Restaurants / Bars

Here are Some Restaurants to Try in Hong Kong for Your Next Visit

October 7, 2014

Hong Kong has always been special to me. It is probably one of the places I’ve visited most because of both its proximity, and how each visit reveals something new to me. I’ve made my way, like every eager tourist, to the famous institutions marked by many before me; holes-in-the-wall known for roast goose, bowls of beef brisket noodles that have residents lining up for miles, a fine dining restaurant here and there. On my most recent trip to the city, I decided to leave my standards behind and carve my itinerary based on the recommendations of a WhatsApp food group. Here are some of my new discoveries in one of my favorite eating cities in the world.

1. Chiu Chow cuisine

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As far as Chinese goes, my favorite regional cuisines remain the same– Hunan, Cantonese and Xinjang. The flavors of Chiu Chow or Teochew were unknown to me before this trip except for a dumpling served at staple Tim Ho Wan, so I knew I had to try the clean, crisp flavors that it is known for. The cold crab was an excellent introduction to the cuisine, and had all the characteristics of what Chiu Chow would taste like. Instead of being intense in flavor like most other cuisines, this dish focused on simplicity to make the inherent sweetness of the crab shine through. Crispy noodles came undressed, with black vinegar and sugar on the side to be added to your liking. Some standard restaurants in HK for Chiu Chow  include Pak Loh and Chairman.

Pak Loh Chiu Chow Restaurant
1 Austin Rd W, Hong Kong

2. Mott 32

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The best way to describe Mott 32 is a more clean-tasting version of Cantonese cuisine; they serve almost everything one would see on a typical Cantonese menu, but in a more refined, delicate way. Char siu pork, for example, is done with Iberico pork, and roasted with wild mountain honey. Siomai uses Kurubota pork for the mince, which encases a partially-cooked quail egg, then the whole thing is smothered in black truffle. The duck uses more modern techniques, and is instead roasted in an oven with applewood, making the smokiness of its meat and skin a lot more different than those found hanging in streets across Hong Kong.

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Mott 22
Basement Level, Standard Chartered Bank Building,
No 4-4A Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong

3. Ronin

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Owned by the same guys behind foodie-favorite Yardbird and newly-opened Sunday’s Grocery, Ronin is a 14-seater restaurant hidden in a Hong Kong alleyway, which is influenced by Japanese cooking and ingredients. This easily became one of my favorite restaurants ever in the city. The service was excellent: relaxed and friendly but incredibly efficient, and the food one stunning plate after the other. Each dish seemed to be crafted to let the individual ingredients taste more of themselves, producing thoughtful, balanced plates of food. Flower crab chopped together with whole tongues of fresh uni had each bite playing well to the delicate sweetness of both components. Whole fish were dredged in a batter so light that it only enhanced the firm flesh rather than hiding it. Matsuzaka beef came raw, in order to feel the fatty silkiness against your tongue even more, mixed in with a raw egg yolk and mushroom. Come at the second seating to prolong your meal into drinks (Ronin infuses their own liqueurs with coffee and chocolate), and make sure Mamta is your waitress, to have an even better experience.

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Ronin
8 On Wo Ln, Hong Kong

4. Caprice

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Among the many fine dining restaurants in Hong Kong, Caprice is one of those that stick strictly to the classics. The precision and art of their dishes make you know you’re getting your money’s worth. A tasting menu is definitely recommended to try all that Caprice is known for. An intricate dish of Brittany lobster with watermelon, coralline, avocado, and apples was almost too pretty too eat. A mousse of marron was draped carefully in thin black ink pasta, and pigeon was cooked perfectly and served with a broth that tasted of ras el hanout. Best yet was the dessert, which had everything you required of a last course. Texturally it had a soft mousse, crunchy biscuits, airy meringue and smooth sorbet. The flavors were also carefully balanced, with an herbal sorbet of arugula, a sweet hazelnut and praline mousse, and figs that were just on the verge of tart.

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Caprice
8 Finance St,
Central, Hong Kong

6. Quinary

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HK nightlife is one of my favorites around the world; for me, it can be raucous and exciting, but can still be surprisingly laidback and unpretentious. Quinary is the perfect example of that; the bar serves molecular cocktails–some of the best cocktails I’ve ever had– but in a relaxed setting. Their Made in HK got my very prudent sister into drinking–made with fresh mango juice, Absolut vodka, Malibu caviar, homemade jax coconut cream, it was a fun and delicious take on mango sago.

Quinary
56-58 Hollywood Road,
Central, Hong Kong

Have you ever been to Hong Kong? What are your favorite eats in the city? Any new discoveries you’d like to share? Sound off in the comments below!

Pamela Cortez Pamela Cortez

Pamela Cortez writes about food full-time, and has honed her craft while writing for publications such as Rogue, Town and Country, and The Philippine Star. She once rode on a mule for a mile just to eat mint tea and lamb in Morocco, and has eaten a block of Quickmelt in one sitting. Her attempt at food photography can be viewed online @meyarrr.

