Favourite Hong Kong restaurants of Norm Yip, artist and photographer
Yip, who has a taste for spicy food, tells us about the place he likes to eat Thai and Korean cuisine, and about a recently discovered Central bar
One of my favourite Thai restaurants is The Spice House (35 Amoy Street, Wan Chai, tel: 2804 2522) a quaint place in Wan Chai, where I normally go if I’m in the area and I am hungry for lunch. The food is simple, flavourful and fresh. My usual favourites include their fried Thai cabbage or Chinese broccoli, whichever is in season. Next in line would be their papaya salad and delicious green chicken curry. I took several writers from London’s The Art Newspaper for lunch there and they loved it.
Next to The Spice House is Passion by Gerard Dubois (74-80 Johnston Road,Wan Chai, tel: 2529 1311), where I go if I’m in the mood for something with a more Western flavour. The array of hearty salads and pastries is a delight both to my taste buds and eyes. The ambience is chic, although you may need to share space with others on the tall counter tables. I remember trying their spinach quiche along with a beet salad accompanied with a cappuccino. I don’t really think you can go wrong with anything on the menu.
My first taste of Korean food was in Toronto, which is also known for its variety of Asian cuisines. So I was pleasantly surprised to find Korean Garden Restaurant (2/F, 247 Des Voeux Road Central, Sheung Wan, tel: 2542 2339) when I first came to Hong Kong in 1994. The number of little side dishes, or banchan, is plentiful and delicious. Apart from the selection of barbecued meats, I particularly love the mandoo guk dumplings and absolutely divine kimchi pancakes, as well as their bibimbap. It’s a great place to go to with a hungry friends.
I was recently invited for dinner at Olive (32 Elgin Street, SoHo, tel: 2521 1608) when a friend was in town. Never having been to this restaurant I was impressed by the food and the service. The hummus was velvety smooth and light tasting, while the falafel was crisp and nutty. I love Mediterranean food!
Recently I went to this chic little bar in Central called Le Boudoir (65 Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2530 3870). The place has the coolest old European-style décor and the bartender Shrestha was so nice. The place had character and you could really talk to someone there - my friend and I were there when it was early so it wasn’t filled to the brim. It really is a great place to entertain a guest.