Contemporary Cantonese in clubby surroundings
09 Aug 2017
Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference. The menu at the newly opened Ying Jee Club in Central's Nexxus Building is extensive and expensive but what stole our hearts was something comforting and simple - Mini Baked Char Siu Bao with Pineapple Bun Topping. The soft, chewy brioche-like texture of the bun is topped with a slightly crunchy custard crust that has just the right amount of sweetness. Oozing out of the bun is a savoury filling of Char Siu sauce. And just like that, we were sold.
Stepping inside the woodsy and cosy upstairs dining room of Ying Jee is a familiar experience. The chef, Siu Chi Hin, along with some of the wait staff, hails from Duddells, where he earned the restaurant two Michelin stars. The menu is ambitious, with a selection of more than 20 types of dim sum including some new combinations such as Spring Rolls with Crab and Shrimp, and a Vegetable Dumpling with Truffle (which features chopped beetroot - making its filling red) as well as a sublime A9 Wagyu Rice Flour Rolls. Most of these creations aim at using high-end ingredients without sacrificing their comfort food allure.
The other signature main courses include a light and fluffy Crispy Fried Chicken with Shrimp Paste, with most of the meat de-boned and dipped in a flavourful batter. We finished half a chicken in 10 minutes - the taste was light, the succulent meat was moist and tender and not drenched in oil. The vegetable selection is a bit limited, just the average choices of choy sum, Chinese cabbage and kailan, so we'd love to see some variations there. For a dining room that seats just about 70 people, the effort in the extensive menu shows the owner’s commitment to investing in food costs.
The downstairs area features a bar, which has just a few stools and a couple of small tables. We cannot imagine this having the right vibe to attract a loyal after-work drinks crowd but it's a nice place to wait for the rest of your friends.
The competition in Central is tough for top dining dollars and we'd have to see if Chef Siu's food will really draw the big spending crowd. However, there is one drawback we noticed right away - the restaurant does not have its own rest room. It remains to be seen whether this is a deal breaker for savvy diners but so far, the food alone makes this a solid spot.
Shop G05, Nexxus Building 41 Connaught Road, Central, 2801 6882; fb.com/yingjeeclub