It may sound like a very stupid (and perhaps dirty) name for a restaurant, but, for those who’ve been to Hong Kong, Happy Valley is named after a racetrack. Okay – that’s still a little silly – but it’s a fancy racetrack near Victoria Peak.
We had gone for Dim Sum a long time ago, and I’ve meant to post about our experience there sooner, but was embarrassed at the blurriness of a few of my pictures. I’m sorry about those! I was just new to my phone’s camera!
We were surprised about how posh it was inside – with bright white walls, real table clothes, and sparkly chandeliers, it was down right fancy! We didn’t have to wait on our visit, but we did get a pretty small table tucked by the bar – we could have asked to wait for a better table, but we were starving!
Unlike our old Dim Sum standby, Golden Swan, this place had an order sheet system. Luckily everything was nicely labeled, including prices, which made ordering easy.
First up – BBQ Pork Rice Noodle Rolls. My dad says that seeing how a restaurant executes this dish is a good test of the chef’s skills. The thin rice noodle was excellent: elastic without being sticky, very evenly made and expertly wrapped only once around small, not too “red” or sweet, tender pieces of BBQ pork . I also liked that a bit of green veggies were added.
Next – more BBQ Pork in Buns! These were nice and hot from the kitchen (one of the benefits of the order-sheet system over the push-cart system for sure!). They were fluffy and held quite a bit of pork filling. Nothing wrong with these at all!
More pork! We got Spareribs with Black Beans and were impressed with how meaty these guys were! There wasn’t much black bean flavour to the sauce, but the big pieces of soft kobacha pumpkin that had stewed in the pork drippings were super delicious. This was a good deal for the low price too.
The next dish was Beef meatballs with bean curd sheets. I found this one to be less appealing – the strange pink colour and super-fine mince on the beef was too homogenous for me. This is one of the few dishes where I actually like waterchestnuts – they would have helped make the texture more interesting. There was also almost no bean curd (which I love!) so that was disappointing.
Finally a vegetable! :) We love these Japanese eggplants with shrimp pure. This was a large portion for sure (normally you only get 3 pieces which aren’t as big as these guys). The eggplant must have been a bit mature as the flesh of the veggie was a bit tough and stringy. Nonetheless, the black bean sauce and the fried shrimp pure were great together.
Finally – and most blurry – were our Siu Mai. Not to be a hypocrite, but while the beef meatballs were too smooth, I found these to be too “chunky”. I think there was very little shrimp in these which was too bad (after all, we didn’t really need anymore pork!).
I can’t believe we ate everything – and that it came to under $30 including tax and tea charge (at a very reasonable $0.80 per person)! I may not be a total convert to the non-push cart version of Dim Sum, but I was quite happy with our meal overall at Happy Valley. In addition to the reasonable prices and bigger portions, service was good, and, as mentioned earlier, the setting was very nice too. We’ll be back to try some other things.