What is British Chinese cuisine? Thanks to the spread of American popular culture, many people recognise aspects of American Chinese cuisine – fortune cookies, oyster pail folded takeaway boxes – if not specific dishes. Today, many decades on from the introduction of China’s culinary traditions to the states, American-style Chinese food looks and tastes quite different to the dishes found in China itself. As revealed in the food documentary The Search for General Tso , American-style Chinese cuisine was systematically taught to new immigrants arriving in New York’s Chinatown. Apprentice chefs were all trained the same way, with the same recipes, and then dispersed throughout the country to find gainful employment. Are Scotch eggs actually Indian, not British? Suzanna Ho, owner of 1908BC – a new restaurant in Hong Kong’s historical Sheung Wan neighbourhood consciously serving “British Chinese” fare – says the UK’s particular style of Chinese cooking developed more organically. “When my mother started her first restaurant more than 20 years ago, she had to be creative when she wanted to recreate Cantonese dishes because a lot of ingredients weren’t available,” Ho recalls. As an Australian-Chinese with none of the nostalgia nor cultural context to appreciate British Chinese fare, I enlisted the help of fellow South China Morning Pos t editor, Good Eating drinks editor and London native Douglas Parkes to help evaluate Ho’s endeavour. Would you try these K-pop idols’ bizarre favourite foods? Located on the fifth floor of The Pemberton on Bonham Strand, the sit-down restaurant emanates an air of casual chic with teal and black marble tones offset by driftwood colours and panelling. It’s certainly more upscale than your average UK takeaway, though Douglas wonders whether 1908 might do better playing up to certain clichés to, somewhat paradoxically, make itself more distinct here in Hong Kong. We start our meal with crispy aromatic shredded duck (HK$140, or US$18), served just like you would Peking duck, but instead of just slices of roasted skin, the bird is deboned, shredded and deep fried. It’s definitely a more satisfying version of the classic dish and a lot more wallet friendly. Douglas concurs, appreciating the appropriately crispy nature of the duck skin. Is Korean produce the hottest new culinary trend? Next to arrive are the fried chicken balls (HK$90), a Chinese cousin to the UK’s battered cod, where bite-sized chicken breasts are covered in batter and deep-fried, served in a sweet and sour sauce. The chicken is tender, but we feel the batter is somewhat thick and serves only as a vehicle for the tangy sauce. Who is Tony Xu, the billionaire behind food delivery app DoorDash? We also dig in to the barbecued honey pork ribs (HK$110), which come as a nice surprise – the addition of Chinese black vinegar lending the meaty ribs more depth. The sweet, sticky dish is of a good standard according to Douglas, who remembers this as one of his favourite British Chinese dishes growing up. We both agree this is one of our favourites this evening. For mains we opt for the house special chip shop curry (HK$250). This one definitely feels like it requires some cultural context as the curry is a mix of squid, vegetables and various meats served with rice and chips. The curry itself is tasty and goes well with either the rice or chips, yet we haven’t a clue why, nor the nostalgia to fully appreciate this carb-tastic combination. Douglas approves of the homely curry sauce but agrees the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to the remainder of the ingredients is a bit much, and thinks we’d have been better off choosing the simpler chicken option. He too, though, is mystified why we get a double portion of carbs, noting that, in his experience, it’s just chips that come served with curry in this sort of situation. We know Shah Rukh Khan is a biryani fan, but where does the dish come from? The meal ends on a high note with the Kung Super-Pow Prawns (HK$280), lightly fried in a delicate batter and tossed in a spicy, sweet and sour sauce. We note the batter is much lighter than that used on the chicken balls. A hearty portion of fried rice would have gone perfectly with this. Would you eat durian? 4 smelly Asian foods that taste amazing The dishes we sampled at 1908BC were definitely on the meatier side, which we surmise caters to the British market. While there is no denying that a homesick expat will enjoy a meal here more than someone lacking the context, there are some good, hearty dishes to be had. Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .