Where a Hong Kong food nerd gets her culinary fixes for hairy crab, roast suckling pig, and chewy egg waffles
Kate Poon describes herself as a creature of habit, and likes nothing better than the dim sum buffet at the China Club on Saturday afternoons or indulging in the ever-changing degustation menu at Amber
Kate Poon is a barrister and confessed amateur food nerd.
I was born in Hong Kong, and despite living in England for many years, I have always regarded Hong Kong as home, and my food preferences reflect that.
I tend to be a creature of habit. While I enjoy trying new restaurants, I find myself returning to a few much-loved and oft-visited places.
A family favourite is the dim sum buffet at the China Club (13/F-14/F, Old Bank of China Building, Bank Street, Central, tel: 2521 8888). I am there most Saturday afternoons, feasting on the vast array of steaming dim sum, freshly prepared Peking duck pancakes, and plates of steamed razor clams, lobster and abalone that never seem to run out.
It is also a fantastic place to take out-of-town visitors, with its elegant Shanghai teahouse-themed interior and walls adorned with contemporary Chinese art, combined with stunning panoramic views of Hong Kong from its roof terrace.
I also love going to Liu Yuan Pavilion (3/F, The Broadway, 54-62 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2804 2000) for its superb Shanghainese cuisine. The stand-out there is the hairy crab stir-fried with bean paste and served with rice cakes. It is, quite literally, Ǯfinger-lickingǯ good.
For a splurge, I would indulge in the ever-changing degustation menu at Amber (7/F, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen’s Road Central, tel: 2132 0066), or a whole roast suckling pig at Fook Lam Moon (two locations including Newman House, 35-45 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2866 0663), which is always meticulously carved and prepared at the table.
Nothing beats Yardbird (154-158 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, tel: 2547 9273) for a fun night out – delicious yakitori, fantastic cocktails and an awesome vibe.
The staff is incredibly accommodating when it comes to dietary restrictions, even going so far as to offer a gluten-free version of their signature Korean fried cauliflower when I was on a restrictive diet.
I am an avid street food explorer, and Hong Kong offers a myriad of great options. From chewy curry fishballs with just the right amount of spice at Tung Tat Food Shop (172 Fa Yuen Street, Mong Kok, tel: 2392 3043) and the silkiest cheung fun noodle at Hop Yik Tai (121 Kweilin Street, Sham Shui Po, tel: 2720 0239) to fluffy Hong Kong-style scrambled eggs at Australia Dairy Company (47-49 Parkes Street, Jordan, tel: 2730 1356) and crunchy yet chewy egg waffles at Eggs Bakery (Wah Hoi Mansion, 254-280 Electric Road, North Point), these are just a few of the hole-in-the-wall places I frequent.
The Waterfall Bar (11/F, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2584 7722) is where I go to unwind at the end of a long week. It has, in my view, the most beautiful bar entrance – a long tree-lined walkway that is lit up with thousands of twinkling fairy lights in the evening.
Gazing up at the palm trees and the namesake mini waterfall, one can sip on one of its inventive mojitos – made with home-grown mint from the hotel’s roof garden – and almost imagine that one is on holiday.