Helmed by three veteran head chefs with experience spanning over several decades – Chef Simon NH Wang-Chau (formerly of Golden Shanghai Cuisine), Chef Hong Chi-Kin (yè shanghai and Regal Riverside Hotel’s Dragon Inn) and Chef Michael Lam Kuen Chin (Shanghai Lao Lao) – Jiangsu Club showcases Su cuisine, one of China’s most vibrant regional cuisines, using premium seasonal ingredients.
Jiangsu is an eastern coastal province, and its cuisine has thousands of years of history. Su cuisine is particularly well known for its exquisite presentation and freshwater fish dishes.
The cool sapphire blue and silver decor takes inspiration from courtyards in Beijing. In addition to the main dining area, Jiangsu Club offers eight private dining rooms for parties and celebrations.
The sub-regional Wuxi dish of deep-fried baby yellow fish (HK$118) is a popular choice to start. Fresh eel and whitebait, common ingredients along the coast, are chopped into bite-sized pieces, battered and deep-fried, then glazed in two aged Chinese vinegars and brown sugar, giving a sweet-and-sour touch.
The classic pan-fried pork buns (HK$78 for 2) and pan-fried scallion pancakes (HK$78 for 2) are two simple, no-fuss dishes that I highly recommend ordering.
At Jiangsu Club, the soft, fluffy buns are first steamed, then pan-fried to a golden brown. Be careful biting into these piping-hot buns, which have a good of amount of savoury soup inside.
The scallion pancakes go deliciously well with a spicy sauce or condiment. The traditional “thousand layering” pastry technique gives the pancakes a thin, flaky texture with a slightly doughy centre.
Most Chinese meals begin with a soup, and the restaurant’s signature fish head and radish soup (HK$398/person) is a superb option. This soup is a Jiangsu speciality containing pan-seared freshwater fish heads in a rich, nourishing broth. Within the cloudy white soup, shredded daikon noodles and shrimp dumplings are added. I couldn’t get enough of the comforting broth, which reflects the pinnacle of Jiangsu cuisine.
The steamed cod with aged huadiao wine (HK$428) is another favourite. This freshwater fish is complemented by traditional Chinese yellow wine, enhancing the natural sweetness of the cod. Su cuisine is known for its delicate knife work, which can be seen here in the precise slicing of each fillet, with few bones left. Another characteristic of the cuisine can be seen in the fish flesh, with the meat separating from the bone when picked up (it’s soft but not mushy).
A heartier option, the Jiangsu eight treasure duck (HK$728) is deboned and filled with sticky rice that’s mixed with Jinhua ham, fresh prawn, mushroom, bamboo shoot and duck meat. Well seasoned, you can taste a hint of five-spice powder in the stuffing. The duck skin is deep-fried to a crunchy texture, then dusted with more five-spice.
If you still have some room for dessert, the deep-fried glutinous rice dumplings (HK$88) are the way to go. Bright yellow, lava-like egg custard oozes out of each deep-fried rice ball, making for a sweet and chewy dessert that isn’t too heavy on the stomach. Notably, the dumplings are coloured pink using the juice of dragon fruit.
Celebrating one of China’s eight most notable regional cuisines, Jiangsu Club focuses on traditional Chinese cooking techniques such as double-boiling, braising, steaming and stir-frying. The freshwater fish dishes here are superior – the ultimate signatures. Jiangsu Club is definitely worth the journey for an authentic taste of impeccable Su cuisine.
Where: 2/F, Alliance Building, 130–136 Connaught Road Central, Sheung Wan
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.