Boat Party: There’s no better way to eat typhoon shelter-style seafood than to get right up close, and at Shun Kee you can dine right on the water in a cluster of lightly swaying sampans.
Look & Feel: Shall we say houseboat chic? You’re rowed by private boat to your sampan at the Causeway Bay pier, but don’t expect anything fancy. On board, it’s all cheap and functional furniture and tableware.
On the Menu: Expect classic Cantonese-style cooked seafood dishes that really bring out fresh flavors. You can order from Shun Kee’s a la carte menu, but many of its signatures are included in its set menus, starting from $1,080 for two people, which includes five dishes and non-alcoholic drinks.
Meet the Chef: Hong Kong’s typhoon shelters used to be home to thousands of boat-dwelling families. Each boat specialized in a different trade or speciality, creating a full-on community. However, these shelters were largely phased out by the 90s. Returning to his roots in 2011, Chef Leung Hoi successfully obtained the license to operate on the water and opened Shun Kee.
Service: The row of moored sampans are manned by a group of brusque middle-aged ladies who balance plates while climbing to and from the kitchen boat. As such, service can be spotty and more often than not you’ll have to endure a bit of scolding. Don’t even think about rocking the boat. You were warned!
Jeng: Must-orders include steamed razor clams with vermicelli and garlic; plump prawns freshly steamed or fried with a decadent egg yolk batter; and, of course, the signature typhoon shelter crab piled high with chilis and fried garlic. Also, one of the best things here? You can B as much of YOB as you carry, for free.
Not So Jeng: Ladies, save your best rompers for another day. The “bathroom” situation here is tricky… and by tricky we mean that it’s a curtained cubicle behind your dining table. But back to the food: try to remember to pace yourselves when eating. They tend to take about half an hour to prepare your menu, and then everything comes all at once, leaving you way too full by the time the fried noodles, congee, duck leg noodles — and the famed crab — get to the table.
Great for: Special occasions and gatherings, group dinners. Best when the weather is drier and breezier at the end of September to November. There’s no air-conditioning!
FYI: Shun Kee actually has a main branch in Tin Hau. The water location is cash only. And do. not. be. late.
This writeup was based on an independent tasting. The Loop doesn’t guarantee/sell restaurant review coverage. See our editorial policy here.