The One With The Chinese Dinner At Dai Xiu Ye, Happy Valley

It is not everyday when you can equate Happy Valley with affordable Chinese dinner. It is also not every day that I ventured to this part of the town in the middle of the week, so I decided to make the best out of it and tried Dai Xiu Ye (literally translated as The Eldest Prince).

That, and also I owe my friend a dinner, heh.

Chinese Dinner at Dai Xiu Ye, Happy Valley (Dai Xiu Ye)

The whole wait staff was sitting around the shop, eyes glued to the television when we walked in. It is quite unnerving when the number of staff outnumber the customers’, but then again it was merely past six in the evening, so by HK standard it’s practically still tea time.

We perused the menu which was thankfully in a mixture of English and Chinese. My dining partner was a regular to this place so he knew exactly what he wanted… but not its name. So with a mixture of languages both bodily and spoken, we ordered a number of dishes and settled in for a rather boisterous conversation for the night.

Chinese Dinner at Dai Xiu Ye, Happy Valley (Dai Xiu Ye)

The set meals we ordered came with what I could best described as “house soup” – some sort of Chinese soup cooked with random herbs and leftover (chicken? pork?) and bowls of white rice. Rather tasty if you ask me (the soup, not the rice), but a tad too oily for me. Then again I have rather low tolerance for oily food, so perhaps that layer of oil I can see was probably healthy.

Chinese Dinner at Dai Xiu Ye, Happy Valley (Dai Xiu Ye)

The best dish for the night was easily the tender beef stir fried with mushrooms on a bed of steamed vegetables (set meal at HK$58). This was the dish that my friend saw before but didn’t know the name of, so we had to describe to the waiter and try our luck of hitting it right.

And we were in luck. The beef slices were perfectly tender to the bite, just to the right mixture of garlic and oyster sauce aroma, helped with a healthy serving of sliced mushrooms. The combination probably made the dish tasted healthier than it really was, but I wasn’t complaining.

I mean, how many times have you come across distasteful, overcooked beef? Too many times. Exactly.

Chinese Dinner at Dai Xiu Ye, Happy Valley (Dai Xiu Ye)

The sweet and sour fried pork (set meal at HK$58) was my friend’s recommendation for the night. The pork slices were still crispy to the bite, and the sauce were, well, sweet and sour just to the right degree. Rather delicious and reminded me of a similar dish I had in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Though it must be said that after a few pieces of this, I was thirsty and started to feel a headache coming. That was a first to me. It must have been the heavy MSG used in frying the pork.

Chinese Dinner at Dai Xiu Ye, Happy Valley (Dai Xiu Ye)

An add-on we had for the night was a simple stir fried broccoli with garlic (HK$35). This method of cooking almost every kind of vegetable imaginable must be a Chinese thing; therefore such dishes are extremely common and hence very difficult to make it right and to impress. Here, it was very well done. The broccoli was fresh and the sauce was not too overly salty. The amount of garlic used was also just about right.

Juicy to the bite, though I was told the serving amount tonight was lesser than usual.

Chinese Dinner at Dai Xiu Ye, Happy Valley (Dai Xiu Ye)

All in all, it was a dinner experience that was just about right. Tastefully done, just the right amount, doesn’t overwhelm you, and at a reasonable price. It does give you the feel of being in a char-chan-teng, but few are able to main that level of consistency with their offerings.

The total bill was HK$167 for two person. For this price I really think this must be one of the hidden gems that only those staying in the area would know of. Though I did find that the level of conversation between the wait staff was a bit too loud for me to eat in comfort.

Dai Xiu Ye will be perfect for a simple night out if you are in Happy Valley, when you are in the company of someone you are comfortable with, and you know you don’t need to impress.

Dai Xiu Ye
12 Yuen Yuen Street, Happy Valley
2690 1111


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