Peking Duck, I soon learned that the place is also very well known for its superb Cantonese food. Because we had a party of nine, we had the luxury of trying a wide variety of dishes. Here's a look at the amazing meal that we enjoyed.
Most everyone at the table began with a bowl of Hot and Sour Soup ($208 HKD each). This particular one was special because it had a superior seafood broth as its base and fish maw included with all other traditional hot & sour soup ingredients (bamboo, mushroom, wood ear, and the like). It was excellent. The seafood added a lovely depth of flavor that worked really well with the other flavors in the soup.
I opted for a fantastic Double Boiled Vegetable Soup, which was dominated by the flavors of one of my favorite mushrooms, Matsutake mushroom, as well as Shiitake mushrooms and bamboo pith ($188 HKD per bowl). I loved the clean flavors that came from the mushrooms. If you want something clean, light, yet super flavorful from the mushrooms, I would highly recommend this one.
We each enjoyed a generously-sized Deep Fried Crab Claw coated with minced shrimp ($168 HKD each).
One of the most memorable dishes of the night was the Barbecued Iberian Pork Loin made with longan honey ($378 HKD). This was easily one of the best charsiu (Chinese BBQ) roast pork I had ever had. The meat was soft and tender, and the sauce was excellent. You could almost sense people wishing we had ordered a bit more extra. For our table of 9, the server did suggest that we get one and a half orders, which was perfect.
I typically associate Sweet & Sour Pork with cheap, westernized Chinese restaurants in the U.S. This elevated Sweet and Sour Pork with pineapple($248 HKD) was unexpectedly incredible. The pork pieces were fried just right to a lovely crispy exterior. The sauce was balanced and the dish was actually quite impressive.
Even their simple "Kale" (this is what they call Chinese broccoli), ginger, and Chinese wine ($178 HKD) was perfect. The vegetables were tender and still crispy, and the flavor was excellent.
And then the moment we were all waiting for . . . . the Peking Duck! (half $518 HKD; whole $988 HKD) They brought it out to show us the full duck and then prepared it on a cart right next to our table.
We each received a fresh wrapper topped with duck skin and a little bit of raw onions. They made it so easy for us to make our own wraps. Not much work involved!
We had a choice of how we wanted them to prepare the rest of the duck meat. The server highly recommended the Braised Duck with Eggplant and Salted Fish with Chili Broad Bean Sauce (pictured above). It was EXCELLENT. The eggplant was soft and tender and really soaked up the rich flavors of the duck quite nicely.
We also had Wok Fried Minced Duck and Bamboo Shoots served with small lettuce cups.
This was also very tasty.
The one duck dish we did not choose was the Stir Fred Duck with Choy Sum, Straw Mushroom, and Yellow Chives in oyster sauce.
It was hard to pass up freshly baked Egg Tartlets ($188 HKD). These mini egg tarts are baked to order and thus requires 25 minutes preparation. Even though it was getting late and we were getting tired, we just couldn't pass this up. It was excellent, with perfectly layered flakey crust and a warm and custardy center.
Our friend ordered a Chilled Mango Cream with sago, pomelo, and coconut ($108 HKD). It came dramatically presented with dry ice and lots of "smoke"!
At the end of the meal, everyone got some mignardises of walnut cookies and roselle almond tofu with red bean. It was a lovely way to end the meal.
Man Wah has an excellent wine selection, and they will also let you bring your own for a corkage free. We did a mix of both and enjoyed some fabulous wines at Bryan's birthday celebration (part 1).
Man Wah Hong Kong - General Thoughts
The ambiance is opulent, the service is attentive and formal, and the food is outstanding.The fantastic views of Victoria Harbour are just icing on the cake. The prices match, and you'll spend quite a bit for this level of quality. The ambiance makes this a really romantic restaurant for two. At the same time, this is also the perfect place for a larger party. There is so much good food on the menu, it's much more fun to share with a larger group so you can try more things.
Definitely try the Iberico Barbecued Pork and the Peking Duck (both sharable items). I personally loved my Matsutake mushroom based soup, the Duck stir fried with eggplant, as well as the stir fried "Kale" (Chinese Broccoli) in garlic and wine. Consider trying their dim sum during lunch, which I've heard is excellent.
Definitely make a reservation. If you really want to go all out, you can book their 14-person private room that's housed in a traditional Chinese pavilion.
Man Wah Hong Kong
5 Connaught Road,
Central, Hong Kong
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