Where a Singaporean chef in Hong Kong satisfies his cravings for home comforts and eats like the locals
Edward Voon, executive chef at Le Pan, likes to eat at traditional and noisy Hong Kong dai pai dong, loves a good beef brisket and fancy French food, and Singaporean cuisine of course, and says one bowl of laksa is never enough
I’m from Singapore and started cooking at a young age – never been to any cooking school. My mother was actually not a fantastic cook. She worked two jobs and had a limited cooking repertoire. I understood her hardship so I decided, let me do it myself and mess around in the kitchen – and it became a career.
Singaporean chef Edward Voon talks about how he went from waiter to cooking for Hong Kong billionaire
I’m a simple eater. Company is more important than the food. I have a group of friends in Hong Kong and we get together for hotpot. Actually, we end up drinking more than we eat.
Sometimes I crave Singaporean foods, so I go to Toast Box (various branches including Shop B215, B2, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2114 0889). I usually go with my children and we order everything. Singaporean food in Hong Kong is not very authentic, but the preparation here is close to the original. I can live with it.
If friends are here I take them to Sang Kee (2/F-3/F, 107-115 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2575 2239). Service is very good. It’s home food cooked to perfection.
The other place I will take people is Tung Po (2/F Java Road Municipal Services Building, 99 Java Road, North Point, tel: 2880 5224). I think it represents the culture of Hong Kong. It’s noisy, you drink beer, and there’s the energy. Everybody is happy. First time I was there, I nearly freaked out, it was so loud. I thought people were getting into a fight, but they were all happy and relaxed.
If it’s a visiting chef, then I would take them to Caprice (Podium 6, Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance Street, Central, tel: 3196 8860). It’s a beautiful restaurant.
I am a sucker for beef brisket. I go to Shui Kee (2 Gutzlaff Street, Central, tel: 2541 9769) dai pai dong. They only have five seats. It’s all about technique, with the consistency and texture.
Every chef has his own philosophy. With my cooking at Le Pan (Goldin Financial Global Centre, 17 Kai Cheung Road, Kowloon Bay, tel: 3188 2355), I am not challenging any other chef. I am challenging myself. I think what I can offer is diversity.
I don’t have much chance to explore the Kowloon Bay area where I work. I get there at 10.30am and get home at 11pm. Although there is Mr. Laksa (shop 11, 11/F, Megabox, 38 Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay, tel: 2388 8284). Their spicy bowl of chicken laksa is pretty good. It drives me nuts – usually one bowl is not enough.