By: Sarah Richard
Hong Kong is a hub for foodies; restaurants are popping up faster than we can keep up with, and customers are still queuing at their doors. Here at Expat Living, we have to admit we are serious munchers ourselves and spend most evenings frequenting one of the hundreds (millions?) of eateries around the city. So when we give you our recommendations you can trust us that we’ve only selected the best! Here are our top 5 from this month.
Shop 217A, 2/F, Atrium, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road, Central
Yenn Wong is now on to her ninth restaurant in Hong Kong, with her latest addition Mak Mak opening just before Christmas in The Landmark. Concentrating on Central Thai cuisines, we were a tad skeptical about prices, with this new venue being based in one of the wealthier towers in Hong Kong. With a chic interior and punchy Thai dishes, we needn’t have worried this would be anything less than impressive. Must tries are the thod man poo ($148) (Thai crab and prawn cakes with green mango salad, yoghurt and sweet chili sauce) and lab tau hoo ($88) (spicy salad of crispy tofu, roasted rice and mushroom, green lettuce). While portions aren’t massive, prices are relative and you can expect some great Thai food to be delivered to your table.
38 Forbes St, Kennedy Town
Now, while ‘picnic in the park’ days are well behind us, there is no need to stop munching on those baskets full of goodies. Appropriately named PICNIC on Forbes, the new concept by Chef Philippe Orrico (of the Michelin-starred ON Dining and Upper Modern Bistro) gives us the joys of the picnic with no chance of rain. French comfort foods spill out of the wicker baskets in the most visually pleasing way possible! Thankfully it’s not all about pleasing the eyes – Philippe’s fine skills and knowledge are perfectly placed into each and every one of the eight dishes included. Baskets start at $298, but there is plenty more on offer if that doesn’t take your fancy. Try the signature roasted chicken, ($488) and the macaroni cupcake ($88).
4/F, 20-22 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Heading over to TST during the after work rush hour is never a nice experience. However, Urban Park – an “unpretentious” European restaurant, on Granville Road has provided the perfect escape with its huge outdoor space above the crowds. Serving classics like butcher’s prime cut cheeseurger ($139), as well as more fine-dining options such as the grilled Aussie line-caught barramundi fillet with zucchini, baby eggplant, and black olive sauce ($219). While the mains were great quality, we couldn’t get enough of the sides – the black truffle fries were to die for! However, it is all about the atmosphere here – we haven’t found a space quite like it in Hong Kong – a large grassy outdoor dining area, with heaters and candles. It spoke to the romantic inside of us and it definitely top of our list for a romantic hideout in the future.
141 Thomson Road, Wan Chai
After moving to a new, bigger venue on Thompson Road, the team at Le Bistro Winebeast continue to deliver the same amazing food and service that we know and love, but now there’s room for everyone! New to the menu, Frapas (from $38 each) – French tapas – are perfect for sharing with friends over a glass of wine hand-picked by the lovely Cristina. We stopped by last week and tried the set lunch, which is the perfect way to sample some of chef Johan’s seasonal favourites. The pumpkin soup with lemongrass was just the tonic for the cold weather, and the veal confit was perfection on a plate. A sneaky glass of white from Alsace tied it all together nicely. Bon apetit indeed!
5 & 6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central
This all-american bar and grill is holding a competition like no other at Lily & Bloom! The Mac Attack is a cheesy competition between five iconic Hong Kong chefs, all with one goal in mind – to provide the people of HK with the best Mac and Cheese around. But whose dish will you prefer? (we may have just tried them all, so here are our opinions) Will it be:
Chef Billy Otis from Lily & Bloom
The Lobster Mac & Cheese
This one is quite a sight – prepared in a wheel of 36-month aged parmigiano reggiano, mixed with three cheeses and a dash of cognac topped with a half a lobster. We loved the presentation and the cheesiness, but the cognac overpowered a bit!
Chef May Chow from Little Bao
Little Bao Mac & Cheese
A twist on the classic – containing no pasta, but rice rolls. Mixed with applewood cheddar and topped with a huge portion of drunken foie gras. This dish was full of goodness, however, we still think macaroni rules the mac and cheese plate, and weren’t too sure on the rice rolls.
Chef Fabrizio Napolitano from NOM
Mac n Balls
Italians know best – huge tubes of macaroni, Wagyu balls and eggplant purée. This was ON POINT. But we could have done with more eggplant.
Chef Satoru Mukogawa from Tiger Curry / Sushi Kuu
Tiger Style Mac n Cheese
A surprising favourite full of scallops and bursting with cheese. YES.
Chef Vinny Lauria from Stone Nullah Tavern / Linguini Fini / Posto Pubblico
Black Truffled Carbonara Mac & Cheese
Oh, Vinny, you may have won us over. Black truffle is everything! Mixed perfectly with an egg yolk and the creamiest mac and cheese around. Can we have more?
All dishes are priced at $188. The five chefs will have a cook-out for two awards – the dish with the most pictures on social media via the hashtag #theMacAttack, and the dish with the highest sales during the promotion period. Winner of the awards will donate 10% of the proceeds generated from the promotion to a charity of their choice.
Looking for more inspiration? We’ve got it all over on our Wine and Dine page.