Spicy Sichuan Brunch, Home-Style French Fare and Gastrogrilling
This week's new and noted restaurants.
Da Ping Huo
Looking to sweat some more this summer? Head to legendary Sichuan private kitchen Da Ping Huo for a spicy-hot Sichuan Weekend Brunch that will blow the roof off your mouth. The husband and wife duo who run this underground temple to spicy cuisine are still going strong after two decades with a new weekend brunch promotion to celebrate the restaurant’s 20th anniversary. For $180, feast on a six-course brunch set which includes signature diner favorites such as hot and sour glass noodles, cold chicken, roast beef, stir-fried cabbage, unlimited orders of dandan noodles, and tofu pudding with snow fungus for dessert. While the cold noodles and chicken pack on the tongue-numbing heat, you can revive your taste buds with the milder stir-fried cabbage and dandan noodles, swimming in a sesame broth with a sprinkling of green onions and crunchy peanuts to top off the bowl. For a start to your weekend, Da Ping Huo’s brunch will invigorate your palate—although be prepared to drink copious amounts of sour plum juice to keep the fire in check.
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There are some chefs that consider cooking as just another job, and those who put their heart and soul on the plate. No one who meets chef Eddy Leung could argue that he doesn’t belong in the latter group—formerly the operator of Hong Kong’s first private kitchen Chef Studio by Eddy, the enthusiastic chef has brought his passionate cooking (and most of his loyal following) to his new kitchen Chez Ed. The restaurant still has the intimate feel of dining in chef Eddy’s personal kitchen, and we weren’t surprised to find him spending as much time on the floor as in the kitchen, greeting old guests and making new ones feel welcome. Soft-opened in May, chef Eddy is still finding his footing in the new space, but regulars will find some familiar dishes off the bat, such as the immensely creamy scrambled egg dish with generous shavings of Tasmanian black truffle ($380), and the fork-tender 12-hour slow-braised wagyu beef cheek. The lunch menu is an in-and-out affair with three courses going for $280 and four for $380, while the dinner tasting menu ($980) is the time to sit back, relax and let Eddy play the quintessential host, with course after course of home-style French cooking including lobster risotto with aged parmesan and spinach and Canadian pork paillard with crispy lotus root and baby asparagus.
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Billing itself as Hong Kong’s first gastrogrill, Fugazi is the latest addition to K-Town’s blossoming food scene, serving assorted Asian skewers and snacks which go down best with a cold beer or sake. Modeled off an izakaya but drawing culinary inspiration from all over Asia, Fugazi (slang for “fake”) offers traditional snacks with a twist, from Sichuan wings deep-fried with cumin and coriander to Xinjiang lamb fillets dusted with homemade Xinjiang powder. On the menu you’ll also find Malaysian-inspired dishes such as grilled beef tenderloin and 13-spiced shrimp and chicken laksa, as well as more unusual offerings including fried yam crisps and sea snails served with fried garlic on the side. Dishes range from $25-$68 and there’s a list of 30 fine wines and sakes to wash it down along with exclusive draft beers. And the décor? An industrial space outfitted with warm yellow and wood tones, geometric accents, and—no surprise here—a luscious-looking “mysterious lady” peering at diners from her graffiti art throne splashed across the concrete walls.