Why dining out on Lamma Island is worth the trip

Lamma Island has a range of culinary gems to discover

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 June, 2017, 3:05pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 June, 2017, 11:23am

Many day trippers visit Lamma Island for its famous seafood restaurants, however there is a wide selection of international cuisine worth trying on both sides of the island that a gourmet trip would sate.

Yung Shue Wan

LaLa Mama’s

27 Sha Po Old Village, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma, 9759 2553

With its location off the main street (look for the sign) this charming restaurant has a hidden-gem feel. The focus is on healthy eating, a respect for the environment, and quality ingredients. Vegetarians, vegans and carnivores are catered for and, with its many egg dishes, is a popular breakfast/brunch spot. For a light lunch, try the signature cold udon with home-made sesame sauce, poached egg, cucumber, crab (or tofu), or the home-made fish pie.

A fantastic new option is the Malaysian-inspired blue rice salad - a vibrant assortment of vegetables, spicy sauce, home-made pickles, condiments, and blue rice - naturally blue from butterfly-pea flowers. The owner, Po, has also recently opened Veggie to Go (at No 39) which serves vegetarian/vegan food only.

Carlos Tapas/Candela

23 Main Street (new address), Yung Shue Wan, Lamma, 6344 5288

The popularity that chef Carlos Andres developed with his Spanish small plates concept is seen in its history. Starting as a takeaway-only venture aimed at Lamma residents, it morphed into a hole-in-the-wall establishment with a handful of seats. However, this month he has moved to a new location, a 30-seat restaurant named Candela. Beyond his jovial, enthusiastic nature, the reason he sells out most days is the food, with a large variety of dishes, which constantly changes, prepared fresh each day.

There are many vegetarian options and everything we tried was delicious, including tuna stuffed eggs, eggplant salad and creamy spinach with crispy garlic and walnuts. Candela will have takeaway and an à la carte menu.

Andy’s Seafood Sau Kee Restaurant

43 Main Street, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma, 2982 0210

One thing that makes this Cantonese restaurant stand out from its nearby live seafood competitors is its alfresco terrace area over the shore, with the gentle sounds of lapping water, and great sunset views. The other draw is, of course, the food. Salt and pepper squid (or Japanese tofu) is always a good way to start - crisp exterior, tender interior - deep-fried goodness that is best paired with an icy cold beer. In addition to live seafood choices, other top picks (from the large menu) include steamed bean curd with scallops in black bean sauce, roast crispy chicken, and stir-fried mince quail with vegetables. Its live seafood is on display at the front of the restaurant.

Lamma Grill

36 Main Street, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma, 2982 1447

When the urge for pub-style food hits - slow-cooked barbecue pork ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, pizza - this locals’ hangout is a good option. Don’t be put off by the slightly grungy interiors and somewhat tired terrace, the water (and sunset) views and large portions soon distract. There are also a variety of burgers, including the classic beef, which had a juicy, tasty patty. Other burger options include fish, chicken, lamb and veggie, with a selection of extra toppings available. The fish in the fish ‘n’ chips is breaded, but can also be grilled on request, and the fries are made in-house. For a healthier option there are made-to-order wraps or for the ravenous pork knuckle, or US prime rib-eye.

Sok Kwu Wan

Lamma Rainbow

23-25 First Street Son Kwu Wan, 2982 8100

A favourite for large groups, hungry cross-island hikers, and tourists, in part due to its free return ferry service to Central or Tsim Sha Tsui, and that its multiple locations are always busy ensuring high turnover of seafood. Signature dishes include steamed prawns, fried crab with honey and pepper, fried lobster with butter sauce, steamed scallop with garlic sauce, fried squilla with salt and pepper, fried rice with sea urchin and crab roe, Longjing tea smoked chicken, and rainbow fish - a combination of fried fillet and steamed head, belly and bone. The family-run restaurant has been in operation for more than 30 years.

Wai Kee Sea Food Restaurant

3 First Street, Sok Kwu Wan, 2982 8135

Don’t be put off by the less frenetic nature of this restaurant, with its sunny yellow colour scheme it has a relaxing ambience, and like its competitors a focus on seafood. Signatures are highlighted on the menu and include steamed fish with ginger and spring onions, tender fried squid with spiced salt, steamed scallops with smashed garlic, fried clams with black bean sauce and sweet and sour pork. It also serves an outstanding Yangzhou fried rice, with large pieces of perfectly cooked prawn and generous amounts of roast pork. Another attraction is the no service charge, no per person charge (in the guise of peanuts and tea) and no corkage fee with a modest minimum spend.

Loso Kitchen

1 First Street, Sok Kwu Wan, 2982 8623

Open all day, this eclectic cafe and bar has a mixed bag menu and equally interesting clientele - bearded hipsters drawn by the impressive range of craft beers, day-trippers refuelling after a hike, and those wanting a coffee or something sweet after their nearby Chinese meal. It has a charming, quirky ambience and due to some clever furniture and plant arrangements feels a world away from its neighbours. The pasta is a popular choice, as is the fish and chips, noodle soups and salads. The French toast, available à la carte or part of an afternoon tea set was delightful, thick cubes of fried eggy bread drizzled with chocolate sauce and condensed milk.