I know a place: Douglas Morin of Crosby Securities
CEO of Crosby Securities
Living the banker's life in Hong Kong for the past 15 years, I have been to all the high-end restaurants, private kitchens and celebrity chef venues. My stomach is exhausted.
Now, if it's just me, or if I'm with my wife or a close friend going for a casual bite, I have a few favourite places which are family-owned and have their own signature dish.
For local fare, the Hong Kong Noodle & Congee Café (218 Jaffe Road, Wan Chai, tel, 2877 4489) buys fish fresh each day, and they've mastered fish congee and shrimp satay noodles. The owners are a trio of friends who, every couple of years, have to agonise over raising prices to make their rent.
Whenever I get a chance to escape to Sai Kung, I always take a meal and a coffee at the Ali Oli Bakery Café (11 Sha Tsui Path, Sai Kung, tel: 2792 2655).
Since 2005, the owner, Hazel Cheung, has crafted one of the few establishments in the territory where you'd want to go every day. She sells home-made breads, gourmet pies, savories, cakes, cookies, dessert and other delectable deli items. Everything is made with high quality fresh ingredients with no preservatives.
Another fascinating local story is that of a German engineer/helicopter pilot who is passionate about German sausages. If you go to any outdoor concert or event in Hong Kong, you will likely find Wolfgang Bern there serving his Flying Brats sausages. He uses pork imported from the US, which is grilled to get just the right colour. He also imports his buns from Germany and bakes them fresh to order. Add some mustard to the bratwurst and a German beer and the world is immediately a better place. After building a loyal customer base through events, he has finally opened a Flying Brats (7 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, tel: 8226 2147) to cater to his cult of brat lovers. I hear he is opening a second venue on Cochrane Street soon, for the Hollywood Road crowd.
Another of my local favourites is the roast goose leg noodle at Yat Lok Restaurant (34-38 Stanley Street, Central, tel. 2524 3882). I'm not so keen on sharing a table with a stranger, and being forced to watch him pile up his meat bones, but I endure it for the insanely good soup in the roast goose noodle.
Lastly, there is the secret menu of Mr. Bing (LG/F, 83 Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2568 8248). If you can get to Mr Bing before 11am, they can prepare a ham, egg and cheese "bing" (filled crêpe). It's not on the menu, and is known only to loyal insiders. The dessert crêpes are also delicious.