Hong Kong dining recommendations

Favourite Hong Kong restaurants of Denise Lau, interior design entrepreneur

The Colourliving executive tells us where she goes for her Japanese fix, both old and new, the best pizza and pasta, braised beef tendon noodles and dai pai dong classics

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 August, 2016, 12:02pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 September, 2016, 5:45pm

Food is ever important to me. I enjoy everything except mutton and milk. I love champagne and Japanese. I used to be quite adventurous when travelling in China and the Middle East, but now, no more deep-fried scorpions, boiled sandworms, or owl soup.

My all time favourite Japanese are Hana Sakazuki (2/F, China Taiping Tower Phase II, 8 Sunning Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2577 9799) and Gonpachi (Level 4, Lee Garden One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, tel: 2787 3688). Hana Sakazuki has the best teppanyaki in town. My favourites there are eel with the skin crisped like seaweed while the meat is juicy and tender, the abalone, and A5 wagyu beef with golden crisp sliced garlic. My husband and I also enjoy omakase with seasonal delights at the sushi counter and rounds of sake “kanpai” with the fun chefs.

When I crave sumiyaki skewers, Gonpachi’s ox tongue, Miyazaki wagyu dice with crisp garlic, negi and sesame, hand-pounded home-made buckwheat soba noodles and tofu are must-haves.

My latest discovery is La Bombance (30/F, V Point, 18 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 3188 3326), sister restaurant of La Bombance Tokyo by chef Makoto Okamoto. He is best known for his unique and avant-garde sense of culinary style and signature New Japanese cuisine. The presentation and tableware are exquisite and the view is magnificent, overlooking Victoria Harbour and Tsim Sha Tsui.

With the number of brands we represent, we frequently have associates visit throughout the year. For first-time visitors, it would be Lei Yue Mun for the seafood shopping experience or Yung Kee (32-40 Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2522 1624) for the goose.

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My friend runs No. 5 Italian (P311, Level 3, World Trade Centre, 280 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2554 2228). It’s great for artisan pizzas and home-made pasta with sea urchin or Sicilian red prawns. For something more casual, I like Mak’s Noodle (77 Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2854 3810) for the best wonton and braised beef tendon noodles – although Kau Kee (21 Gough Street, Central, tel: 2850 5967) has better beef brisket e-fu noodle.

Kasa (Shop 103, 1/F Shui On Centre, 6-8 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2659 9189) does playful reinvention of nostalgic dai pai dong classics. Kasa’s new branch in Central at 61 Wellington Street (tel: 2868 6864) also does creative and wholesome vegetable dishes like bitter melon with wasabi and soy sauce reduction.

As for design and decor, I would say Duddell’s (Level 3 and 4, Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell Street, Central, tel: 2525 9191) and Foxglove (2/F Printing House, 6 Duddell Street, Central, tel: 2116 8949) are most impressive. It’s not only their striking interiors and thoughtful, story-telling menu designs but the nice integration of non-F&B elements that make them very enticing and unique.

Duddell’s eclectic mix of art, furniture, ethnic rugs, dramatic travertine, and lush terrace adds to the Michelin-star culinary enjoyment. Foxglove, disguised like an English gentleman’s umbrella shop with a secret door to a glamorous interior inspired by a classic first-class air cabin, is fun for cocktails.