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Hong Kong dining recommendations

Favourite Hong Kong restaurants of Ivan Pun, Myanmar-based restaurateur

Pun tells us where he gets his fix of traditional Cantonese fare, the most beautiful dining space in Hong Kong, how best to unwind at Ronin and where to find the perfect gin and tonic

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 July, 2016, 4:45pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 July, 2016, 5:56pm

When I’m in Hong Kong, I love to visit The Chairman (18 Kau U Fong, Central, tel: 2555 2202) to get my fix of traditional Cantonese fare. I’ve been going there regularly for the past few years. The Shaoxing wine steamed flowery crab on flat rice noodles is a must. The restaurant is rather no-frills, but the food speaks for itself – two weeks’ advance reservation is recommended.

When friends visit from overseas, I would usually take them to dine at the China Club (13/F-15/F Old Bank of China Building, Bank Street, Central, tel: 2521 8888). The dining room is the most beautiful space in Hong Kong to eat, surrounded by its legendary collection of contemporary Chinese art.

To unwind, I go to Ronin (8 On Wo Lane, Sheung Wan, tel: 2547 5263), where the Japanese-inspired raw seafood dishes are always spot on and the Japanese whisky selection is impressive. The dim, intimate vibe is equally great for catching up with a friend but it is not suitable for group dinners due to its bar seating. Dinner always starts with raw shigoku oysters and ends with unagi chirashi, and I’ll always try whatever is fresh and recommended that day – you can’t go wrong.

I also like Ping Pong Gintoneria (Nam Cheong Lau, 129 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, tel: 9835 5061); I brought dishes from Yangon restaurant Port Autonomy there for a pop-up dining event late last year.

The hidden Sai Ying Pun locale, high ceilings and old Hong Kong atmosphere give the bar an undeniable cool factor, but it’s the perfectly concocted, Spanish-style gin and tonics that keep me coming back. The tapas are executed well, and are usually filling enough to have as a meal.

Gin is in again

When I travel, I’m always on the lookout for fresh new ideas to bring to Yangon, where PUN + PROJECTS and my restaurants are based. My current favourite is a bakery deli concept in Venice, California, called Gjusta (320 Sunset Avenue, Venice, CA, +1 310 314 0320), by the founder of Gjelina. They serve artisanal sandwiches and delicacies like smoked fish, all day, in an amazingly sunny and casual environment.