How do you like your char siu? There’s no wrong or right answer to this question. It simply comes down to personal preference, but one thing is for sure, every carnivore in Hong Kong has to have a favourite type of Cantonese barbecued pork. We’ve broken the beloved staple down to five key elements: baste, char, meat, fat and marinade. Our taste testers gauged the presence of these five flavours on the palate – all to give our readers the most accurate, mathematical guide to finding their favourite barbecued meat. So, here is the ultimate round-up of the best char siu in town. Hong Kong’s 6 hardest restaurant tables to book right now China Tang Famous institutions keep evolving and redefining their cuisine and China Tang have certainly elevated their char siu game. While we loved the classic char siu here, the new roasted Iberico barbecued pork with brown sugar and black pepper has upped the stakes. The meat is served over a roaring fire in a claypot with the black sugar sizzling away. The piping hot meat has the perfect baste with a hint of black pepper in the marinade. The fat-to-meat ratio is a perfect 3:7 and being Iberico, the quality is top notch. Other dishes on the signature menu are phenomenal. Fried with aromatic chilli oil, the chilli crispy chicken is tender, with wafer-thin skin and a fiery kick. We also enjoyed the abalone pineapple bun where the shellfish is melt-in-your-mouth tender, contrasted with a fluffy sweet bun. The rice dish, simply called The Bomb, is a medley of fried rice, sakura prawn and other tasty ingredients – joy on the palate. We loved the creativity by chef Menex Cheung and will definitely be back for more. Shop 411-413, 4/F, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central 6 things you should never do at a fine dining restaurant Chop Chop We tried Chop Chop’s signature “Chef Dai’s Original Sorrowful Rice Set” which included char siu on top of white rice, topped off with a sunny-side-up egg. The char siu is roasted in five batches daily to ensure fresh and succulent meat. Made with pork belly, the roast meat was very indulgent and tender at the same time. The char siu is smothered with sauce on top – sweet and sticky, it has strong notes of chu hou sauce and pairs wonderfully with white rice. The sunny-side-up egg had a soft yolk that held its shape, which provided a smooth texture to the plate. We also liked the pepper roast goose: the skin was crisp and the addition of the spice helps balance the fatty skin. Chop Chop is famous for its claypot rice in the winter but in the summer months we could only enjoy the vegetables in prawn paste. The vegetables came piping hot, and we liked the balance of condiment which wasn’t too salty or overpowering. However, the high fat content of pork belly makes char siu quite rich and heavy. Here it had little-to-no char – it would have been nice to have caramelised fat on top. The restaurant uses disposable cutlery even if you’re dining in. Shop 3, G/F, 18 Wang On Road, North Point Dynasty We kicked off the evening with the famous Dynasty Iberico char siu and to our surprise it was neither the baste nor char that stood out but rather the fragrant soy marinade. The fat-to-meat proportion was higher on our cut and the superior ingredient paid off as the fragrant fat saved it from being an ordinary char siu. Dynasty’s other offerings are outstanding. We loved the braised fresh oyster and minced pork balls in Taiwanese three-cup chicken sauce. Crispy chicken had amazingly thin crunchy skin and the simmered vegetable with cloudlike puffy minced fish was divine. Claypot rice is usually only served in winter and we’re so glad this is permanently on the menu here. We opted for the chicken and salted fish version where the rice combined with the sweet soy was a great end to the meal. The restaurant’s long-time nickname of “the tycoon’s canteen” makes coming here intimidating, but it’s actually more budget-friendly than many Western restaurants in town. 3/F, Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai CBD in Hong Kong: where to get a cannabinoid kick in your coffee, cocktail or meal Goose Manor Being the modern spin-off of the legendary Yue Kee Roast Goose Restaurant in Sham Tseng, we tried a regular portion of roast goose first and it was everything you dream of. The top layer of skin was crisp and wafer-light with juicy and tender meat underneath. The char siu here is just the right proportion of fat and meat, the char is moderate and the baste isn’t too sweet and we could taste some of the soy marinade as well. Goose intestines are an acquired taste but for the indoctrinated the dish is stir-fried with supreme soy at Goose Manor. Without any hint of gaminess, the sauce amplifies the texture and interest on the palate. We also loved the salt and pepper squid that is sandwiched with minced prawn giving a satisfying boost of extra protein to the classic dish. As a sort of dessert, we also opted for deep-fried milk, a southern Guangdong recipe that is elevated by using Hokkaido 3.6 milk: the balance of creamy and crunchy was just right to end the meal. Shop C, G/F, Kowloon Centre, 37 Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui Holt’s Cafe The char siu at Holt’s is regarded as among the best in the city and it did not disappoint. Our plate was loaded with thick cut slices that looked a wonderful glazed red. The pork had the perfect bite, with just the right amount of sweetness. Crucially, it