Address: Shop 1001B, 10/F, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay 銅鑼灣勿地臣街1號時代廣場10樓1001B號舖
Telephone: 2375 0800
Yun Yan, a long-standing and renowned Sichuanese restaurant owned by the Mira Group (the folks behind French Window, School Food, WHISK and Tsui Hang Village), has relocated to Time Square after spending over twenty years in Miramar Mall in Tsim Sha Tsui.
The restaurant has departed from its previously traditional Chinese decor, and its revamped interior is funky and airy, with light tones, wood and bamboo surfaces and bright lightings making for a lively venue. The portions are less humongous than they were previously, and a lot less spicy (spicy items on the menu are clearly marked with a chilli next to them, so there will be no mistake). It seems that the relocated restaurant is gravitated towards catering for family meals.
The kitchen is helmed by chef Kenny Chan, who boasts over 40 years of experience and comes from a famous family of Sichuan chefs. The service can be a bit slow when the restaurant gets busy (which it quite frequently does), but the staff are overall friendly and polite. The dishes are generally reliable and tasty, the location is fantastic and the prices are always reasonable.
(1) We start with a bowl of hot and sour soup ($45), which is tangy and has all the right flavours and ingredients in it.
(2) The sliced pork in spicy garlic soya sauce ($68) is always a delight – the pork is thin and flavourful, and the chopped garlic is moreish.
(3) We also love the pork wontons in chili oil and garlic sauce ($42). These wontons are not very spicy at all, but the wonton wrapper is delicately thin and the ingredients inside are juicy and taste spot on.
(4) Not a quintessentially Sichuanese dish, these xiao long baos are only available at lunch. The dumpling skin has a good thickness and the pork broth is tasty. We love how the vinegar is given to us in a little pump!
(5) The Tan Tan noodles ($45) are a job well done – the noodles have just a superb springy texture, and the soup is thick, flavourful and expertly executed.
(6) The Mapo tofu ($88) is enticingly flavourful. Some of us find it not spicy enough though!
(7) The Sichuan house smoked cherry duckling ($138) is a must-try. The house smoked duck is a tad on the dry side, but the smoky flavour is deep and satisfying, and the skin is deliciously crispy. It is served with half a dozen fan-shaped Chinese steamed buns, which are a delight.
(8) Similar to Sha Tin 18, the restaurant serves a selection of fusion desserts which incorporate Chinese ingredients into Western style desserts. We try a few of them, including the tofu crème brûlée ($38). It is less creamy than a traditional French crème brûlée, and has a perceptible tofu flavour. Definitely enjoyable if you have nothing against the taste of tofu. However, the desserts’ portions are very small, which is unexpected as the sizes of the main dishes are robust.
Overall, the food at Yun Yan is delicious, authentic and enjoyable. It is a bit sad for serious Sichuanese food lovers that the food’s level of spiciness has been toned down to suit the mass market, but this works very well for some of my friends who can’t take hardcore spiciness. I have already been here a few times with my friends and family, and I can imagine myself coming back many more times in the future!