I've never really cared for Lung King Heen (龍景軒). While the restaurant has always prided itself in being the first Chinese restaurant to earn the coveted three stars from Michelin, I was never enamored with the place. My first visit was pretty underwhelming, and the second try yielded a pretty good dim sum tasting. My final visit - almost 4 years ago - was as part of a dinner where the organizer was perhaps trying to maximize price performance... so it wasn't surprising that I still felt the restaurant was unworthy of its three stars.
Since then I've never had the desire to revisit, because there are plenty of other places in town delivering better food. The fact that it's perennially booked out by guests staying at the Four Seasons Hotel as well as visiting
But late last year I went through a period when I wanted to revisit some of the places that's dropped off my radar screen, and this was clearly one of them. So I called up the restaurant and tried to book something for a gathering... only to be told that there was nothing available for the rest of December. I promptly hung up the phone.
The itch remained, however... and needed to be scratched. So in the last days of 2014 I picked up the phone once again, and tried to book two meals here - a lunch and a dinner. I wanted to see if their dim sum was still as good as I remembered, and I wanted to give them another shot at dinner - but without price constraints this time. I was told that the first available tables were 4 to 5 weeks out, but this time I didn't hang up on them. I took those tables and waited patiently.
My dinner which was originally scheduled for last week had to be scrapped, because Tigger had invited me to the opening of Feeding Hong Kong's new digs. I am a rather passive but nevertheless fervent supporter of the cause, so anything else that was a scheduling conflict was bound to lose.
I finally got the chance to walk into Lung King Heen again today. I had booked for an early slot but my friends were a little late. No matter. The sunshine was coming through the windows and I was enjoying my time flipping through the menu. A sommelier who recognized me came up to chat, bringing with him a bottle of wine from a winery in Beijing - a discovered treasure. I was still recovering from last night's antics so I politely declined his offer to taste. Another day, perhaps.
I ordered five different items of dim sum, and asked them to change the quantity from three to four pieces per dish so that we wouldn't have to fight over anything. As it turned out, though, one of us was stuck in the office...
The good thing about this restaurant is the service, but maybe it's because the staff has been tipped off by the sommelier. Anyway, unlike many other Chinese restaurants, here they time the service of the dishes so that you don't get all of them at once. It's one of my biggest pet peeves, and I'm glad they're maintaining that high standard of service.