Anyone hoping to have distinctly Islamic-chinese dishes here might be a little dissapointed. When we asked which were special dishes, the waiter said that everything on the menu was Islamic because there was “mouh yuhk” (no pork) and the meat was halal. Instead the menu was a mix with mostly Beijing dishes, some Shanghai things like “siu lung bau” and “green onion pancakes”, and a couple of Sichuanese items.
The mutton with spring onion we had was good – tasting similar to a Chinese fried beef dish, but with the mutton adding a little bit of extra earthiness and succulence. The ‘speciality’ Islamic fried rice was also very enjoyable, free from the off putting oiliness of a lot of fried rice and with a lot of mushrooms and meat mixed in to make it feel quite substantial. It was darker and earthier than most fried rice dishes, but otherwise I couldn’t work out exactly what made it distinctly Islamic.
Really, it was the smaller things that were more appealing. The ‘green onion pancakes’ – a great Shanghai dish – were really well done. They were just thick enough to make them slightly soft and chewy, but not so thick that they tasted overwhelmingly bready. Instead of the bland crisped bread you get in some places, the green onion and ingredients inside had quite a strong flavour here that made them more satisfying to eat.
The highlight of the meal was the ‘veal goulash’ which, despite the name, are large dumplings with meat and soupy broth inside. The freshly made dough outside was thick, but not overwhelmingly doughy, its sides given a really beautiful blistered crispness. When you bite into this great, savoury casing, the warm, rich, meaty broth of the dumpling spills out into your mouth wonderfully. Then at the centre, the spongy soft veal has absorbed a really delicious, full flavour.
Only these parcels warrented a special excursion to this restaurant and it would probably be pretty satisfying just to come and eat a few of these without getting any of the other dishes. The other things, whilst affordable, and cooked well enough, were nothing that special.
Kowloon City’s annoyingly far from any MTR stations. Probably the best way to get here is to take the MTR to Mong Kok and then head for Fa Yuen street where there are red minibuses which will whisk you across to Kowloon City.
Address: The Beijing Beef Restaurant G/F 23 Lung Kong Road, Kowloon City, Kowloon
Tel: 2718 3809