Favourite Hong Kong restaurants of Michael Chan, doctor turned burger restaurant owner
Chan, owner of Honbo in Wan Chai, prefers traditional Chinese fare – seafood, noodles, roast meat and dim sum – as well as New York Italian and Japanese, washed down with a classic cocktail
I used to be a doctor but switched to running a burger shop. Simple and traditional is what I like in life. I believe simplicity is purity. That’s my burger philosophy. I don’t have 15 options for toppings.
I’m a huge fan of Chinese food so I eat a lot of noodles. One of my favourites is Mak Man Kee Noodle (51 Parkes Street, Jordan, tel: 2736 5561). They have wonton and beef brisket, but the thing, is you cannot mix. It’s like they’re so confident in the food, they don’t want to mess with it.
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I also like Japanese ramen. The only shop in Hong Kong that comes close to Japan is Kanada-ya ( 34 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2889 3355).
I like Kin’s Kitchen (5/F, W Square, 314-324 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2571 0913) for simple, old-school Cantonese. They do things others don’t even try to cook any more. But even their basic dishes such as sweet and sour pork are good.
I also quite like Sun Tung Lok (Shop 401, FoodLoft, Mira Place, 132 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2152 1417). It’s at a slightly higher price point but they do similar things well.
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Obviously, I love dim sum. Luk Yu Tea House (24 Stanley Street, Central, tel: 2523 5464) is my choice. As you can tell, a lot of my picks are very traditional. I think nostalgia plays a huge part. I crave that. My burgers are kind of nostalgic American style.
Another place I love is Carbone (9/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2593 2593). It’s New York-style Italian, the service is great and the atmosphere is friendly. The food is also always good.
For Japanese, I like Mikasaya Sushi Restaurant (Shop 8, 2/F, Cameron Plaza, 23-25A Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2301 3555).
With visitors, I would definitely take them for seafood at Lei Yue Mun. I always go to Mui Kee (12A Hoi Pong Road West, Lei Yue Mun, tel: 2347 6870) because I know the lady there. To point at live seafood and have it cooked immediately is one of the things you can get in Hong Kong that you can’t find anywhere else.
Sometimes I crave roasted goose leg. Then I go to Kam’s Roast Goose (Po Wah Commercial Centrel, 226 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2520 1110). Another guilty pleasure is, after that, I sometimes go for brisket noodles at Wah Lam Noodle (5-11 Thomson Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2527 2478). They’re open and sell beer until very late.
I like to drink but I like cocktails and old-school drinks, not the fancy mixology stuff. I think a lot of those easy-drinking drinks are for girls who don’t want to taste the alcohol. I enjoy the taste of alcohol. For that, I go to Butler (5/F, Mody House, 30 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2724 3828). They’re great.