Restaurateur Mark Cholewka’s favourite Hong Kong places to eat - with the accent on local and regional dishes
One of the brains behind Shore in Central tells us his go-to places for sushi, Peking duck, and wonton noodle soup, where he takes guests new to Hong Kong, and his new favourite restaurant
I like all kinds of food, but, no matter what I’m eating, I like sharing. My wife and I always share our meals. We get to try different menu items this way. Having been a chef, I tend cook Western meals for my family at home and go out for Asian food.
Tokio Joe (16 Lan Kwai Fong, tel: 2525 1889) is one of my favourite dinner places. The service is always awesome at the sushi counter and our sake cups are never empty. When I feel like eating Peking duck I like to go to Mott 32 (Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Road Central, tel: 2885 8688). It is on the top of my list for duck, and the Iberico char siu is damn good too.
If someone is new to Asia or Hong Kong, I would take them to Din Tai Fung in Causeway Bay (68 Yee Woo Street, tel: 3160 8998). It is an easy intro to Chinese food and you really can’t go wrong.
Tsim Chai Kee Noodle (98 Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2850 6471) has the best wonton noodle soup. I have been going there for lunch for 20 years. It’s cheap, fast and consistent.
While wandering around the old streets of Hong Kong, I really enjoy eating local delicacies like octopus balls and stuffed peppers, too. The best way to enjoy Asian food is to find the place where all the locals flock.
I also enjoy Chom Chom (58-60 Peel Street, SoHo, tel: 2810 0850), Chachawan (206 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, tel: 2549 0020) and Jinjuu (California Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, tel: 3755 4868). I make it a point to sit at the kitchen counter or bar area, if available.
Recently we celebrated my wife’s birthday at Tosca (102/F, Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, ICC, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2263 2270), one of the best meal experiences I’ve had. The view is cool and the service was amazing. The pace of the evening was perfect, professional but personalised and the chef came around with a cake and photo. Of course, the food was great. It’s my new favourite.
Our restaurant, Shore Steak (3/F-4/F, The L Place, 139 Queen’s Road Central, Central, tel: 2915 1638) has been around for more than seven years now and what I have learnt from the ups and downs is you always have to communicate and work closely with your team and partners. We have learned about being consistent with our products and service from a good group of regulars who are open to giving us honest opinions.
We’re also lucky to keep our core team members for a long time and customers recognise that. We have a fantastic work culture. In terms of the venue, we are very lucky to be right in the heart of the city.