Yi Pin Kitchen
You’re craving one of those insanely delicious beef cakes from Kowloon City’s Islam Food restaurant but, lo and behold, like always, there’s a ridiculously long queue outside the famed establishment. Take our advice and try Yi Pin instead. They also do the pan-fried pastries ($23/two) here – and they’re tasty parcels bursting with mince meat and that all-important beef jus.
The restaurant’s known for churning out cheap and cheerful Chinese Islamic dishes, like the stir-fried curry crab (mp) coated with a rich and creamy spice-forward sauce. Suck on the shell and crack the claw, and you’ll get to the sweet flesh that’s hidden within. It’s a satisfying process that’s worth getting your hands messy for. And, as expected from a halal restaurant, you’ll find plenty of mutton on offer. If you like gamey flavours (we do), be sure to order the crispy roast lamb loaded with chillies ($56).
The menu also covers dishes from Shanghai and Beijing. There’s a wide range of dumplings and noodles served in soup or stir-fried. We try the traditional stir-fried Shanghai noodles ($37), which have a great al dente bite but err on the overtly oily side. The same goes for the house-style claypot chicken ($98/half; $180/whole). The pieces of skin-on, free-range fowl are served with a heap of onions and coriander. It’s fragrant but, again, is drowned in too much oil. Thankfully, not everything is blotted in grease, at least not the red bean pancakes ($29), which are tasty, bite-sized sweets to end the meal on. We’ll come back for these and, of course, the pan-fried beef cakes. Dorothy So
123 Wuhu St, Hung Hom, 2356 7518. Daily 11am-midnight. Dinner for two: around $200.