Lung King Heen is the three Michelin star restaurant at Four Seasons Hong Kong, in fact it’s the only Cantonese restaurant in Hong Kong (and the world’s first Chinese restaurant) to be awarded three Michelin stars, being rated as “providing exceptional cuisine that’s worth making a special journey for”.
They are particularly well known for their seafood specialities but how would they manage with trying to re-create their award winning dining experience for vegan diners?
The restaurant interior is modern with subtle hints of classical Chinese design throughout and service was thorough, with staff having exceptional knowledge about the ingredients in each dish and offering friendly and charming service as needed. This is something that is particularly important for vegan diners, who may have more questions about the food being served than other diners.
The Vegan Food:
We began with an amuse-bouche of a crisp rice cake topped with braised vegetables, the topping was warm and light with tiny tempura enoki mushrooms. It was a pleasant little taste of things to come and a reflection of the light healthy style of cooking used in our vegan menu.
The first course from the pre-prepared vegan menu was ‘Chef’s Signature Appetiser Selection’ included a crispy beancurd skin roll, a marinated mushroom salad and a fried spring roll. Beancurd skin rolls are a popular Hong Kong dim sum choice and this was a good version of this classic dish with light crispy beancurd sheets being wrapped around a tasty warm mixed vegetable filling. The mushroom salad was cold, with sesame flavours being prominent and the fried spring roll was a neat parcel of vegetables that were wrapped in traditional spring roll pastry before being deep fried.
It was a simple yet well executed start to our vegan meal.
There were a selection of condiments to accompany our starter including a delicious vegan X.O. sauce made with spicy chillies, soy, garlic, dried tofu and lemongrass. This plant-based version of a classic Hong Kong sauce was outstandingly rich with flavour and was an excellent addition to our appetiser selection. Lung King Heen has previously won awards for their non-vegan homemade X.O sauce, claiming the title of producing the ‘Best Condiment’ in 2010 Hong Kong Best Eats list.
We’re pleased to say that we thought their vegan version was award worthy too!
Another Cantonese classic arrived next in the form of ‘Sweetcorn Soup with Vegetables and Bamboo Pith’. It was light and fresh with sweetcorn flavours and the extra vegetables and bamboo pith were a nice addition to this familiar dish.
Pea sprouts, a seasonal ingredient only usually available in Hong Kong winter times, were the centre piece of ‘Braised Pea Sprouts with Gingkoes and Bamboo Pith’. The fresh sweet greens were braised in a light golden gravy, topped with spongey bamboo pith and soft gingko nuts.
This was a super health packed dish; gingko nuts are a storehouse of key minerals (iron, copper, potassium amongst a few) and bamboo pith is rich in antioxidants and antibacterials, not to mention the benefit of eating dark green leafy vegetables.
It was as packed with delicious flavours as it was nutritional benefits.
Sometimes when you eat out a lot as we do, you eat a dish where every mouthful is a pleasure, where the texture and flavour comes together to make something that leaves you in a heady combination of speechless and impressed.
‘Crispy Tofu Sheet with Sesame’ was one of these dishes. It may be simple in name but there were many levels to it’s enjoyment. It seemed to be made by taking layers of moist tofu skin and scrunching them up before coating them in a light sesame batter and deep frying. The result was crispy on the outside, but delicate and juicy on the inside with a soft tenderness and mild flavour. Pour on the accompanying thickened lemon sauce which was sweet, sour and zesty with a luxurious mouthfeel and the dish came together in perfection. It was succulent, crispy and light, warm and filling and definitely our favourite part of the meal.
This is a dish that we’d go our of our way to order again for sure.
‘Stir Fried Minced Vegetables with Pine Nuts in Lettuce Wraps’ was a light and fresh way to eat a colourful mix of fresh vegetables including sweetcorn, carrots, mushrooms and sugar snap peas. Wrapped in crispy, trimmed iceberg lettuce leaves, it was a satisfyingly crunchy and refreshing course which was eaten by rolling the leaves up in our hands as is per the custom in Hong Kong.
Our meal was finished with a simple mixed vegetable fried rice and ‘Seasonal Fresh Fruit’, a light and healthy finale so if you are a health conscious diner you might appreciate not having the temptation of dessert. Instead we ate delicious melon, mango, pineapple, strawberries and blueberries, naturally sweet and full of goodness.
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict:
Make a reservation at Lung Kong Heen for a balanced vegan fine-dining Cantonese meal with some standout dishes that will impress. Enjoy eating healthy creations as well as those that are perhaps a little more indulgent, in chic modern surroundings with friendly and thorough service.
Don’t forget to try their homemade X.O. sauce too, we think you’ll love it as much as we did.
We were guests of Lung King Heen but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
Lung King Heen
Four Seasons Hong Kong,
8 Finance St,
Telephone: +852 3196-8880
Opening Hours: Lunch 1100-1500 & Dinner 1830-2300