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Restaurant review: Tso Choi, Fortress Hill – traditional Cantonese food at a reasonable price

If you want old-fashioned Cantonese food at a reasonable price, there are worse places to visit than Tso Choi. Deep-fried pig intestines? It’s on the menu. Braised pork belly with preserved vegetables? Check. There are all kinds of other innards and extremities: pork offal, pig trotters, brains … And if you like pig lard with rice and soy sauce – a rib-sticking dish presumably invented before cholesterol was discovered – that’s also an option.

Our meal started with deep-fried fish cakes (HK$78), which were light, with the slightly resilient texture that they should have. The fish patties were served with a scant amount of salted clam sauce – we wanted more of that.

On the other hand, there was plenty of clam sauce in a dish of stir-fried beef (HK$84). The meat was tender, and had good flavour from the clam sauce and wok hay.

Even better was a dish that looked similar, but tasted very different: stir-fried pork offal (HK$82). We counted three types of offal: liver, stomach and small intestine, each of which needed a different cooking time, but they were all perfectly done.

Sweet and sour pork (HK$88) was made with hawthorn, instead of the more common pineapple and ketchup. We would have liked a stronger hawthorn flavour, but the pork pieces were tender.

Wolfberry and pig brain soup (HK$65) was delicious and mild, with soft chunks of the brain.

Stir-fried lettuce with salted fish sauce (HK$72) was overwhelmed by too much raw garlic, while steamed chicken with ginger (HK$200 for whole, HK$100 for half) was slightly overcooked, making the meat tough.

Tso Choi, Yuet Ming Building, 125-133 King’s Road, Fortress Hill, tel: 3579 4755. About HK$150 without drinks and the service charge.

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