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While Yung’s Bistro opened back in May 2020, with all that’s been going on we hadn’t had the chance to visit until now. Of course, we were instantly enticed by the restaurant when we heard about its White Rabbit candy custard – remember the White Rabbit ice-cream craze? But that’s not the only reason you should visit this beautiful spot.
Occupying one of the largest F&B spaces at K11 MUSEA (with a 2,000-square-foot terrace), Yung’s Bistro is the much younger sibling of 78-year-old Cantonese stalwart Yung Kee in Central. The space features handmade tiles that originally adorned the flagship restaurant, refurbished in stunning jade and gold shades. Both the interior design and menu aim to preserve Cantonese culture while introducing this cuisine to a new audience.
Yung’s Bistro’s dishes fall under four categories: classic dishes with a modern twist, rare dishes from the past that are hard to find nowadays, recipes that tap into childhood memories and homestyle cooking.
The meal began with a favourite dish plucked straight from Yung Kee’s menu, preserved egg and pickled ginger ($18/person). This is a controversial dish done right. The pungent pickled flavours are certainly not to everyone’s taste, but we enjoyed the creamy and rich century egg, which is marinated for 40–45 days, along with the palate-cleansing ginger.
A nod to their predecessor’s famed roast goose, the roasted whole roast goose leg served with charcoal stove ($290) is a dish reminiscent of the past when goose legs were served whole to prestigious dinner guests during celebratory meals. Before digging in, the smoky aroma of the 120-day-old Black Maine Chinese goose from Guangdong will have you drooling in anticipation.
The goose leg is then cut up and plated beautifully alongside beans and edible flowers. The meat was absolutely cooked to perfection, succulent and tender, and the skin had a beautiful, addictive crunch.
The premium barbecued pork belly ($200) is another solid offering from the barbecued specialities section. The grain-fed pork belly is imported from Canada. Yvonne Kam, granddaughter to the patriarch of Yung Kee, decided on this family-owned farm’s pork as she felt it had the best meat-to-fat ratio. The pork was rich in flavour and melt-in-the-mouth tender.
As it had been particularly chilly in the days leading up to our visit, we sampled three different long-boiled soups: double-boiled pig lung soup with almond sauce ($150/person), double-boiled pig shank soup with American ginseng and dendrobe ($150/person) and double-boiled vegetarian soup with porcini, maitake mushroom and lily bulb ($100/person). The pig shank soup had a strong herbal and bitter flavour, while the vegetarian soup was light, with a touch of umami flavour from the mushrooms. The pig lung soup was the thickest and heartiest of the bunch – definitely a nourishing choice for the winter months.
One of Yung’s Bistro’s signature dishes, the deep-fried shrimp ball with fermented bean curd ($140/4 pieces) is comprised of feathery fried layers covering shrimp balls that are filled with gooey, 1.5-month-aged fermented bean curd. The bean curd burst with a melted cheese-like texture upon first bite. The combination of the crispy, soft and oozing layers is deliciously creative.
The homestyle braised pork with preserved vegetables in soy sauce ($320) uses Kam’s mother’s recipe. The pork is deep-fried while raw, before being marinated in order to retain the meat’s flavour. The high-quality pork is sourced from a supplier that provides the optimal environmental conditions for their animals. The pork was incredibly juicy, while the slightly spicy preserved veggies added a moreish, piquant element to the dish. We recommend ordering a side of rice to soak up all that tasty sauce.
The steamed egg white, mini crab roe with rice ($130/person) is a classic yet rare dish not often found on menus these days owing to the laborious task of hand-picking out the crab roe from teeny-tiny crabs from the stream of Shunde. This dish is quite the treat, with the egg and roe mixing to form an indulgent, salted-egg-yolk-esque flavour. It’s no wonder this buttery roe is such a prized ingredient.
The claypot rice with assorted cured meat ($130/person; minimum 2) was delightfully crispy, a warm comfort during the cooler seasons.
We were positively thrilled when the White Rabbit candy custard ($58) hit the table – it was even cuter than we had imagined. The rabbit mould is incredibly detailed, and we had great fun taking videos of the wobbly bunny. We were also pleased to discover that what is possibly the cutest dessert of all time is also delicious. Made with just a single White Rabbit candy and milk and paired with chocolate crumbs, the creamy texture and slightly astringent taste of the custard are impressively identical to that of the candy itself.
Yung’s Bistro celebrates Cantonese cuisine in all its forms, with each dish carefully thought out to highlight and showcase the cuisine’s distinct and versatile elements. It’s the sort of restaurant that, during simpler times, we would have loved to take visitors to introduce them to Cantonese food in a sophisticated and modern setting.
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.
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