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Hong Kong dining recommendations

Favourite Hong Kong restaurants of Stephanie Poon, founder of Zarie athleisure brand

Brass Spoon for pho, Fa Zu Jie for French-Chinese fusion and VEA for a date night among the places Poon heads to most, but after a bad day at the office Igloo Dessert Bar offers a pick-me-up

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 April, 2017, 5:16pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 April, 2017, 5:51pm

I am definitely drawn more to nostalgic, hearty, home-cooked style of dishes. I like a lot of places when I eat out but Brass Spoon (1 Moon Street, Wan Chai, tel: 2877 0898, and 10 Pottinger St, Central, tel: 2804 1817) is where I go most. The hearty and healthy pho with a ching bo leung (clear sweet soup) drink delivers almost meditative qualities.

Fa Zu Jie (1/F, 20A D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, tel: 3487 1715) is another one of my favourites. The homey atmosphere, coupled with simple yet tasty fusion French-Chinese dishes, inspires us to always stay until the restaurant closes.

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If I’m having a bad day I stop by Igloo Dessert Bar (Shop C, Lower Deck, Star Ferry Pier 7, Central, tel: 2656 3318) to cheer myself up with one of their local flavours of gelato and mochi while staring at the harbour.

For visitors, I take them to Dragon Inn Seafood Restaurant (Miles 19, Castle Peak Road, Tuen Mun, tel: 2450 6366) which is my grandpa’s favourite restaurant near the Gold Coast. The whole process of procuring the seafood from the wet market and having it cooked at a restaurant reflects the essence and history of Hong Kong’s food culture. They still serve my childhood favourites like baked lobster with cheese and steamed crabs with glutinous rice.

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I tend to satisfy my brunch cravings in Kennedy Town at Catch (95 Catchick Street, tel: 2855 1289) or Waffling Beans (4-8 North Street, tel: 2855 8890). I also never turn down an invite to my favourite dim sum place, Che’s Cantonese Restaurant (4/F, The Broadway, 54-62 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2528 1123) and order heaps of their super thin and crispy scallion and dried shrimp pancakes.

The best date night place my husband and I have gone to is VEA (29/F-30/F, 198 Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2711 8639). We loved sitting at the bar to see all the kitchen action, such as the way chef Vicky Cheng puts together a dish and mixologist Antonio Lai whips up one of his warm cocktails. The food is innovative with a hint of Hong Kong nostalgia and the atmosphere is hip and happening.

I travel frequently. Besides Taiwan and Japan, Tuscany is hands down my favourite region for a phenomenal gastro experience. The dishes there never cease to delight and surprise. I’ve had great food from a grandma’s kitchen outside Pienza, to the Florentine steak of butcher Dario Cecchini at Antica Macelleria Cecchini (Via XX Luglio, 11, 50022 Panzano in Chianti, Florence, tel: +39 055 852020) to the freshest seafood at La Pineta (Via Dei Cavalleggeri Nord 27, 57020 Marina Di Bibbona, Tuscany, tel: +39 0586 600016).