Favourite Hong Kong restaurants of Irene Lam-park, PR and branding, Cheil
I am definitely a big foodie and my biggest influence is my dad who lives to eat and whose greatest passion is food. Growing up in Hong Kong and the US, he always took us to the best restaurants, from the most expensive to local neighbourhood places, and he instilled in us the appreciation of sharing good food.
Being half Chinese of Chiu Chow heritage and half Korean, I have two staple family cuisines. Zither Chiu Chow (4/F The Phoenix, 21-25 Luard Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2967 9322) is fairly new and serves the best Chiu Chow oyster congee and the famous taro dessert, wu nai. When we go with my dad, he asks the chef to tweak the dishes to his liking.
For Korean food, we go to Arirang (3/F, W Square, 314-324 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2506 3298), where the vegetables and special ingredients are flown from Korea. The bossam (boiled pork with fresh greens and a special fish sauce) and jokbal (steamed pig’s knuckle) are specialities which remind me of my years living in Seoul.
If I want a good place to take visitors to try wonton noodles, I go to Mak Siu (32 King Kwong Street, Happy Valley, tel: 2893 2308). For Japanese, the fresh sushi and steamed fish head at Sushi Shin (110-114 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, tel: 2398 8000) never disappoint. The lunch set is much more affordable but you have to book early.
When I am not travelling for work, I like to have business lunches at Aberdeen Street Social (PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, tel: 2866 0300) and Ciak in the Kitchen (shop 327-333, 3/F The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, tel: 2522 8869). The food is always consistent.
When I lived in Seoul, I loved the food there. A place I used to visit a lot – and still do – is Maple Tree House BBQ (various locations) for the excellent bulgogi beef. Another very local place called Sujebi House (102 Samcheong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea, tel: +82 2 735 2965) serves only one dish – sujebi – a light, gnocchi-like pasta served in clam broth, which is superb. For special occasions, Poom (3/F Daewon-jeongsa BD, 358-17 Huam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, tel: +82 2 777 9007) serves sophisticated, delicate and beautiful Korean slow food. Each dish is a work of art. On weekends, after a long hike, my husband and I used to go to a tiny little eatery called The Second Best Place (122-1, Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, tel: +82 2 734 5302) for danpatjuk, a sweet, red bean and cinnamon thick soup served hot with a mochi dumpling.
As told to Andrew Sun