China Club – Hong Kong – It’s Proper Posh

Sir David Tang opened China Club Hong Kong on 30th June 1991 on the top three floors of the well respected Old Bank of China Building in Central Hong Kong. It has strong luxury design cues inspired by the bygone era of 1930’s to 1940’s Hong Kong and Shanghai – the gawp-worthy grandeur makes it feel like a museum and a cultural revolution. There are lavish ornaments, paintings adorning every corner and wall. It’s reservations only and comes with a very strict dress-code as we found out. Gulps of shock with apocalyptic looks was what we got when we arrived in our casuals of shorts, T-shirts and polo necks. This was an understatement and turning up an hour late didn’t help either! After picking up her eyeballs off the floor, the front of house host immediately scurried off to the side to consult with her manager, who gave us a strained nod to entry. This was caveated by having to wear trousers, and suit jackets rummaged out of their closet for naughty boys like us. The oversized ill-fitting clobber clearly hadn’t been cleaned in a while either judging by the caked on staines but we were in. Phew!

Douche bags with crusty jackets that didn’t belong to them. 

So onto the food… All of the positive things you wanted in pork belly were here from the delicate interplay of fat vs protein. Biting into the crispy skin, gave a triple crunch that ricochet’d into the nooks of my mouth. 

The same could be said for their char siu pork which had the perfect amount of sweet against savoury. No one was too polite to dig into this one.

In the background were the yam croquettes which were on point too, crispy and molten hot from the frier, with a balanced filling full of umami notes.

Har-gau is a classic go to for me and why shouldn’t it be? A translucent pastry meant for a good view of those succulent pert prawns which were mighty fresh and were joyous things to eat.

Shanghai dumplings or XLB (that would be xiao long bao) came with their own little baskets, the trick is to eat them whilst they’ve cooled slightly, but not too cool and to do so without rupturing the delicate silken skins so the delectable soup stays inside – where it should be. What works for me is to gently pick up the dumpling from where it’s been pleated – the most sturdy part and then straight into my greedy mouth which is ready for the soupy burst of luscious flavour.

Siu-mai dumplings were deceptive, on top was pure minced pork crowned with a goji berry and on the base was a whole hidden prawn. Nice work.

Chai-siu bao – a must have, and they do it well here. The filling was mighty in the pillowy exterior.

Char-siu puff pastries had the richness of the shortest crumbly pastry that enrobes the same filling as the char-siu bao, which wasn’t a bad thing at all. They were inhaled.

The verdict:

When did I go? November 2014
The damage: Expect to pay $500-$600 HK (£50-£60)
The good: Dining here created a very fond memory for us all and firmly stamps a place in our story telling for years to come. That aside, if you’re after refined dining, people watching, a deluxe environment, matching service and decent dim sum then come here – if you’re feeling flush. But put on your glad rags.
The bad: The dim sum is of a high quality and falls in the bracket of good but not greatness for the price.
Rating: 3.5/5
Would I go again? Yes
Address: 13/F, The Old Bank of China Building, Bank Street, Central, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 25218888

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