Where scion of a Malaysian wonton noodles dynasty likes to eat in Hong Kong
- When she and her friends are homesick they hit Cafe Malacca or Mean Noodles; for the local touch it’s a cooked food market in Shek Tong Tsui
- Maggie Chooi-Walton also has her favourite place to linger over brunch, while for dim sum it’s the place her future husband took her on their first date
Maggie Chooi-Walton runs hospitality PR agency Spice Marketing Communications, which specialises in hospitality and travel marketing.
I moved to Hong Kong from Malaysia, where I grew up with a chef for a father, the third generation of an Ipoh wonton noodles dynasty. For me, freshness of produce is everything and staying true to tradition is something that should be lauded. But my preference is still home cooking for my husband and corgi.
I love going to The Optimist (239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2433 3324) with my girlfriends. It has a great vibe and decor punctuated with fascinating artefacts, and they do the best brunches to linger over.
Our favourite dim sum spot is the Majesty Seafood Restaurant (various locations including 3/F, Regent Centre, 88 Queen’s Road Central, Central, tel: 2525 1333). My husband suggested it on our first date and we’ve been going back for a decade. Never had a bad meal.
In summer, we love to head to South Lantau and spend the day at Bathers (32 Lower Cheung Sha Beach, Lantau, tel: 2504 4788), which has a great Aussie vibe, cocktails by the pitcher, and faces directly onto the beach.
For the wow factor, we take people to Ozone (118/F, ICC, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2263 2270) atop the Ritz- Carlton.
For a local touch there’s a spot that we love at the Shek Tong Tsui wet market – Shing Fat Seafood Kitchen (Shop CF5-6, 2/F, Cooked Food Centre, Shek Tong Tsui Municipal Services Building, 470 Queen’s Road West, Sheung Wan, tel: 2548 3919), with fantastic food at a very reasonable price. Another popular spot is Yum Cha’s Central outlet (2/F, Nam Fung Place, 173 Des Voeux Road Central, tel: 3708 8081). It’s accessible Chinese food with moderate amounts of modern touches. Flavour-wise, it’s quite light in general, and the dishes are very Instagrammable.
I love celebrating at Takumi by Daisuke Mori (Shop 1, The Oakhill, 16 Wood Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2574 1299), a Michelin-starred 12-seat hideaway where you get really attentive service and world-class dining.
Zoe (various locations including Holiday Inn Express, 33 Sharp Street East, Causeway Bay, tel: 2234 7188) has a signature cake that I first discovered in 2008 when they were only in Happy Valley. It has a great texture with the combination of hazelnut cream and crunchy chocolate cookies base, without being too sweet. Now it’s a must if I’m ever near their Causeway Bay shop.
My Malaysian friends and I go to Café Malacca (Level 2, Hotel Jen, 508 Queen’s Road West, Western District, tel: 2213 6613) when we feel homesick. They are the only place in town that does my favourite asam laksa, as well as barbecue sambal stingray served on banana leaves.
Mean Noodles (Shop 4, Nam Wo Hong Building, 148 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, tel: 3104 0288) is also my comfort lunch spot. Their char kuey teow [stir-fried flat noodles] always manages to put a smile on my face.