One of my favorite “fastfood” restaurant in town is Kau Kee (九記) on Gough Street, where they serve the best beef noodle soup. I say “fastfood” because during rush hour, especially during lunch, don’t expect to be able to sit and chat with your buddies. You sit, order, eat and leave within 15 minutes and if you don’t, the folks working there will make you feel uncomfortable. And they aren’t shy about their manners (or lack of) – afterall, no matter how rude they are, people still come back. How much money they make depends on the turnover and boy, do they make a lot of money.
Kau Kee has been around for half a century (!) and the guy running the show now is the son of the founder. Local celebrities (including Daniel Wu, apparently a regular) visit the place quite often, as do tourists mostly from around the world.
So why’s this place so good? Well, let’s just say the beef broth is the best I’ve ever tasted (I’m not sure if they’ve added any MSG – I’d like to think they don’t). There are only a few items to choose from the menu, which I guess is why they’re able to keep the quality so high and consistent.
Basically, there’s beef noodle soup and curry beef noodle soup with your choice of noodle (河粉, 伊麵, and 粗麵). Unfortunately, the portions are quite small and one bowl is hardly ever enough. That is why when my partners and I go, we’d get plain noodle on its own and plain beef brisket on its own (see photo).
They don’t come cheap as far as beef noodles are concerned. Plain noodle + plain beef brisket + a can of Coke will set you back HKD 70 … well, its not bad, but its definitely not cheap.
If you go during lunch or dinner time, expect to wait in line for 15 minutes.
P.S. If you get a chance, try the curry. Its a little heavier (yes, heavier than it already is!), but the 咖哩牛筋伊麵 or 粗麵 is really good because these 2 types of noodle absorbs the curry soup and makes for a completely different experience.
Kau Kee (九記)
21 Gough Street (opposite Paul’s Kitchen)； 中环歌赋街21号地下
Opens Monday to Saturday 12:30PM to 11:30PM (briefly closes between 7:15PM to 8:30PM)
Closed on Sundays and public holidays
Tel: +8752 28150123 / 28505967