Favourite Hong Kong restaurants of Jonathan Bui, restaurateur and bar owner
From a Chiu Chow family, Bui likes Pak Loh Chiu Chow and Australia Dairy Company for comfort food, Caprice and Little Bao when he has guests to impress, and a Japanese whisky bar to unwind
I’m definitely an adventurous eater. Our family has roots in the food and beverage industry so I was exposed to lots of different ingredients and cuisines from a young age. In general, I try to eat healthy but sometimes I can’t help indulging. I usually start the day with a croissant or egg sandwich with soy milk cappuccino, then for lunch I’ll have a simple salad or sandwich, and anything goes for dinner.
My family is Chiu Chow, so when it comes to comfort food nothing beats [my company’s] Pak Loh Chiu Chow restaurants. My favourite is the Times Square outlet (shop 1002, 10/F Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2577 1163) because it always brings back lots of fond memories. I’ve been eating there since I could walk. It’s all about the ingredients, and the chefs don’t ruin them with excess sauce or oil. I particularly love the bitter gourd with pork ribs, bean curd chicken, the cold crab, and Chiu Chow congee, especially when I’ve had a bad day.
I also love the egg sandwich at Australia Dairy Company (47-49 Parkes Street, Jordan, tel: 2730 1356). No other establishment in Hong Kong offers such a fluffy egg with that price, speed and consistency.
Yuet Wah Hui Seafood Restaurant (405-419 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2591 6803) makes my favourite typhoon chilli crab. The chefs have great skills in handling a wok. It’s not easy to fry a crab so it’s piping hot without overcooking it, and the amount of spices is always on point. I love ordering fried rice to [finish] up the chilli and garlic. Always ask for extra spicy.
The Hidden Table (2015 Harbour Industrial Building, 10 Lee Hing Street, Ap Lei Chau, tel: 9029 9365) is also a must. One of my favourite chefs, Nelson Chung, graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, and he serves rustic French in his private kitchen. It’s cosy and the food is absolutely delicious. Great value, too. He picks top ingredients and makes everything from scratch. Always request his lemon tart.
To impress visitors, I like the cheese room in Caprice (6/F Four Seasons hotel, 8 Finance Street, Central, tel: 3196 8860), Little Bao (66 Staunton Street, Central, tel: 2194 0202) for the clams and the ice cream bao, and Mizunara: The Library (4/F Kiu Yin Commercial Building, 361-363 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, tel: 3571 9797) for their selection of whisky and cocktails. I love that they use Japanese fruit for drinks which taste delicious. Also, I have to say [my company’s bar] Foxglove (2/F Printing House, 6 Duddell Street, Central, tel: 2116 8949) has unique cocktails, food and live jazz.
Bakudan-ya Hiroshima-men (shop 1103, 11/F United Success Commercial Centre, 508 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2891 1530) is where I go for late night snacks. I love their fried chicken and oysters. And for a great late-night beef brisket noodle, there’s a place with no English name at 149 Johnston Road, Wan Chai (tel. 2574 4328) that I love.