Kau Kee Beef Brisket Noodle (九记牛腩/九記牛腩)
English Address (Google Map): 21 Gough St Hong Kong
Chinese Address: 中環歌賦街21號地下
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat 12.30pm to 10.30pm. Closed on Sun and Public Holiday
When one think of the best beef brisket noodle in Hong Kong, one will definitely think of Kau Kee. This small little eatery in between Central and Sheung Wan station was said to be Tony Leung’s (梁朝伟) and many Hong Kong celebrities’ favourite Beef Brisket Noodle.
Apart from their food, Kau Kee is also famous for their less-than-passable service. There was one episode where netizen accused Kau Kee’s staff of chasing them out from their eatery. Despite their service, customers still pour in during meal hours just for their Beef Brisket Noodle.
Kau Kee was started by Mr Pan, whose nickname is Ah Kau (阿九, and thus the name 九记牛腩) back in the 1950s. It was only a road-side stall then and it was handed down to Mr Pan’s son 30 years ago, who is the current boss of Kau Kee. The father passed away in Year 1997. In the same year, Hong Kong government had limited the number of license for such stall and eventually Kau Kee moved to it’s current location.
They are most famous for two items – Beef Brisket Kway Teow Soup and their Curry Beef Tendon Noodle. Curry Beef Tendon Noodle seems like a very interesting choice but i ordered their Beef Brisket Kway Teow as i am not so much a fan of tendon.
Beef Brisket Kway Teow (HK$38)
Brisket is one of the toughest cut of meat from the lower chest of a cow as those muscle groups support more than 50% of it’s body weight. It would be inedible of it’s cooked like a steak. Therefore brisket is usually cooked for a long period of time to break down the connective tissue and fibre and resulting in very soft and tender meat.
Kau Kee had done it perfectly in this sense. Their beef brisket is stewed till the perfect tender soft texture like no others had did before (at least to me). The tissues gave way while the sweet taste of their stew-infused brisket took over the palate. This should be the most tender beef brisket ever.
The soup base is rather light, mildly sweet and easy on the stomach. I am enjoying the soup despite already making my food rounds in this area. However, I have to highlight that it does has traces of MSG, which i believe it’s not an astounding discovery. The Kway Teow is really smooth and Kway Teow should be a good choice because it absorbs the clear beef broth easier thus making it more enjoyable.
I am glad that i didn’t experience much discomfort from Kau Kee’s service like what the online community mentioned. The staff there seems like an energetic and spontaneous group of people.
While I prefer the quality of Kau Kee’s beef brisket over their soup, the beef brisket is definitely enough to lure me back to Kau Kee again. And especially Sheng Heung Yuen tomato noodle is my must-eat for every Hong Kong trip, Kau Kee is literally just next door.
There are also rumours of the closure of Kau Kee and I really hope that it will not happen soon else it would really be a big waste.
Map and Directions
The direction is exactly the same as going to Sheng Heung Yuen as mentioned in my previous post.
This place is not exactly easy to find. My way to this place is rather straight forward and remember to keep a look out for a rather famous dim sum eatery as landmark – 莲香楼
Kau Kee is actually in between Central and Sheung Wan but i always go from Sheung Wan.
1. Come out from Exit E2, cut through the square at Cosco Tower as shown in my maps. The square is easy to identify as it looks like a fountain with steps that lead up to a road.
2. Cross the road and walk towards the left narrow path as shown in my map. You will be going up a gentle slope. Walk straight until you see this restaurant 莲香楼.
3. This is where you should turn right and head up. There will be steeper slopes and stairs here.
4. While climbing up, don’t forget to look to your right for the signboard of Kau Kee (九记牛腩). This is where you should turn in.