A comfort food fan’s favourite Hong Kong restaurants for Chinese cuisine of all kinds, and a guilty pleasure
Fine dining is not Kenneth Liu’s thing – for him, eating out is all about the food; the online grocery executive tells us his go-to places for Sichuan and Chiu Chow fare, egg waffles, hotpot rice – and gelato – and has some tips on Tokyo
Kenneth Liu is the regional head of Honestbee, the online grocery service delivering daily staples. It curates premium products including fresh meat, fruits, vegetables, bread and pastries.
I am a wholesome food kind of guy. Fine dining is not my thing. I prefer meals that I can take big bites of, that are warm and filling and remind me of home. Comfort food, that’s my thing.
Knowing what kind of person I am, it’s no surprise that the food is my only factor in choosing restaurants. Some of my favourite places are Mak Siu Kee (various locations including Tack Building, 48 Gilman Street, Central, tel: 2327 3773) for local flavours like shrimp wonton noodles, and Master Low-key Food Shop (76A Shau Kei Wan Main Street East, Shau Kei Wan, tel: 6601 5300) for egg waffles.
My favourite Chiu Chow is Shung Hing (33 Queen’s Road West, Sheung Wan, tel: 2544 8776). I recommend the marinated goose, the pig’s lung soup and the stir-fried satay beef and kale.
My spicy Sichuan fix is satisfied at San Xi Lou (7/F Coda Plaza, 51 Garden Road, Mid-Levels, tel: 2838 8811). My guys’ hang-out is Together Pot (168 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, tel: 2559 6779). I like the beef ribs and the aromatic and zingy tom yum soup base.
I would take visitors to Tung Po (2/F Java Road Municipal Services Building, 99 Java Road, North Point, tel: 2880 5224) to experience tasty dai pai dong dishes, beer bowls and, most important of all, its one-of-a-kind moonwalking owner, Robby.
It’s worth making the trek all the way out to Tai Po for Chan Hon Kee (91B Wan Tau Street, tel: 2658 2277) and their hotpot rice. This is my favourite midnight snack joint as well.
Fat Kee Seafood (7A Po Toi O Ferry, Sai Kung, tel: 2719 9129) is a bit far, but I love bringing friends here because it kills three birds with one stone: it shows them the seldom publicised greener side of Hong Kong, it’s an excellent fresh seafood meal, and it’s right on the water with an amazing sunset.
My splurge option is an omakase meal at Sushi Sase (UG/F Hilltop Plaza, 49 Hollywood Road, Central, tel: 2815 0455)
As for guilty pleasures, I recently discovered a place called Wing It (Leishun Court, 106-126 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2204 1988) for delicious crispy wings with more than 20 sauces to go crazy with. You can squeeze as many different flavours and as much as you want to drown those wings.
The all-you-can-eat uni gunkan, among other delicious items at Shiki Etsu Japanese (UG/F Far East Finance Centre, 16 Harcourt Road, Admiralty, tel: 2294 0088) is fun. I also can’t resist the Japanese- skewer-style grilled foie gras at Yakitoritei (two locations including Tsing Fung Building, 10 Tsing Fung Street, Tin Hau, tel: 2566 9982).
When it comes to summer frozen confectionery, I do it right. Before heading home from work, I like to take a short walk to Holly Brown (various locations including 22 Stanley Street, Central, tel: 2869 9008) for their Coffee Lava. It’s my favourite gelato, basically a cup of caramel macchiato slushie in your mouth, but better. The Holly Starlet is also good.
There is no end to the delicacies on offer in Japan. In Tokyo, a sushi chain with awesome fresh nigiri at a reasonable price is Sushi-no-Midori (various locations including 4/F Tokyo Mark City East, 1-12-3 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, tel: +81 03 5458 0002). Sushi Iwa (1/F Miura Building, 8-4-4 Ginza, Chuo-ku, tel: +81 03 3572 0955) has one Michelin star and their lunch omakase is excellent value. Remember to book because there are only seven seats per seating.
Lastly, I recommend Afuri Ramen (various locations including 1/F, 117 Building, 1-1-7 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, tel: +81 03 5795 0750). They serve a lighter broth than most traditional ramen joints. The signature dish is a yuzu ramen.