It is customary for the Chinese to start their meal with a hearty bowl of soup. When I say hearty, I mean delicious, often healthy and detoxifying, bowl of goodness usually made with some serious herbs, greens and meats.
Ming Kei Restaurant may not the best place for soup in Hong Kong, but I have been to this place often enough in the past to know that their soup is decent, served in a large claypot pot. You can usually order one large pot if your table has at least four diners. If you are unsure of what soup to order, ask for “lei tong“, which is kind of the term to use for “soup of the day”.
There are many reasons why the Chinese like to have soup with their meal. Even if the typical soup you can get from a restaurant does not usually have healing powers, a bowl of lovingly prepared Chinese soup will make us feel better, a definite comfort after a long day at work. The Chinese also believe that soup is the perfect food when your ying is out of balance of the yang. Just ask the Chinese grandma painstakingly brew endless pots of chicken soup for their ailing grandchildren. It’s a tried and tested tradition that medical sciences have only begin to understand.
Back to the soup at Ming Kei. As you finish up the soup over dinner, the wait staff will help you to dig out the remains of the soup (for the life of me, I couldn’t remember the Canto name of it). These could be quite an acquired taste – who wants to eat stuff that looks like leftovers? – but some people swear by it. In fact, they’ll finish up the soup just to get to these remains. Check out the bits of fishes and meat… and god knows what else.
Apart from these elaborate way of sharing and enjoying hearty Chinese soup with your loved ones, Ming Kei is pretty good with some of their other dishes too. I have been there for more times than I could remember – somehow Ming Kei feature high on my list whenever I needed a familiar, comforting place. Top of my list would be these divine chicken feet marinated with sesame oil and salt. Again, an acquired taste.
Also recommended would be this claypot of deep fried oysters. The batter is thicker than those found at Pang’s Kitchen – equally delicious but at half the price.
Verdict? If you are after simple food and comforting Chinese soup, Ming Kei should be your port of call.
Ming Kei Restaurant
35-45 Johnston Road
2866 3575/ 2528 3767