Hong Kong's Top 7 Places for Beef Tartare
Contrary to what you might think, not all beef tartare is created equal. These restaurants have nailed down the perfect balance of quality raw beef, crunchy notes and creamy counterparts to create Hong Kong’s best versions of this classic bistro dish.
Restaurant and lifestyle hub Mercedes Me flaunts a steak tartare that carries itself with as much style as an S-class coupe—just with a price tag that you can actually afford. Visually stunning, the dish boasts vertical sheets of wafer-thin sesame crackers and bright yellow pools of pickled egg yolk dotted around the tender organic grass-fed beef. The complex flavor of the dish is derived from close to 15 different seasonings and ingredients; as long as the recipe remains closely guarded by the kitchen, we won’t mind forking out $210 to enjoy this dish again and again.
Shop C and D, Entertainment Building, 30 Queen’s Rd. Central, 2895-7398.
Belgian beerhouse and restaurant Frites may not have the most adventurous or creative menu in town, but it does a few things, and does them well: mussel pots, roasted pork knuckle, sausage, and surprisingly, a very excellent beef tartare. Like everything else on the menu, the tartare is packed full of flavor and generously portioned, using USDA grade beef with a mish-mash of ketchup, Tabasco, mustard, paprika, red onion and cornichons to tie it all together. The crowning glory is a perfect yellow egg yolk on top scattered with paprika, with buttery grilled sourdough on the side completing the perfect pub grub version of this dish.
$185. Shop 1, G/F, Park Haven, 38 Haven St., Causeway Bay, 2142-5233, frites.hk
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Ho Lee Fook
A twist on classic beef tartare, Ho Lee Fook’s Yunnan-style wagyu steak tartare is a mouthwatering play on different textures and temperatures, with heat coming from the fresh bird’s eye chili, acidity from the lime juice, crispness from the fried shallots, and a bit of funkiness from the addition of fish sauce. Per the style of chef Jowett Yu, this is a rough ‘n’ tumble reinterpretation, not a perfect cylindrically-shaped tartare, and the whole adds up to a mouthful greater than the sum of its parts. Ditch the silverware and use the heavy-duty cassava chips on the side as vehicles for scooping up this Southeast Asian-inspired version.
$138. 1 Elgin St., Central, 2810-0860, holeefook.com.hk
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Chez Patrick Deli
You can be pretty confident ordering beef tartare at just about any French restaurant, but with the quality of cheeses, cold cuts and comforting bistro fare that Chez Patrick Deli churns out, it’s a given that their version is going to be a standout amongst the pack. Keeping with the casual bistro vibes, the tartare here is made up of 160g of fresh hand-chopped raw beef fillet, to be enjoyed alongside a mound of crispy fries and a garden salad on the side. Seasoned liberally with red onions, chives, capers and egg yolk, the tartare packs a bold and flavorful punch with the perfect mix of ingredients in each bite—we dare you not to wipe the plate clean.
$168. 1/F, Brim28, Causeway Centre,28 Harbour Rd., Wan Chai, 2877-0121, chezpatrick.hk
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Touting a mix of high-quality “Ranger’s Valley” flap meat from Australia and tenderloin from New Zealand, meatball specialist Nom presents a type of deconstructed tartare with the tangy condiments on the side to let you mix and match to your personal preference. Scoop up the raw beef with a bit of cauliflower piccalilli—a tart relish boasting strong notes of turmeric, chili and curry powder—and the earthier tomato salsa that’s been cooked down with coriander, garlic, thyme, lemongrass, basil and shallots. Use the golden crostini on the side as the base for constructing your own beef tartare “tartine” and top it with a salty parmesan crisp for an extra crunchy topper.
1-5 Elgin St., Central, 2540-7988, nom.com.hk
Touting high-quality cuts from Australia, Europe and Japan, it’s no surprise that meat specialist Beefbar makes not one but three delicious types of tartare—each showing off the premium quality beef with minimal enhancements. If your pockets aren’t deep enough for the caviar-topped Black Angus beef tartare ($680), spring instead for the milk-fed veal filet and the traditional bistro-style tartare, served side by a side as a starter course in Beefbar’s new summer degustation ($990 per person for seven courses, through September). The traditional tartare boasts incredible meaty flavor with a slightly spicy kick from the accoutrements, while the light pink veal tartare is milder yet equally delicious, with a tarragon and hazelnut praline contrasting with the veal’s more subtle flavors.
2/F, Club Lusitano, 16 Ice House St., Central, 2110-8853, hk.beefbar.com
If there’s one component that’s essential to an excellent beef tartare, it’s contrast—a point that new French deli Cochin has nailed, in their version of the dish which uses both fresh and aged beef sourced from the renowned French butcher Polmard. The contrast of the fresh beef is a superb counterpoint to the depth of flavor from the aged beef, while the other ingredients fit in like pieces into a palate-pleasing puzzle: Creaminess from avocado, herbyness from shiso leaves, freshness from watercress, and—in an ingenious twist—smokiness from slices of sardines strewn across the surface. The only thing that could improve this dish is yours in unlimited servings—warm chunks of crusty, crackling baguette with a soft, chewy interior, courtesy of Gregoire Michaud, one of the best bakers in town.
$210. 26 Peel St., Sheung Wan, 2561-3336, cochin.hk
Make it at home!
A single plump, luscious golden quail egg is the focal point of Le Bistro Winebeast’s signature tartare, with hand-cut chunks of quality Charolais beef bound together by the creamy yolk and seasoned generously with fresh herbs, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Try it at the neighborhood bistro or replicate it at home with this recipe from chef Johan Ducroquet.
"Winebeast-style" Tartare from Le Bistro Winebeast
Makes: 4 portions
- 480g of raw beef
- 20g each of red onion, garlic, coriander, pickles, capers
- 2 tsp Savora mustard
- 4 tsp ketchup
- A dash of olive oil, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce
- 4 quail egg yolks (can substitute regular egg yolks)
- Using a sharp knife, slice the beef into small chunks. Do not use a mincer as this will create too fine a cut.
- Finely dice the red onion, garlic, coriander, pickles and capers. Mix together in a bowl and adjust quantities to taste.
- Add the beef chunks to the mixture with a dash of olive oil. Add mustard, ketchup, Tabasco sauce and Worcestershire sauce and mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Arrange the mixture into four even piles on a glass dish and top gently with a quail egg yolk.
Note: Chef Johan uses premium grade Charolais beef for his beef tartare, but the flank/bavette of any type of high-quality beef will work for this home recipe: Try City’super, Great or Oliver’s.