Monday 14 March 2016

Kau Kee Beef Brisket (九记牛腩) ~ Gough Street, Central HK

They say it's really easy to locate Kau Kee. Find the queue.

Indeed, they were right. If there's no queue, Kau Kee's not open for business.

Kau Kee Beef Brisket
21 Gough St, Central
Monday to Saturday:12:30 noon to 10:30 pm
Closed on Sunday

In the 7.30 pm cold, we were really fortunate that our wait was only 15 minutes. However, they pick and match customers to fit into this tiny shop of 8 tables so if you're not willing to split your party, you'll have to wait for one whole empty table if you're a large group. The great thing is that the turnover is really quick - people eat then go. 

Run by a small service staff of 6 - 2 servers, 1 cashier and 3 in the kitchen, the chaotic atmosphere can be intimidating to those who don't speak Chinese. I speak a little Cantonese but I'm not able to read Chinese so my solution was to bring with me the English menu found here at Daniel Food Diary and to tell them which item I wanted. It worked!

I had the Beef Brisket with E-Fu Noodles in Broth and despite it being a clear soup, it was really rich and thick - a sign of a broth that has been boiling for hours. I was pretty sure the soup would easily congeal if you left it out in the cold. The beef brisket was a little fatty but oh so tender that I ended up accidentally gulping down some of that fat. It was very smooth and melts in your mouth, much to my dismay. The E-Fu egg noodles were cooked to al dente perfection, was springy and delicious with every slurp. I finally understood what all the fuss was about with Kau Kee. This was a fantastic bowl of beef brisket noodles.

Rice noodles were out at the time so LC and his mum had flat noodles. It was 粗面, something close to Hakka flat noodles.

This was the 155 HKD bowl of Kau Kee Special Beef Brisket in Broth. It was packed with beef brisket and offal and the soup, tastier than those with noodles in it. Rather pricey though. Stick to the beef brisket if you're not a fan or it'll be a wasted bowl.

We had a glass of Iced Yin Yong to share but it wasn't that great. The balance was off. Stick to the beef brisket and noodles please.

Our Hong Kong hosts actually recommended the Beef Tendon Curry but none of us were fans of tendon so we gave it a pass. They have soup and dry varieties of noodles so you can mix and match with bowls of meat ordered separately. Surprisingly, we saw groups of Japanese and Koreans patronizing Kau Kee too. There was a surprising demand from non-Chinese tourists.

From Central station, walk along Queen's Road Central then turn left into Wellington Street. Continue walking uphill until you see Replay on your right. Turn right into the street and Kau Kee will be in the middle of the row. 

Look out for the queue!