Food & drink

Favourite Hong Kong restaurants of chef Justin Quek

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 June, 2015, 10:11am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 September, 2015, 11:21am

I am the kind of chef who goes to the 10-seater places in Tokyo. In Singapore, when we go out to eat we just sit down and ask the chefs to recommend what we should have because they know best.

I was the culinary consultant when Whisk opened at the Mira Hotel before. I enjoy Chinese cuisine and have visited many famous ones in Hong Kong. Mott 32 (B/F, Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Road Central, tel: 2885 8688) is a place I adore. The ambience is great with an appealing Asian touch. I particularly like the Peking duck and all the clay pot dishes.

Cuisine Cuisine (shop 3101, IFC Mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central, tel: 2393 3933) is my regular place. The assortment of dim sum is lovely. For a more casual vibe, I like Tim Ho Wan (shop 12A, Hong Kong Station, Podium Level 1, IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2332 3078). The place is nice and the selection of dim sum is traditional and delicious.

Dining at The Chairman (18 Kau U Fong, Central, tel: 2555 2202) is a highlight for authentic Cantonese cuisine. Some of my must-eat items include the pork belly with chicken liver, the minced pork patties, crab and preserved Chinese sausages clay pot rice and steamed crabs with hor fun noodles. The wonderful home-made sauces and fresh ingredients make the food amazing.

If I'm with a few people, we choose Ming Kee Jumbo Seafood Restaurant (3-7 Luen Fat Street, Bauhinia Garden, Wan Chai, tel: 2891 4617) for the fresh live seafood and tasty pigeon and shrimp dishes. When it comes to a satisfying quick bite, nothing can beat a good bowl of wonton noodles at Mak's Noodle (77 Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2854 3810).

There are two French restaurants in Hong Kong I appreciate, even though I am a French chef and have mastered the cuisine already. One is Caprice (Podium 6, Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance Street, Central, tel: 3196 8860). But I must confess my splendid food memory was associated with my dining experience there when chef Vincent Thierry was still in charge. This opulent restaurant has fantastic view, impeccable service and great value, quality lunch.

Amber (7/F The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen's Road Central, Central, tel: 2132 0066) is unique. It is all about the whole dining experience. Dishes are very refined and contemporary yet casual at the same time. Everything is orchestrated. When you go and eat there, it is as if you are enjoying a stage show.

While I was operating a restaurant in Shanghai about a decade ago, I frequently went to Old Jesse (41 Tianping Road, Xujiahui, Shanghai, tel: +86 21 6282 9260) to relish the most conventional, old-fashioned Shanghainese dishes at this rustic, original location of the famous Xinjishi chain.

Justin Quek is executive chef at Singapore's Sky on 57.

As told to Grace M.W. Wong