Favourite Hong Kong restaurants of health drinks start-up founder Mia Williams, a mother of two
The American founder of Tizzy Shots tells us her top places for burger and pizza fixes, Sichuan and Thai, why Yardbird is such fun, where to impress visitors and treat yourself, and reveals her secret Wan Chai hideaway
[I’m] an American, so burgers and pizzas are top on my list of things to eat, but I genuinely enjoy my fair share of kale and smoothies fortified with matcha powder.
With two small kids, I try to make my nights out count, so I look for bizarre locations, unusual menu items or a particularly jolly maitre’d. Belon (41 Elgin Street, SoHo, tel: 2152 2872) always exceeds my expectations. Chef Daniel’s pigeon pithivier and Axel’s cocktails are fantastic.
For a more casual night in, we love ordering from Thai On Nine By Kea (Galway Court, 9 Cross Street, Wan Chai, tel: 6077 5964), a tiny place in the Wan Chai wet market with only five seats. They offer red rice, vegetarian options and very zippy curries. My Thai obsession continues at Samsen (68 Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai, tel: 2234 0001), where exceptionally fresh ingredients make simple dishes, like their pad thai, taste wonderfully complex. They also serve my favourite brew: Beer Lao.
Yardbird (33-35 Bridges Street, Sheung Wan, tel: 2547 9273) is the epitome of fun. The liver mousse pate and garlic Brussels sprouts call to me in my sleep. I’ll wash it down with a cleansing sake curated by the sake samurai, Elliot Faber.
As Wan Chai residents, we have a standing reservation at Yu Chuan Club (Shop B, 1/F, Hundred City Centre, 7-17 Amoy Street, Wan Chai, tel: 2838 5233)), run by a family from Sichuan. It’s unpretentious and their la zi ji, mouth-numbing dry-fried chicken, is the best in town. Deng G (2/F Weswick Commercial Building, 147-149 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, tel: 2609 2328) is just a stone’s throw away. The ambience is much more upscale, which distracts you from their very dangerous Baijiu Bar.
To satiate my American tastes, I like Classified’s (various locations, including 31 Wing Fung Street, Wan Chai, tel: 2528 3454) grass-fed beef burgers, and pizzas at Linguini Fini (49 Elgin Street, SoHo, tel: 2387 6338).
For visitors, book a table for dim sum at Social Place (2/F, The L Place, 139 Queen’s Road Central, Central, tel: 3568 9666) with its comically designed steamed buns, flaming pineapple chicken and charcoal crepes. Then, head to Cafe Gray Deluxe (L49, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, tel: 3968 1106) for sweeping views and cocktails or afternoon tea.
For celebrating special occasions, I head to Serge et Le Phoque (Tower 1, The Zenith, 3 Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai, tel: 5465 2000) where I can’t resist their dacquoise with vanilla pastry cream. Meanwhile Kanizen (3 Thomson Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2866 1618) is an expert for Japanese crabs. It’s not only a special dining experience, but a lesson in marine sciences.
My secret hideaway research has been slightly curtailed by motherhood. However, I hit the jackpot finding Bite Unite (15 Lung On Street, Wan Chai, tel: 2366 3231) a co-working kitchen and quaint cafe. Located near the historic Blue House, this magical space is surrounded by banyan trees intertwined with car mechanic shops. The coffee is wonderfully strong and the iced lemongrass tea irresistible.