Hong Kong dining recommendations

A Japanese flamenco dancer’s favourite Hong Kong restaurants

Mariko Drayton’s culinary tastes echo her heritage, hometown and her love of flamenco. She picks her go-to Japanese restaurants, places for Spanish and Latin American cuisine and some Cantonese classics

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 October, 2017, 1:03pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 October, 2017, 1:03pm

I am of Japanese heritage so, of course I would enjoy Japanese food. I love sushi. For something quick and simple, I usually go to Sen-ryo (various locations including 3/F, Century Square, 1-13 D’Aguilar Street, Central, tel: 2537 6238) with my children or just myself for a quick lunch.

When I want a more proper sushi at finer restaurant, I would go to Mikasaya Sushi Restaurant (Unit B, 2/F, Cameron Plaza, 23-25A Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2301 3555). The quality of the food there by owner/master chef Taichiro Motoyama is very good.

For yakiniku, which is Japanese-style Korean barbecue, I love Honjin (two locations including 21/F, H8, 8 Hau Fook Street, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2368 7270). The owner is a wholesaler of wagyu so you can have good quality beef at a reasonable price. If you order omakase, it will be cooked for you by its chef, master Nishimura, and that is the best. I am a Hong Kong Island person, but I would go to Kowloon side just for this restaurant.

As a flamenco dancer, I also love Spanish food and I always go to La Paloma (1/F, SoHo 189, 189 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, tel: 2291 6161). The quality of the food is good and it has the best atmosphere. General manager Ricardo Sabata is great and the staff are very kind and friendly. They recently hosted a charity dinner for Barcelona with 12 Spanish chefs, which was fantastic.

When I have guests I need to take out, they normally all want to have Chinese food. My choice for a more fancy meal is the China Club (13/F-14/F, Old Bank of China Building, Bank Street, Central, tel: 2521 8888). However, my Japanese friends like to go for dim sum at places where [the food is] still wheeled out in carts. That is why I go to Maxim’s Palace Chinese Restaurant, (2/F, City Hall, 5-7 Edinburgh Place, Central, tel: 2521 1303).

In terms of other favourites, I recently went to try Picada (2/F, LKF29, 29 Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 3425 4037) for a casual lunch and I really enjoyed the food there.

Mariko Drayton, dancer and director of Esencia Flamenca Hong Kong, will be performing “El Encuentro” with guest Spanish artists at BB Jazz Lounge (tel: 5474 2670) on November 17 and 18