I have known the existence of Kau Kee for a few years. It even has its own entry in Wikipedia. Since it takes lunch and dinner breaks and doesn't open on public holidays, it has been rather difficult to check this place out. Until last night when we were so inclined (or desperate) to eat out there.
The positive thought of seeing it open (see above picture) was quickly countered by its sign (you see, we got there at 7:55pm):
I could definitely see some posturing going on here. Anyway, we went up to The Cheese Room on Hollywood Road for a beer and duly returned at 8:30pm. We managed to squeeze our party of 4 sharing with a party of 2 into a round table that could practically accommodate 3. So never mind our close proximity to fellow diners. Given the place was jam packed at 8:35pm, the food had better be good. The menu was short (see below) and straight to the point - braised beef brisket, braised beef brisket with noodles, braised beef brisket with rice noodles, braised beef brisket with curry sauce, braised beef brisket with (add your own variation).
It's really a one trick shop - the beef brisket and stock formed the foundation of every dish. I could taste the fat-rich beef brisket alright. The judicious sprinkling of chopped Chinese spring onions and coriander added interest. The soup base was salty with sufficient umami taste (plus a hint of MSG). The noodles were fresh (not made on the premises, but probably from a reputable supplier). Its down-market decor, extreme coziness and indifferent waiters meant it's no place to linger. We were out by 8:50pm, no doubt to the delight of those still waiting outside.
Was it worth it? If I was in the area AND desparate for a bowl of salty beef brisket noodle soup AND a beer lined up somewhere else to cleanse my digestive duct, then I might revisit.