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11 comments in this post SHOW

11 responses to “Here are Some Restaurants to Try in Hong Kong for Your Next Visit”

  1. HiddenMickey says:

    Buko Pie feature during buko crisis, and now a Hong Kong feature during #occupycentral. Pepper.ph writers seriously need to watch/read the news sometime.

    • Hep Alien says:

      I don’t see how an article about restaurants in Hong Kong is in any way disrespectful or in bad taste in the context of what is happening in the city. It would be different if, let’s say, this article came out after a storm that crippled the entire city (God forbid) or if the protests have turned violent and dangerous (God forbid, again). But I think in this scenario, I personally don’t think it’s in bad taste for this to come out. Hong Kong tourism has been unaffected by the protests (I have a friend who just came from there over the long weekend, and said that they did not feel the impact of the protests at all) and the article did not make any inappropriate or disrespectful references to what was happening.

      Was this the absolute BEST time to publish this, probably not. But was it out of line, disrespectful or insensitive? In my opinion, no.

      • HiddenMickey says:

        It just shows gross lack of awareness/disregard for current events, is all. It’s like Pepper staff lives in a bubble.

        • Pops says:

          I frequently travel to Hongkong and this article is actually helpful. Will try some of them in my next visit. Thanks Pamela!
          And as for you HiddenMickey just keep your comments HiDDEN.

        • You’re either too pretentious or you’re really stupid.

          You go around the internet telling everyone that it’s in bad taste to post something just to lecture them about current events or just to show that you’re a GREAT news follower, especially on a FOOD FEATURE WEBSITE. Sorry, but we (including the Pepper staff) don’t lives (sic) in a bubble. If you want to tell everyone you’re smarter than them because you’re aware of the news, fine. But this is not the best place to do that because you look like an idiot.

          If magazines or blogs feature content that are “in awareness” of current events around the world, then writers won’t be able to come up with anything substantial. They can’t post about restaurants in China because the Chinese have been eyeing Philippine territory. They can’t review Singaporean cuisine because of the hate Filipinos get in SG. They can’t feature a local restaurant if even ONE government official is an investor, despite its natural hype. They can’t post about restaurants in Makati because the government needs to take action on the floods first. They can’t write anything about Mindanao because of what’s going on there.

          In the same logic, you can’t blog about travel in Japan (or any other country) because the tourism of our country isn’t doing well.

          The purpose of feature articles is to look and talk about things that seem in the mode or something worth talking about, or trendy. If news articles make you aware of events and take action, feature articles make you think and experience certain topics, not necessarily being mindful of the news, but of course, it has to be in good taste.

          If the HK government became really strict with tourism because of the events there, then I’m pretty sure Pepper.ph will be human enough to stray away from HK topics for a while, because, a feature article about HK would be useless.

    • Kevin G says:

      Just because things are happening in the world does not mean that everything else should stop with them. It’s a matter of perspective: A feature on buko despite supply problems generates interest for the product, thereby increasing its demand and should theoretically stimulate their industry, no matter the magnitude of the impact. A feature on Hong Kong in a time of crisis can serve as a reminder of what’s good there, why people love the place and why should care about what’s going on there.

      It’s a blog about food, much like Tricia Gosingtian’s blog is about fashion. It doesn’t mean that writers are oblivious or apathetic to world issues; it’s just not their place to comment on political issues. There are different avenues that one can air concern about their knowledge about an issue, and specialized blogs are not it. If you would like to read more about those issues, then clearly you’re on the wrong website. Yes, there is a way to showcase food alongside social commentary, but there are appropriate channels for that. But what I think Pepper is doing here is more “The Layover” than “Parts Unknown.” Clearly, nothing wrong with that.

      All the same, thank you for your continuous patronage of the pepper.ph food blog. I believe they value your opinion as it gives them a chance to get to know specific people of their audience. I’m sure it warms their heart to be able to give a person in their audience the chance to feel relevant online to compensate for their lack of relevance in real life.

  2. Volts Sanchez says:

    Because Pepper should be supporting #OccupyCentral instead of posting about food.

    /s

    It’s a food blog and there’s nothing disrespectful with writing about restaurants, even considering what’s happening. Come on, now.

  3. Jesse says:

    There are tons of places that you guys should put up on the list. There’s a place that has been modernizing chinese food called Ho Lee Fook which looks nothing but awesome! Also places like NUR, 22 Ships, Aberdeen Street Social are some of the good ones but i do agree with your suggestion of Mott32 and Ronin. If you suggest Ronin then maybe you should also suggest their big brother Yardbird. 🙂

    • Pamela Cortez says:

      Yup! Been to those places, but on previous trips. This one was just about the places I ate in on my last one. Gotta love Yardbird and any place Jason Atherton puts up 🙂

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