Where a New York-raised Russian eats dumplings, power breakfasts and more in Hong Kong
Ambience is everything for Yuri Ezhkov, who tells us where to find one of the best burgers in Hong Kong, his go-to places for dumplings and dim sum, his favourite Sai Kung seafood joint, and where he gets his Russian comfort food
Born in Moscow and raised in New York, Yuri Ezhkov previously worked in luxury and digital branding. After moving to Hong Kong in 2016, he started Polygon Cafe in Sai Ying Pun.
I’ve been here two-and-a-half years, and I’ve always been around the food business, not for the money, but I like the people in it. I also like experimentation with food and new ideas. It doesn’t have to be high-end, but it’s more about the ambience and the warmth of the people. I like places that are personal with personality.
We opened Polygon Café (14 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, tel: 2915 8878) in May last year. It’s all about community. I like small neighbourhood cafes and engaging people.
One of my favourite neighbourhood places is Potato Head (100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, tel: 2858 6066). I love their bar programme. Their Old Fashioned is amazing. When we first opened, their owner Andre would come in for coffee. They’ve become family, been amazingly supportive, and helped us with whatever we needed.
They also run Quarter Master (1 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, tel: 2517 4266). I go there for dinner – usually several times a week. They are butchers, so you can pick out your own cuts of meat. It’s not super expensive. It’s simple, no-frills but well prepared. I think they also do one of the best burgers in Hong Kong.
Being Russian, I am absolutely in love with Dacha (38-40 Hollywood Road, Central, tel: 2420 3555). The food is a blend of Russian and Eastern European. The sisters there are Ukrainian. It’s comfort food for me.
Another place I like is Northern Dumpling Yuan (1 Water Street, Sai Ying Pun, tel: 2549 9001). It’s a hole in the wall. All they do is dumplings, steamed or fried, super cheap and awesome. It’s always a nice experience and, as a random white guy, they remember me.
For dim sum, I like Fung Shing (Sea View Commercial Building, 21-24 Connaught Road West, Sheung Wan, tel: 2815 8689). Chicken and duck feet are the only things I wouldn’t do but I’ll try everything else. I’ve grown to really enjoy jellyfish.
I also go to Sai Kung a lot for seafood. The place I usually go to is Chuen Kee Seafood (87-89 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung, tel: 2792 6938).
I’m not a clam or mussels person but I love the razor clams there.
Another favourite is Tokyolima (18-20 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, tel: 2811 1152). The owner and chef have also become friends.
The chef’s tasting menu is the most underrated and underpriced item. I can eat [a lot] but it’s impossible to finish all the food for HK$450 a head. You can’t go wrong.
I take visitors to Cafe Gray Deluxe (L49 The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, tel: 3968 1106) for breakfast.
It’s the New Yorker in me to want to have a big power breakfast, then to have that view to get oriented for touring around later. It’s a great starting point to the day.