Heavenly cuisines: foodies find paradise in Quarry Bay
Between Tong Chong Street and its side streets, and neighbouring Cityplaza mall, dining choices are varied, with cuisines of every kind to choose from
Opening earlier in the year, Bib n Hops serves its take on Korean Street food, as seen through the eyes of the creative chef Alvin Leung (Bo Innovation) and passionate head chef Yong Soo-do. Yukhoe, or Korean steak tartare, is a fabulous dish that shows their joint cuisine vision. Traditionally, the beef is cut while frozen and eaten chilled, and served with fresh pear, and egg yolk.
Here, the chilled element comes from pear sorbet, which when mixed and eaten together with the umami bomb of seasoned beef, truffle and soy aioli, pine nuts, Parmesan crisp and cured salty duck yolk, takes on layers of flavour and balance. The surprisingly complex mung bean pancakes are excellent, as are the colourful bib n baps, a Korean street-food mixed rice, meat and vegetable dish inspired by bibimbap. The staff are fantastic.
A stylish interior sets the tone of this contemporary Japanese restaurant that focuses on six cuisine styles. The restaurant describes its sushi as innovative, and one example of this is the crystal sushi - sushi topped with a delicate clear jelly. In the case of the creamy deluxe scallop sushi, it is topped with a sake and fish stock jelly with hints of sweetness from rose petals, finished with caviar. The jelly, which melts on the tongue, almost acts as a sauce and creates an interesting extra dimension. The bento boxes are a popular lunch option, as are the sushi and sashimi platters. For a wow dessert, thanks in part to the dry ice presentation, try the matcha tofu panna cotta.
Made-to-order sandwiches and salads are the focus at this charming place, which opened earlier in the year. The duo behind the restaurant have worked with a baker to develop their own range of seven breads, including an impressive gluten-free option. Diners can create their own sandwich or salad by filling out a simple form or choose from one of the suggestions. We created a brisket, avocado, cucumber and rocket sandwich, while enjoying the suggested vegetarian salad - quinoa, pesto, pumpkin, artichokes and rocket. Salads are substantial, but you can also get fries and soup. It also serves breakfast sandwiches, beer and wine, in addition to coffee and tea. Except for Parma ham, all proteins, including the punchy braised brisket, are cooked in-house.
MR & MRS FOX
Mr Fox (Mrs Fox is downstairs) is perfect for an impressive dry-age steak (35 days+), in an industrial-rustic-chic setting. The 100 per cent Angus, 270-day grain fed, M5+ beef comes in five cuts, ranging from the 160oz strip steak to the 420oz Tomahawk. The tender steaks are served with roasted garlic and tomatoes and a selection of sauces. The compact menu also highlights seafood, such as the tastebud tantalising Hokkaido scallop-oyster ceviche, which when eaten together, extends the taste of each; and the complex whole snapper grilled with Balinese spices. The Hokkaido seared scallop with truffle risotto is also good. For superb wine recommendations, including some off-menu options, ask for the charming Leo.
PLAT DU JOUR
Step into the world of a Parisian bistro at this popular restaurant. Thanks to its interior design, the moment you take a seat you feel a world away from the bustling street outside. All the classics are represented, such as the garlic-forward escargot bourguignon, and an intense lobster bisque. Other signatures include moules mariniere - bouchot mussels served in a white wine, butter and herb sauce, and steak frites with a choice of cuts and sauces. Save room for dessert and try the apple tart, which any sweet-tooth will adore, thanks to the caramelised apples, or crêpe Suzette with caramelised orange sauce.
One of Cityplaza’s newer openings, Hokkaidon’s speciality is chirashi don - seasoned warm rice scattered with various toppings, featuring seafood from Hokkaido, with many cold and hot options. The colourful and popular signature chopped sashimi don features a variety of seasoned seafood (tuna, bream, salmon, mackerel, octopus, squid, scallop) with the addition of sesame coated seaweed, ginger, wasabi, cucumber, baked egg, shisho leaf, fried and seasoned whitebait and a generous scoop of salmon roe. It is like a treasure chest of colourful deliciousness. Other popular don options are the seared sliced sashimi, prawn tempura, and the mini dons - three small bowls each scattered with a different topping. Hokkaido milk features in the ice cream and cheesecake.
Also one of the newer openings, this all-day dining restaurant serves Taiwanese cuisine (MSG free) based on family recipes and street food, in a pop-art inspired setting. It is popular with families with its wide range of choices. From the dim sum section signatures include steamed mince pork dumplings and pan fried minced pork buns, and the fun and tasty three cup chicken mochi balls, while popular starters include deep fried oysters and popcorn chicken. Spicy ma po tofu, kung pao prawns, baby oyster pancake and traditional Taiwanese noodle soup are also house specialities. Drinks range from bubble tea, through to tisanes and draft beer.