In Hong Kong, food is a constant topic of conversation. And as disposable income has increased with a thriving economy, so too has the number of high-end options. Although many places remain firmly rooted in tradition, some chefs are now looking outward and attempting to build on the foundations of Cantonese cuisine by experimenting with Western ingredients and techniques.
The name derives from an address in New York’s Chinatown, the home of the first Chinese grocery in Manhattan, founded in 1851 by immigrants from Hong Kong. So as you might expect, this restaurant offers a menu that is a mix of traditional Chinese and Western contemporary cuisines. The one dish not to miss is the Iberico barbecue pork glazed with yellow honey. I also recommend the casserole of king prawns with black pepper and garlic in a soy sauce. The selection of wines by the glass is impressive.
4-4A Des Voeux Road, Central. Tel. 852-2885-8688.
I made a foray into the traditional Western District to try the dim sum at an authentic spot called Lin Heung Tea House. Authentic, yes; recommendable, no. Fortunately, I found an alternative nearby. Tim’s Kitchen proved much more congenial, with welcoming staff, white tablecloths and superb dim sum. Dispensing with the traditional carts from which you make selections, here the waiters present you with a bilingual checklist. We loved everything we tried, including steamed shrimp dumplings, steamed pork dumplings and pan-fried rice rolls in spicy XO sauce.
Shop A, 84-90 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan. Tel 852-2543-5919.
Located on the lower level of the Kowloon Shangri-La hotel, this restaurant provides a traditional setting of lacquered walls and hanging lanterns. We opted for the chef’s signature six-course set menu. Among the highlights: barbecued suckling pig and crispy lobster with oatmeal; braised beef short ribs with pears and whiskey; and black cod with fried rice and sakura shrimp. On my next trip to Hong Kong, I will be sure to pay this place a return visit.
Kowloon Shangri-La, 64 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon. Tel. 852-2733-8754.
I couldn’t resist re-visiting this famous restaurant, given that it is just steps away from Hullett House. A magnificent view of Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong Island skyline from the 28th floor makes this one of the most popular restaurants in the city. Its menu features chiefly northern Chinese cuisine. I loved the minced pork with string beans enlivened with chili and onions, and the crisp soft-shell crabs set amid a bed of dried peppers. Ask your concierge to try to secure one of the sought-after tables by the window.
28th Floor, One Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. Tel. 852-3428-8342.