Prolific Singaporean Imperial Treasure Restaurant Group’s first establishment in Hong Kong serves elevated Cantonese cuisine in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui.
Words Iris Wong Food Photo Joe Kwong
Imperial Treasure Hong Kong opened to little fanfare early this year, but has since developed a loyal following of homesick Singaporeans and curious gourmands drawn by the reputation of its two-Michelin-starred Shanghai sister restaurant. Established in 2004, Singapore-based Imperial Treasure Restaurant Group has more than 30 outlets across Asia, with two fine-dining branches due to open next year in France and Britain. Its Hong Kong flagship has an opulent (and very expensive) interior featuring Asian artworks, an ikebana centrepiece and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the harbour. e space is organised into a generous dining area and several private and semi- private dining rooms.
We had high hopes for the roasted suckling pig ($1,180/whole pig), and we weren’t disappointed: not too fatty, the thin, crisp skin – eaten with a thin slice of man tou steamed bun for added sweetness and texture – crunched with each bite and had the entire table smiling. The double boiled pig’s lung in almond soup ($98/person) was another highlight, with a creamy, almost thick aromatic broth that was rejuvenating to the nose and comforting on the palate. Our favourite dish of the night was probably the poached coral trout in seafood soup with crispy rice (market price). Although reminiscent of rich, umami-packed lobster bisque, the seafood broth is made with dish and crustaceans but without a single lobster. It is the perfect accompaniment to the fish, which flakes into large, meaty chunks. Nicely elevating the overall texture of the dish is crispy rice, which makes a mouthwatering sizzling sound when the soup is added. While the flavour was nothing like the Lion City’s famous chilli crabs, we enjoyed the sautéed prawns in Singapore-style chilli sauce ($198) and gladly wiped the plate clean with man tou. Deep-fried water chestnut roll ($14/piece), a dessert becoming hard to find in Hong Kong, ended our meal with more crunch and a wave of sweet nostalgia.
It takes courage to open a Cantonese restaurant in Hong Kong, but Imperial Treasure seems to be doing just fine. Its dishes are reliable, elevated Cantonese staples we are unlikely to tire of anytime soon. Next time, we’ll come for dinner with a sizeable group in one of the private dining rooms, or for a yum cha experience that is sure to get the in-laws’ nod of approval.
Spending: approx. $450pp
Highlights: double boiled pig’s lung in almond soup, poached coral trout
What else: its yum cha menu is quite affordable. A popular dish is the steamed custard bun.
Shop G102, G/F Harbour City Gateway Arcade, 25 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: 2791 6628