Sha Tin 18 at the Hyatt Regency is named for the hotel's street address on 18 Chak Cheung Street as well as the Chinese auspicious number "18"; the restaurant serves authentic Northern Chinese cuisine and has show kitchen stations. Famed throughout Hong Kong by word of mouth and worldwide as a restaurant recommended in the Michelin guide, I had high hopes for a lunch tasting at The Hyatt Regency's Sha Tin 18 and was absolutely not disappointed. I'm no stranger to Chinese cuisine, but this meal was surprising in more ways than one.
The appetiser consisted of Chilled Spinach with Spicy Sesame Sauce (HK $128). The crispness of greens was offset by the texture and flavour of the generous amounts of sauce it was covered with. The sauce itself was complex, the sweetness giving way to a nuttier flavour with just the smallest hint of a wasabi-like spiciness. This was followed by the Double-boiled Pork Consomme with Baby Clams and Orchids (HK $148). The soup was a welcome break from the bold flavour of the previous dish, and was simultaneously delicate and refreshing.
The dish that stole the show was no doubt the Traditional Peking Duck (HK $ 788). It was roasted to perfection and tender beyond belief. I've had my fair share of the dish before, but never at this restaurant. At Sha Tin 18, the duck is sliced in three parts: the skin, the meat, and then a combination of the two. The skin is to be savoured dipped in sugar and eaten in all its crispy, melt-in-your mouth glory, and I immediately found myself reaching for more. The way it disintegrates in your mouth is unbelievable. Then the meat is wrapped in the wonderfully thin pancakes provided and condiments are added before wrapping it into a neat parcel for eating. The special garlic sauce became a personal favourite after I experimented with various combinations.
The followup to the highlight didn't disappoint either. The Steamed Scallops, Okra and Preserved Shrimp Paste (HK $348) featured tender scallops and the crunchiness of okra but all drenched in a delicious sauce. After this was the Dongguan Wok-fried Rice Vermicelli, Prawns and Shredded Pork (HK $218). This dish had a somewhat muted but great flavour and the chewiness characteristic of vermicelli.
Already fully satisfied with the meal, I didn't think to make much comment about the desserts, but the Chinese Wine Chocolate Ice Cream (HK $42) and Red Date Madeleine with Grand Marnier Custard Sauce (HK $65) were amazing and some of the best and most unique desserts I've had to date. The Madeleine was fragrant with the flavours of red dates and fresh-baked cake, slightly crispy on top and still warm from the oven. Dipped into the chilled custard sauce, it made for an extremely complex and pleasant flavour profile that I'd happily revisit anytime. The ice cream was special in an entirely different way. The fragrances of chocolate and Chinese wine blended together seamlessly - the dessert wasn't overly sweet, but very rich and an experience to be smelled as much as it was tasted.
The restaurant does what it is known for well, and provides a multitude of unique and delicious dishes the like of which is available nowhere else. If you're looking for a place to try out some gourmet Chinese food, Sha Tin 18 is a destination I can recommend. Look out for new menu items coming out later this month on the menu!
Address: 18 Chak Cheung Street, Sha Tin, New Territories, Hong Kong
Lunch: Monday to Friday (11:30 AM - 3:00 PM) Weekends and Public Holidays (10:30 AM -3:00 PM)
Afternoon Dessert Tray: Weekends and Public Holidays 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Dinner: Monday to Friday (5:30 PM - 10:30 PM)
Weekends and Public Holidays
First Round Seating 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Second Round Seating 7:45 PM - 10:30 PM
For reservations, click here.