Hong Kong dining recommendations

PR consultant Ainslie Cheung’s favourite Hong Kong restaurants

Qi Communications managing partner’s first food choice is hearty Hakka, and he enjoys plenty of options off the beaten track

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 June, 2016, 12:30pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 June, 2016, 11:19am

I’m not a picky eater. As a PR consultant focusing on travel and hospitality, I eat a lot on the run. I also grew up as a first-generation immigrant in the UK so every penny and morsel counted. Dim sum Sundays in Manchester in the 1970s was like a cross between a Wong Kar-wai and Guy Ritchie movie – all cigarette smoke, boisterous families and stacks of steam and mahjong tiles.

Hearty and rustic Hakka holds a place close to my heart but Italian is a close second. It mirrors my

Chinese sensibilities with good portions, full-on flavours and a sense of family. I find it hard to get great Italian in Hong Kong, though there are many good Italian chefs. Pino Lavarra at Tosca (102/F The Ritz-Carlton, ICC, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2263 2270) is someone I admire for his depth of creativity and philosophy.

Places I haunt regularly tend to be local and off the beaten track. I love a little place called Victory Kitchen (6 Victory Avenue, Ho Man Tin, tel: 2760 0033). They serve the best Thai-style Hainanese chicken rice in Hong Kong. Not too greasy and superbly chicken-y.

For overseas visitors, I also go as local as I can. I often take them to DimDimSum (28 Man Wui Street, Jordan, tel: 2771 7766), with great turnip cakes. Then for that nostalgic Wong Kar-wai-theme experience, Mido Cafe (63 Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei, tel: 2384 6402) serves good classic local fare. The French toast in all its greasy goodness and the classic ham and egg sandwich washed down with milk tea – the perfect finish to a day on Temple Street.

Recently, I took a Singaporean guest to Lobster Bobo (1 Jubilee Street, Central, tel: 3622 1246) run by chef Eddy Leung of G7, for his lobster laksa. The depth of flavour in his broth is amazing, with generous servings of lobster for around HK$100; great value. Around the corner is Pho Bar (24 Li Yuen Street West, Central, tel: 2109 2028), one of a new generation of Vietnamese noodle joints. This one stands out with its incredibly scented broth and ridiculously good fried chicken.

For something quick, Mak’s Noodles (77 Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2854 3810) does the trick, with its juicy meaty wontons in a clear broth with perfectly textured noodles.

Personally, I detest the current trend to small bites and burgers at obscene prices. If I want to pay those prices, I go to Main St Deli (Lower lobby, The Langham, 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2132 7898) for great burgers and a slab of cheesecake.

Occasionally, I get a hankering for Boston Restauran t (3 Luard Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2527 7646) and its old-school sizzling plates. After a heavy night out, it’s Beyrouth Bistro (39 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, tel: 2480 5338) for an amazingly good lamb kebab.

For special occasions, there are a few stalwarts I turn to time and again. You can’t go wrong with Pierre (25/F Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road Central, tel: 2825 4001) for impeccable service and quality food with great atmosphere and a killer harbour view – it’s a heady combination that elevates any occasion.