Kau Kee Restaurant 九記牛腩 – Slurping Good Curry Beef Tendon Noodle in Hong Kong
HONG KONG – I’ve been wanting to try Kau Kee for a while, but it’s always out of the way in my itinerary. Kau Kee is a beef brisket legend and has been running the beef brisket game for nearly a century. Located in a tiny space in Central’s Gough Street, it is difficult to miss it because you will definitely see the queue. Finally, bit the bullet and went with the filming crew during lunch. They had a queue the minute they opened but it moved quickly – share table, eat and go! Service nor ambience is non-existent but the constant stream of customers is a sign that they make killer bowls of beef brisket. We quickly scooted over to an empty table and ordered. Approximately 90 seconds later, two steaming bowls of beef brisket in broth and curry soup arrived.
Like wonton noodles, beef brisket noodle soup is another fundamental dish in Cantonese cuisine. Kau Kee was started as a roadside stall by Mr Pan, whose nickname is Ah Kau (阿九, and thus the name 九记牛腩) back in the old days. 30 years ago, it was handed down to Mr Pan’s son who is the current boss of Kau Kee. The father passed away in 1997. During that time, Hong Kong government had also limited the number of license for roadside stall, so Kau Kee eventually moved to its current location.
When one think of the best beef brisket noodle in Hong Kong, Kau Kee will definitely be in the list. This small little eatery was said to be Tony Leung’s and many Hong Kong celebrities’ favourite Beef Brisket Noodle. They are most famous for two items – Beef Brisket Kway Teow Soup and their Curry Beef Tendon Noodle. Beef brisket has to be cooked for a long period of time so that it will be soft and tender. Kau Kee has done this well as their beef brisket is stewed till the perfect soft texture.
The beef brisket kway teow soup is really light and mildly sweet. The smooth kway teow soaks up the beefy flavours from the soup. This should be the most tender beef brisket ever. Order the beef tendons in curry sauce – a treat for your tastebuds. The tendon has a nice gelatinous texture and tastes delicious smothered in that curry sauce. The curry is super rich and hot but we cannot stop slurping it. A ultimate bowl of comfort soup despite the hot weather.
Just like wanton noodles, there are many beef brisket noodle shops in Hong Kong and yet Kau Kee’s version still wins the hearts of many. Although the ambiance is not impressive, you can’t really expect too much out of a local restaurant that sells affordable noodles. Kau Kee is a pretty good bang for your buck for a fast, cheap and tasty lunch!
Kau Kee Restaurant 九記牛腩
Address: 21 Gough St, Central, Hong Kong (中環歌賦街21號地舖)
Phone: tel +852 2850 5967
Opening Hours: Mon - Sat 12.30pm - 10.30pm
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