Guo Fu Lou – Michelin Star Delights in Hong Kong

Guo Fu Lou aims to serve up exquisite Cantonese fare, that isn’t intricate or complex, but well cooked, ingredient-led classics. The decor here is on the more formal side of formal, with instructions to turn up in your glad rags, “business casual”, it says on their website. We however, oblivious to the dress code, rock up in t-shirts, sneakers and jeans as if we were just about the hit a dai pai dong! We weren’t declined service – perhaps the “special remarks” on their site was a riff raff deterrent, they obviously thought we we’re good eggs. Having said that, we were the only table in the restaurant (Wednesday night), so some business is better than no business!

No Cantonese restaurant is complete without a fish tank!

The char siu pork here was intensely satisfying – sticky, fatty, savoury and sweet. A multi-dimensional flavour bomb. 

Deep fried beancurd with spicy salt $220, I can imagine to be a beer lovers delight, you could eat these crispy things all night long whilst glugging down on your favourite brew. Yum.

Peking Duck when done well is an instant hit, it’s done well here. The slithers of crispy skin with next to no fat is pancake wrapped with julienne cucumber, lean meat, spring onion and hot-sin style sauce. All this is intricately done with chopsticks by our waiter.  

Braised mushrooms with bamboo were lovely, the soy and oyster sauce really brought out the essence of them. 

The slow braised brisket with tendon was deep and unctuous, unlike some of the insipid stuff we had in the wonton shops. It was exactly what we craved. 

The stewed chicken with straw mushrooms was another comforting hug – this type of richness has endless appeal. 

Clay pot cooking is a must in Cantonese cooking. 

So good, nothing goes to waste. 

Head to toe eating – what a wrong-un.

Sweet and sour spare ribs is a Cantonese classic – they’re not shabby here and are a must have when in Hong Kong. 

Braised egg noodles with chives and mushrooms were the carb to end the meal. Carbs are usually served at the end of posh Cantonese meals as they can be too filling at the beginning. 

Lor mai fan is not something you see often in the West, but the sticky rice concoction of Chinese sausage, diced shitake mushroom and shredded egg is pure comfort in a bowl. 

Deep fried glutinous rice cakes for desert is what this place is famous for and they’re good. Light and airy in exterior but don’t be fooled that you’ll get slim by eating them as they’re deep fried! 

The verdict:

When did I go? Nov 2016
The damage: Expect to pay $500-$800 per head (£50-£80).
The good: Cantonese cooking is synonymous for lighter cleaner flavours and they hit that brief here. It’s not food that I go the bed thinking about but it’s a good authority on refined Chinese cooking with quality ingredients and respect.
The bad: I’m sure this level of food can be had cheaper elsewhere!
Rating: 4/5
Would I go again? Yes
Address: LG2, Empire Hotel Hong Kong – Wan Chai, 33 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
Phone: +852 3468 8188

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