Head to Wan Chai for Hipster Noodles
Grilling on the Bright Side
It’s a Wan Chai special this week: 239 Hennessy Road is getting topped-and-tailed thanks to the opening of the ground-floor The Optimist (G/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, 2433-3324), by the team who also runs Pirata on the top floor of the building. The concept is northern Spanish food, but this isn’t tapas and paella—instead the centerpiece is the asador grill, serving up HUGE plates of flame-grilled steak and seafood. Keep an eye out for the enormous 1.2kg txuleta steak: Bone-in rib eye, dry aged for 45 days and served perfectly, charred on the outside and red inside. Also excellent is charcoal grilled rice, a beautiful blend of saffron rice with punches of salty iberico pork. The resto is spread over three floors, and each level has a different feel—we like the cool, leafy ground floor with its green-accented trelliswork. You’ll want to come hungry—and with lots of people—to take advantage of these bites.
Bun to Be Wild
Hong Kong’s sandwich game is on the up—finally. After starting out with market stalls and catering gigs, Bread & Beast (3 Swatow St., Wan Chai, 9120-6869) has opened a permanent shop on Swatow Street. This sandwichery doesn’t mess around: Baguettes, ciabattas and brioches are stuffed with ox tongue, herbed porchetta, cola marinated pork shoulder, fried chicken and more. We’re particularly interested in the “Not your average ngau lam noodle” sandwich: 42-hour slow-cooked beef brisket with a honey hoisin glaze, spring onion slaw and pickled bak choi in a baguette. We’re salivating just thinking about it.
Not content with hosting Djibouti and the Butchers Club Burger, Wan Chai’s Landale Street is now home to a new branch of Foxtail & Broomcorn (Shop 5, Rialto Building, 2 Landale St., Wan Chai, 2603-2022). The hipster noodle joint serves up the same MSG-free bites as its original Sheung Wan outlet but in a much larger space. On the menu? Asian-inspired noodle dishes, drawing on the cuisines of Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Hong Kong alike, all with a modern twist. Will it be packed for lunch by the time you read this? You bet.