Of all the restaurants in Hong Kong, Spring Deer is my most favorite. It should be since I’ve been going there for more than 20 years. Spring Deer has been open in the same location since 1969. It’s a landmark in Hong Kong. It’s also a favorite destination of tourists from Manila, Japan and the USA. They specialize in Beijing cuisine specifically Peking duck and shark’s fin soup. If it’s your first time to go to Spring Deer it’s not that easy to find. Although it’s in popular Mody road you have to look up to see their sign amidst many other signs.
watch out for this sign
You should see Stanley Market that’s when you know you found the entrance to Spring Deer. There’s another building just beside this also selling stuff on the ground floor that looks just like this but with an Indian restaurant on top.
Go up a flight of stairs or take the elevator.
The place is very simple and quite small compared to other restaurants in Hong Kong. It’s easy to get a table during lunch but it’s IMPOSSIBLE for dinner. You will need to make a reservation a few days before if you want to eat at 7:30 pm. If you go at 6:00 or 9:00 pm there may be a chance for you to get a seat.
This is my favorite manager. He’s known me since I was a little girl. He also knows what I always order. When I brought my cousin La and her hubby Chee to have lunch here they were amused when I ordered food from him using a combination of hand signals and a minimum of words.
For lunch they also serve some dim sum which is very different from the usual Cantonese dim sum. They push around stainless carts with a variety of hot and cold selections. This stewed chicken is what I always order. In Cantonese they call it “Siu Kai”. It’s fried chicken stewed in a soy based sauce with Chinese herbs.
The server gets a whole chicken and rips it into big pieces using tongs and a fork. The chicken is very tender and I love the sauce that goes with it.
shark’s fin soup (chicken soup base)
fresh water shrimp
Tian Jin cabbage with Yunnan ham
These fried dumplings are another favorite. There were 6 of us for lunch so I was able to order this.
potstickers or (鍋貼, guōtiē)
The beef in this dish is sliced into very thin strips and fried to a crisp. A sweet and spicy sauce is then added to it. To eat this you simply put the beef inside the sesame bread which has a hollow pocket. This is sooooooooooooo good!
crispy shredded beef with sesame pockets
This next fish is my favorite dish in the restaurant. It’s called shad fish or “Si Hee” in Cantonese. In the Philippines it’s known as Hong Kong fish. This big fish can be ordered half or whole. It’s served on a sizzling plate. It has a million bones big and small. I usually take a big chunk of fish and patiently remove all the bones and transfer the deboned fish to a bowl then top it with sauce and eat it. It’s worth all the effort. The fish is so fine and has a different taste and texture. You must try this fish even once in your life.
The waiter uses chopsticks to remove the scales still covering the fish.
When the scales are gone a sauce made of soy sauce, vinegar and ginger is poured on the fish. This creates a huge cloud of steam on the sizzling plate.
This is what’s left. There’s still a lot of meat on the top portion but we were all so stuffed already.
But not too stuffed for dessert! The eight treasure rice pudding is a well known traditional Chinese dessert. It is cooked with sticky rice and 8 different freshly dried fruits and nuts. Mashed red beans are used as a filling in the middle of the rice. It was very good. Just don’t put any syrup which was way too sweet.