Location: Shop 1201, 12/F, Food Forum, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay
Overall Dining Experience: 7/10
Cost: $800HKD($103USD) for 4 in Sept 2011
Worth Returning? Yes, some dishes are quite good
I am very familiar with Shanghainese cuisine as I was born in Shanghai and my parents used to cook Shanghainese food at home all the time before they went the vegetarian and organic route. Therefore, I tend to particularly pickly when it comes to eating Shanghainese food.
Xiao Nan Guo is a chain restaurant serving Shanghainese cuisine that has branches all over Asia. While I find none of the food exciting, it does serve solid Shanghainese food served at moderate prices. Here are some of my favorite dishes at Xiao Nan Guo:
Sweet lotus root stuffed with glutinous rice. Hubby and I both like this dish alot. It is on the sweet side though it is served cold as an appetizer. If you have never tried this before, be sure to order it as it is very Shanghainese dish and it is hard to find a good version in New York. 9/10 for taste.
Deep-fried Kao-Zhi fish is another great appetizer. The fish is fried so that all the little bones can be eaten. It is also slightly sweet with a hint of sour which is something you don’t expect in fried fish. It tastes like cold but still crisp french fries. 9/10 for taste.
The jellyfish at Xiao Nan Guo is very fresh. Crunchy and seasoned properly. This version is made with julienned asparagus which goes very well with the jellyfish. It adds another layer of flavor without taking any way from the jellyfish. There is also a jellyfish head with vinegar that I have tried before here which is also quite good. 8/10 for taste.
Overall: I really like the cold appetizers at Xiao Nan Guo. The hot dishes are less exciting as I usually find it too salty. Most people in Hong Kong seem to be a fan of this chain as it is pretty busy at night. Reservations are a must.
EDIT: The Xiao Nan Guo at Causewaybay is much better than the one in Central.