Favourite Hong Kong restaurants of celebrity chef Judy Joo, founder of Jinjuu
Little Bao, Ho Lee Fook and Mott 32 are among the go-to dining destinations of Korean American who hosts Korean Food Made Simple on the Asian Food Channel
Like many people, I am obsessed with food. To most people, Korean food means fiery dishes, barbecued meat, jap chae noodles, bibimbap, chicken pot and soup; but in fact not all Korean dishes are spicy. Last December, I opened my first overseas branch of Jinjuu (UG/F, California Tower, 32 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, tel: 3755 4868).Jinjuu’s concept is very different – it doesn’t exist anywhere else. I want to show the world that Korean restaurants can be hip, cool, fashionable and sexy.
I lived here for three months prior to the opening and have been coming back periodically so I get the opportunity to eat my way around town whenever I can. I have tried some Korean barbecue places in Tsim Sha Tsui but nothing really stands out. When I am dining out, I pay for both food and service. I expect good food, meaning fresh ingredients with nice flavours. I don’t like having ordinary meals and being charged a lot of money.
I love the pork bao, love the concept, love the vibe, and love May [Chow] of Little Bao (66 Staunton Street, SoHo, tel: 2194 0202). Her place is a fun, edgy, hipster eatery.
I love Chinese cuisine, and Sichuan and Hunan are my favourite regional delicacies. Ho Lee Fook (1-5 Elgin Street, SoHo, tel: 2810 0860) is where I enjoy outstanding vegetarian dishes such as their asparagus with broccoli. I am also captivated by their wall of cats.
I may be a modern girl but I am fond of the nostalgic feel and decor at Luk Yu Tea House (24 Stanley Street, Central, tel: 2523 5464). It is so fun and I love to go there for breakfast. All their dim sum dishes are excellent. My favourites are steamed beef balls, vegetarian dumplings and the egg tart. If I go early in the morning I see that on the VIP floor there are the same people sitting at the same tables every time.
At Mott 32 (Basement, Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Road Central, tel: 2885 8688) the gorgeous interior design is not the only enticement to dine. I simply cannot resist the Peking duck, char siu prepared with Iberico pork, and the prawn dishes.
I know the chef at Chachawan (206 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, tel: 2549 0020) and I go there for his Thai food, especially the Thai-style omelette and minced pork in lettuce cups.
Sometimes when I take a break I go uphill to Stockton Bar and Restaurant (32 Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2565 5268) for a drink and nibbles. It is a great speakeasy.
If I am in the mood for just having fun, I would order any cocktails at Honi Honi Tiki Cocktail Lounge (3/F, Somptueux Central, 52-54 Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2353 0885).