Favourite Hong Kong restaurants of Jude Wu, conservation chief
Dim sum, Japanese, seafood and vegan fare are high on Wu's list
Having been spoiled by the world-class restaurants in New York City for almost a decade, my taste buds still can’t believe how good the food is in Hong Kong.
I’ve pretty much never had a bad meal here, and already enjoyed 100 great ones in 18 months, from a simple fish ball soup in any Tsui Wah (various locations) to top-of-the-line celebrity chef spots such as Aberdeen Street Social (PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, tel: 2866 0300), where I always take my favourite VIP guests and friends. There is magic in the air and ambience there, so it is a prime spot for a business or intimate proposal.
Chicha (26 Peel Street, Central, tel: 2561 3336) was the first restaurant I went to in Hong Kong and I’ll always love it for its hip vibe and ceviche. I never imagined the stunning hidden secret of Peruvian cooking, aji amarillo (yellow chilli pepper), would find its way to Hong Kong.
For a blast from the past, grab six of your friends for seafood dinner on a private sampan at Shun Kee Typhoon Shelter (Typhoon Shelter, Causeway Bay, tel: 8112 0075) – the floating restaurant in Causeway Bay. It is by far the most unique dining experience I know.
I just discovered Yee Tung Heen (2/F The Excelsior, 281 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2837 6790). It’s art for dim sum and dim sum for art – definitely the most creative dim sum I’ve had, without sacrificing delectable bliss. An added bonus is that it is the quietest place I’ve found for business lunch.
And then there’s Zuma (5/F The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road, Central, tel: 3657 6388). All I can say is wow. I thought I knew good Japanese, but where have I been all these years?
Some days, especially Mondays, in honour of Green Monday’s challenge to go meat free one day a week, I like to hit up the vegan spots: Mana! (92 Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2851 1611), Life Cafe (10 Shelley Street, SoHo, tel: 2810 9777), or takeout at Nood Food (2/F Kinwick Centre, 32 Hollywood Road, Central, tel: 8199 8189). I always walk away remembering that vegan and vegetarian eating is not a sacrifice at all, but a luxury for the taste buds, body and soul.
My current favourite is Fish and Meat (32 Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2565 6788). It is very convincing with its farm-to-table theme and mesmerising menu. There’s something about table #30. Slide in the booth, lean on the whitewashed wood panel wall, stare up at the mason jar lights, and it feels like home.
With such a vibrant dining scene in Hong Kong, I’ve discovered that my list of favourites is growing way too fast. It seems like the great challenge for foodies in Hong Kong is forcing yourself to keep trying new places. That’s what I call a high-quality problem! I’m off to New York City next for business, I’ll be sure to hit up Candle Cafe (1307 3rd Avenue, New York City, tel: +1 212 472 0970) – the world’s best farm-to-table vegan restaurant in my book. I’ll try to convince them to come to Hong Kong.
As told to Kylie Knott