Here are Some Restaurants to Try in Hong Kong for Your Next VisitOctober 7, 2014
- Pamela CortezWords
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
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
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.
Basement Level, Standard Chartered Bank Building,
No 4-4A Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong
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.
8 On Wo Ln, Hong Kong
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.
8 Finance St,
Central, Hong Kong
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.