Where a Hong Kong restaurateur and craft beer lover likes to eat and drink
Ted Lai is a fan of classic Cantonese cuisine, Shunde food, sushi, sashimi and other Japanese delicacies. A drinks connoisseur, he enjoys the sake at Hidden and Okra
Beer geek Ted Lai is the founder of craft beer bar and restaurant Blue Supreme.
With visitors, I like Stellar House (3/F, Chuang’s Enterprises Building, 382 Lockhart Rd, Wan Chai, tel: 3702 1882). Traditional Shunde cuisine was slowly fading until the good people at Stellar House brought it back.
Dishes like fresh crab meat and triple-layered crispy pork rolls, roasted pigeon and crystal shrimp are perfect comfort food. Tucked away in a commercial building, it has many private rooms for a more intimate experience.
Law Fu Kee (three branches including 142 Queen’s Road Central, tel: 2543 3288) is famed for fried dace and squid balls. I got hooked on their squid ball noodles. The noodles are perfectly alkaline and the squid balls are the freshest around town. The waitress tends to shout into your ear and the seats are a little uncomfortable, which makes it an authentic Hong Kong experience. The too-friendly prices are a nice contrast to other glorified joints.
For a splurge, Sushi Shin Japanese Restaurant (Wing Hing Court, 110-114 Tung Lo Wan Rd, Tai Hang, tel: 2398 8000) has top-notch sashimi, but it’s not just a sushi restaurant. The monkfish liver is worth a visit alone.
A local snack I enjoy is char siu so [char siu pastry bun] from Tasty Congee & Noodle (several branches including Shop 3016-18, IFC Mall, 8 Finance St, Central, tel: 2295 0101). Flaky, with the right amount of sweet, sour and savoury from the pork, it hits the spot.
With drinks, I’m very snobbish. A favourite place is Hidden (Room D, 3/F, Prosperous Commercial Building, 54 Jardine’s Bazaar, Causeway Bay, tel: 2504 1511), which is a no-frills izakaya with an emphasis on tradition and ingredients.
Chef Ted-san greets everyone with a warm smile and makes everyone feel at home. They specialise in fried skewers, have a wide range of shoju and sake and only use lime and lemons from Japan for their highballs. It is the commitment to tradition that makes Hidden one of the most authentic experiences. I also like their bonito fish with ricotta.
As a drinks connoisseur, I like Okra (110 Queen’s Rd West, Sai Ying Pun, tel: 2806 1038). Their sakes are full of umami flavours. But ultimately, I am a beer man, and at Blue Supreme I curate the selection of imported beers that are bottle conditioned. We categorise our beers by flavour profiles, not by styles, to make the menu more accessible.