Yum cha (which literally translates as “take tea” in Cantonese) is a popular tradition in regions of China, Hong Kong and Macau. For several years, Asian Wok has been a popular weekend brunch choice for guests from as far afield as Howick. Now under new management, the restaurant is seeking to expand its loyal weekend customer base and entice weekday lunchtime diners.

Six of the ShoreLines team were joined by Frank Sun, East Coast Bays Chinese Community Leader, who acted as our knowledgeable guide on this dining journey of discovery.

Firstly, we ordered tea – one pot of green and one pot of jasmine – which was efficiently whisked away and topped up throughout the meal. We were then presented with an array of yum cha, including steamed dumplings with prawns and Chinese chives, sticky rice with chicken, Japanese seaweed salad, and beef in black pepper sauce. Each table has a lazy Susan, making it easy for everyone to share. The deep-friend savoury puffs (filled with pork mince) and prawn spring rolls were a big hit, and the mushroom rice rolls were gloopily flavourful.

Three a la carte dishes followed: stir-fried beef on rice noodles (“Ooh, nice and gingery!”), magnificently presented Peking duck, and stir-friend duck with green beans in oyster sauce. Amidst many nods of approval, a show of hands confirmed that these were our team’s favourite dishes. When diners return, they will be ordering these again.

Yum cha can be sweet as well as savoury, and our dessert selection was a spectrum of intriguing flavours and textures. The date jelly pudding was terrific and not overly sweet, and the almond and taro rolls were tasty and quite different to any kind of European-style cake or pastry.

For a special occasion, it would be easy to indulge in a two-hour (or more) lunchtime banquet at Asian Wok. However, solo diners, couples and smaller groups can also enjoy a quick meal, as the service is always swift. To complement the two public dining areas, there are three VIP rooms, two of which comfortably seat 20-plus people. The other is smaller and could be an elegant option for businesses seeking a discreet space to entertain clients or hold partners’ meetings.

Open 10am-3pm and 4.30pm-9.30pm

Story by: ShoreLines, June/July 2021 issue