When people say baked pork buns most people in Hong Kong will think of Tim Ho Wan.
And that’s fine, although with a new recipe and the demand of a mass market I have found Tim Ho Wan’s buns have suffered in quality over the last 12 months.
However, if you’re willing to pay for a fine dining lunchtime experience, you can enjoy a baked pork bun I will hazard to say is EVEN BETTER than those at Tim Ho Wan in the centre of Causeway Bay.
West Villa Restaurant – 5th Floor, Lee Gardens One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Ph 2882 2110
Don’t believe me? Check these guys out!
Mmmmmmm! Still unconvinced? Let me take a bite for you…
Num Num Num… deeeelish!
These buns are light and quite delicate compared to the ones at Tim Ho Wan. The filling is all meat and sauce and the barbecue pork itself is very tender.
Which leads me onto another dish West Villa excels at…
Their BBQ Pork (char sieu).
I normally HATE BBQ pork. So for me to rate any restaurant for their BBQ pork you KNOW it has to taste pretty good. I’m going to take it a step further here and say I LOVE eating this BBQ pork. The flavours are subtle and harmonious and it isn’t too sweet. The pork meat is tender to a point of almost melting in your mouth.
Other dishes of note:
Prawn dumplings (haa gow). As my husband always says, a good Yum cha restaurant has good haa gow and West Villa lives up to his rule. Full of prawns, delicate wrappers, well worth eating.
Pork and vegetable soup dumplings in a light broth
These dumplings are delicious. They have the right balance of vege to meat and even though the wrappers are different to those used with the haa gow, they are also delicate, the right thickness and enjoyable to eat. No slimy gross dumplings here mate!
Stir Fried XO turnip cake cubes
Turnip cake isn’t for everyone but if you don’t mind a mild chilli taste this is one of the best ways to experience it. The outside of the cubes are slightly crisp while the interior is mashed turnip with small flecks of preserved chinese sausage. It’s a nice combination.
Fish noodle soup
A creamy fish broth filled with lai mein (rice spaghetti noodles) topped with fresh fish and a couple of veges. Cantonese make the creation of broths an art form and this particular broth is delicious. The creaminess comes not from dairy products (there are NONE used in these broths) but the way they boil the soup from the fish itself. If you like fish I strongly recommend this dish. My kids LOVE it (and Mitchell isn’t a big fan of fish).
I could go on and on about what to try at West Villa, but the honest answer is I don’t think I’ve come across a dish (that I eat) I haven’t liked here. This restaurant prides itself on quality food and lives up to its reputation. The only downside is the price. This is one of the more pricey Yum Cha restaurants in Hong Kong.
The service here is top notch and their private rooms (should you have a large gathering or a celebrity in your midst) are well decked out and extremely well attended in most cases. They have menus in both English and Chinese and if you’re uncertain about a dish more often than not the waiters will happily try to translate. If they don’t speak good English they will try and find someone to help.
In terms of lunchtime Yum Cha this restaurant rates close to one of my most enjoyable. So I easily give the restaurant 4.5 stars out of 5. It looses 1/2 a star purely for the price which means I can’t go there as often as I want!
The only warning I have is to make sure if going on a weekend you book in advance. This place does book out and wait times can be horrible.
Have you been to West Villa?
What’s your favourite Yum Cha Restaurant and why? What “must have” dish do they serve that keeps you coming back?
Got a place you reckon rivals West Villa for best baked pork bun in Hong Kong? Let me know!