All is vanity at John Anthony, a classy Chinese restaurant hidden in a basement at Causeway Bay


3rd July 2019 – (Hong Kong) John Anthony, a 7,000 sqf stylish Chinese dining space located at the basement Lee Garden 3 in Causeway is the brainchild behind the award-winning Mott 32 team. The restaurant which opened in September 2018 used a lot of sustainable features to set a new standard of environmental consciousness in restaurant design in Hong Kong. The restaurant features a bar that contains 12-litre Gin Tubes, each containing gin that has been house-infused with a different blend of botanicals found along the Spice Routes.

Beautiful and luscious interiors inside John Anthony. Picture credit : John Anthony
Open kitchen concept.

The extensive menu was created by Mott 32’s Group Executive Chef, Lee Man-Sing and John Anthony’s Executive Chef, Saito Chau. Menu selections include Cantonese favourites such as charcoal grill-roasted meats and handmade dim sum influenced by Szechuan, Hunan and Shandong cuisines.

We were invited to try their dim sum for lunch for the first time today. To start off, we ordered Beet Root Dumpling (HK$45 per piece), Vegetable puffs (HK$40 per piece), Iberico Presa Pork Char Siu (HK$255), Steamed Rice Roll with Soft-Shell Crab Squid Ink (HK$125) and Black Truffle Vegetarian Siu Mai (HK$50 per piece).

The Black Truffle Vegetarian Siu Mai was robust in flavour and the truffle was not too overpowering. The green vegetable puffs were crisp and you could taste the mushroom and black pepper sauce inside. The strawberry sauce gave a wicked twist to the flavour in its entirety. Meanwhile, the Iberico Presa Pork Char Siu had great consistency as its tender meat was very juicy.

We were not particularly impressed with the Steamed Rice Roll with Soft-Shell Crab Squid Ink as the squid ink was more of decorative motifs because it contributed no flavour whatsoever to the steamed rice roll. The texture of the steamed rice roll was not silky enough as compared to some of those we have tried in local restaurants. Somehow, soft-shell crab and steamed rice roll do not work so well together. Also, the beet-root dumplings definitely looked pretty in pink but the flavour was mediocre as they lack substance.

We also had a smoked chicken (HK$260 for half chicken) dish in which the shredded boneless meat was served separately with the crispy chicken skin. We loved the smoked applewood flavour but the chicken was not tender enough.

The eggplant claypot (HK$155) was a modern take on the Classic Taiwan ‘Three cup’ chicken as Thai basil leaves were used. The texture of the eggplant was soft, not oily and blended well with the sauce. It was in general a very good dish but for HK$155, we would not recommend you to order.

For desserts, we ordered Coconut Jelly with sago (HK$70), Banana Bao (HK$65), Matcha Dumpling (HK$85). The Matcha Dumpling was the one that impressed us most as when we cut open the xiu long bao-shaped dumpling, you could see the matcha filing oozing out. The dumpling had a melt-in-your-mouth texture. As for the banana bao, the fried bun complemented the banana-flavoured filling perfectly.

However, we don’t recommend the Coconut Jelly with sago as this dessert tastes better in other local dessert shops in Hong Kong for a fraction of the price.

The service was mediocre as our plates were not replaced throughout the meal and the table was not cleaned whenever new dishes were served. For a premium restaurant like John Anthony, we would expect a better service as customers pay a higher price for the ultimate experience. In addition, the restaurant charges Chinese tea per head at HK$25, we feel that it was a little bit on the high side.

The overall experience was still enjoyable because the ambiance was top-notched and relaxing. We particularly love the bar lay-out and the seatings. If budget is not a constraint for you, John Anthony is definitely worth a try.

Value for money : 2/5
Taste : 3.5/5
Ambience : 4.5/5
Service : 2.5/5

Beetroot dumplings and Black Truffle Vegetarian Siu Mai
Steamed Rice Roll with Soft-Shell Crab Squid Ink.
Eggplant Claypot.
Banana Baos
Vegetable puffs
The Matcha Dumpling
The Matcha Dumpling

You can also try the cheaper Set lunch at HK$268 per person or a premium set lunch at HK$388.

For full menu, click here.

John Anthony

Shop B01-B10, Basement One, Lee Garden Three, 1 Sunning Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.

For reservations, please call 2898 3788