7 of the best places to eat in Sheung Wan
Neighbourhood offers a beguiling mix of cosmopolitan cuisines
Aside from its hip Cat Street location, Blue Supreme, which only opened in December 2017, stands out for its food and beer – live and bottle-conditioned beers only. Both given equal attention, every dish on the constantly changing menu of new American cuisine is expertly paired with an excellent and interesting beer. The food is also excellent, creative, and fine dining quality.
The talented chef in charge, Leonard Cheung understands flavours, and his impressive fine dining background, including Bo Innovation and Eleven Madison Park, is obvious with each delicious plate. A standout, sure to be on the soon-to-be-launched brunch menu was the buttery, crème fraîche-rich, soft scrambled egg served with salmon roe and crispy prosciutto. Others include Hokkaido scallops served with a trio of spring greens, vibrant spring green purée and a lemon verbena dashi, the decadent duck confit burger with fennel and pomegranate salad, and the inspired beetroot dessert with its marigold milk and oil.
ChaChaWan is a lively, intimate restaurant, as you would expect from a bustling Thai street food spot. It focuses on the regional cuisine of Isaan, in northeast Thailand, and its flavours are authentic. The restaurant is known for its intense flavours and sour, salty and spicy dishes, such as larp moo – an enticing mix of chopped pork, pork skin, shallots, spring onion, mint and coriander with a spicy sour dressing. The dish is served with crisp, cold lettuce leaves that negate some of the heat. Another highlight was the yam hua plee – a banana blossom salad with chunky prawn pieces that were perfectly cooked and combined well with lime, mint, coriander, garlic, coconut milk – and chilli with a sweet and sour dressing served with deep-fried perilla leaves. The khao pad, fried rice with lashings of tender crab was also good.
Exquisite, sums up the fare at UMI, a 10-seat Omakase restaurant with master sushi chef, Yukio Kimijima, at the helm. This fourth-generation sushi chef selects sensational seasonal seafood at its peak, preparing each individually. The focus is on traditional Edomae sushi with a tasting menu that changes daily. Standouts include the truffle rice, made from aged rice, and tender baby squid brought to life with a vibrant combination of yuzu and miso.
Ten sushi followed, each a delicate preparation that involved measured fresh wasabi and creative sauces painted on seafood with a gentle hand. Every bite enjoyable, and each a testament to skill and freshness. A signature is the indulgent trio of tuna that ends with fatty tuna, so flavourful and as decadent in the mouth as wagyu steak. A generous uni hand roll, clam miso and house-made pickles complete the show, with a sensational strawberry mochi and matcha chocolates for dessert.
OKRA is two restaurants, the Kitchen a buzzing and quirky sake bar that serves Japanese-inspired sharing plates and Bar (upstairs) all hushed tones, white tiles, and the meditative slicing of seafood by urbane chef, Max Levy. He presents his view of Japanese cuisine at this Omakase restaurant that serves eight. While all items – menu changes daily – have roots in traditional flavours and Omakase presentation, many have a modern ethos.
For example the bari uni, served with dashi jelly, pickled daikon and kombu foam, topped with dehydrated uni powder; or the salt tomato, an equally sour and sweet tomato, briefly marinated in salt and shiso leaves, served with purple wood sorrel leaves – grown on the rooftop – and a delicious sauce made from eggs and prawn heads. What also sets the experience apart is the sake, perfectly paired with each course.
Dim sum anytime is the philosophy at Dim Sum Square, which appeals to locals and visitors with its bilingual menu, and is a popular stopping spot for a prominent local foodie tour company. Items are prepared to order with options covering all the favourites and some more unusual dishes. Steamed choices include pork and shrimp dumplings with crab roe (sui mai), Shanghai dumplings (xiaolongbao) and chicken feet in black bean sauce.
There are also five varieties of rice roll, including the excellent barbecue pork, plus mustard and duck breast, and rice roll-wrapped spring rolls. Other selections include crispy barbecue pork buns, chicken and Chinese mushroom rice pot, and superb vegetable sprout and mushroom dumplings, plus congee and desserts.
When you want your cocktails organic, your juice pressed, or your food plant-based, try Grassroots Pantry. It is particularly popular for breakfast and weekend brunch, with choices such as scrambled tofu or free range eggs with sautéed mushroom and spinach, zucchini carrot slaw, pickled kohlrabi, and coriander with a choice of toast and cashew browned butter; or Lemon chia seed pancakes with almond condensed milk, seasonal fruit jam and organic maple syrup.
Open all day, with the menu dependant on time of dining, other signatures include a salad of organic curly kale, aquaponics greens, sprouted seeds, cranberry and beetroot with an orange-cashew dressing and macadamia cheese; and grilled tikka mushroom with brown rice biryani. Each item is marked for being vegan, gluten free and raw.
One of the first to bring the culinary spotlight to the area, 208 Duecento Otto, has maintained its popularity since it opened, eight years ago, due to the consistently good food, including its much praised pizza. Lunch, brunch, dinner and à la carte – both upstairs restaurant and the bar/restaurant downstairs – are all on the menu, with great value at lunch.
Start with the soup of the day, such as minestrone, or the fresh buffalo mozzarella from Italy with cherry tomatoes and basil oil, then move on to a pasta course, such as linguine with mussels, bisque and cherry tomatoes, or the decadent and rich risotto with braised wagyu brisket, Barolo wine and taleggio. There is also a choice of enticing mains and desserts.