Yum: review of Kau Kee Restaurant

Yum: review of Kau Kee Restaurant

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The famous Kau Kee restaurant in Kau Kee is always cramped and crowded.
The famous Kau Kee restaurant in Kau Kee is always cramped and crowded.
Photo: YP Cadet Millie Dang

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A delicious bowl of beef brisket noodles
A delicious bowl of beef brisket noodles
Photo: YP Cadet Millie Dang

Kau Kee Restaurant

21 Gough Street
Central 
Tel: 2850 5967

Grub: Guangdong-style noodles

Vibe: Kau Kee is a small, cramped shop that is very much like any other traditional Hong Kong business - ceiling fans, bright white lights, tiled walls, and lots of loud yelling between the customers and the only waitress in the busy shop. 

Who to bring: Someone who eats fast. Hong Kong in general is a fast-paced city that has no down time and no time to wait for anyone; eating fast would make both your own and everyone else's life easier - including the staff working there. It'd also be good if at least one person could speak fluent Putonghua or Cantonese because there's no ordering system in this restaurant - you're expected to simply yell your order out until they hear you.

What's hot: The restaurant specialises in beef brisket noodles, with a lot of different broths available, including a curry broth. There are also four types of noodles available for each broth: rice noodles, e-fu noodles, flat noodles, and vermicelli. 

I opted for the beef brisket with flat noodle in the standard broth. The broth was both fragrant and flavourful, while the brisket was tender and well-seasoned. The noodles were not too hard or too soft, and were quite bouncy, making them quite a good light lunch or afternoon snack. 

What's not: In a busy local restaurant like Kau Kee, the service is, more often than not, poor. It's not that the waitresses or chefs have anything against you; they're just too busy taking orders and dishing out noodles to be nice. 

In the same way, however, you don't need to raise your hand to order, you just yell - in fact, I got yelled at for trying to raise my hand. 

Kau Kee never set out to rival the Shangri-La in terms of decor; it's very cramped and humid, and you may catch the occasional fly trying to steal a bite of your food. But don't let that distract you from your delicious noodles!

Cost: A regular bowl of beef brisket noodles is HK$30-HK$40. Noodles with flavoured broth (like curry or oyster sauce) are HK$40-HK$60. Beef brisket on its own usually costs upwards of HK$100.

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