wasn’t overcooked and dry. Our golden salted egg king prawns were served in a light batter that was crisp and flaky. The salted egg flavour came through strongly and wonderfully enhanced the flavour of the seafood. The Cantonese fried egg noodles come served in a neat little bundle rich with soy sauce and sesame oil. It’s deliciously umami and the portion was devoured in no time, in between bites of char siu. The stir fried water spinach in itself was cooked just fine. It was fresh and flavoursome, without being boiled to mush. However, we could have done without the addition of beef, which added little to the overall dish. 2/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui Radical Chic’s innovative take on Italian cuisine in Hong Kong Ming Court Cordis’ Ming Court is a fine-dining stalwart, awarded a Michelin star in the inaugural Hong Kong and Macau edition 12 years ago. Chef Li Yuet-faat has headed the kitchen since the very beginning and continues to set the sort of rigorous standards that earned and have maintained Ming Court’s Michelin-starred status. The restaurant’s char siu, listed as supreme pork loin on the menu, is one of its signature dishes and did not disappoint. The ratio of meat-to-fat was spot on and each slice was perfectly tender with just the right amount of bite. It could have done with a bit more char but otherwise it was bang on. The restaurant’s vaunted stuffed crab shell is another prized dish that deserves all its plaudits. Presented on a shining steel replica of a crab, the crustacean was loaded with a mound of meat, the top layer of which had been breaded and deep-fried. This crust provided a welcome textural counterpoint to the smooth meat inside, which delighted with just a hint of ocean salt. It paired exceedingly well with the restaurant’s XO sauce. Another winner was the Wagyu beef cheek that comes braised in a clay pot with 15-year-aged dried tangerine peel. The meat was supremely tender, almost befitting the “melts in your mouth” cliché. The entire dish was balanced just right, the radish placed beneath the beef providing a wonderful freshness that danced with the flavours of the Wagyu. The double-boiled clear soup featured South African “18-head” abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw and conpoy. A veritable cornucopia of the sea, the soup has an incredibly robust flavour while the various submerged textures play nicely with one another. Level 6, Cordis, Hong Kong, 555 Shanghai Street, Mong Kok Mott 32 For duck’s sake, do not visit without ordering the main event. It’s all it’s quacked up to be, with aromatic, delicately crispy skin, melt-in-your-mouth fat, and tender meat. You can add caviar or enjoy the duck in other dishes, but just the original is all you need. The char siu with Pluma Iberico pork and yellow mountain honey is also worth trying, with the perfect fatty-to-lean ratio and tender meat, but we did wish there was more char on the outside. The siu mai with soft quail egg, Iberico pork and black truffle was a crowd-pleaser as usual. However, the almond, chocolate and oolong tea Xiao Long Bao was an Instagram marvel with the dry ice wafting out of the bamboo basket and the bite-sized dessert crafted into dumplings. The taste and texture were a bit one dimensional and we wish it were as spectacular for the taste buds as it was for the eyes. While the service from the waitstaff was exemplary, the timing between dishes was a bit erratic – the barbecue meats and dim sum came quickly, but the starter and rice took ages. Basement, Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Road Central, Central 5 best vegan restaurants and menus to try in Hong Kong this Lunar New Year Rùn Char siu is one of the signature dishes at the prestigious St. Regis Hong Kong, and the version at Rùn is perfect for those who want all the flavour with the least fat. The restaurant uses Iberico pork, that ensures a soft bite as well as a strong meaty flavour. There was hardly any hint of fat, but the honey baste facilitated a strong char that went well with the soy marinade. We were also impressed by the texture of the soy chicken that was particularly smooth and succulent, while the guilty pleasure of pork lard in the marinade was definitely worth it. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Rùn (@run_restaurant) The dim sum is also a treat. Glutinous dumplings Nyonya style were a treat for the eyes as well the stomach as they were cutely shaped like apples, and perfectly flaky and crisp on the outside. We also thoroughly enjoyed the deep-fried, diced Wagyu beef puff with black pepper sauce, its exterior carefully woven like a basket, encasing a delicious peppery filling. Any meal at Rùn is a treat, but the char siu is perfect for those who are a bit more health conscious. 2/F, The St. Regis Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Drive, Wan Chai Tin Lung Heen The barbecued Iberico pork with honey was the main reason we were at Tin Lung Heen and we weren’t disappointed. The glistening oils on the meat gave us a good inkling of what was to come – tender, juicy morsels that weren’t overpowered by the honey. Aside from the char siu, the deep-fried shrimp toast was crispy on the outside but succulent on the inside. The steamed minced pork patties with diced abalone and squid, soaked in a light sauce, were so enticing that we gave in to the temptation of carbs! We appreciated the generous use of really fresh ingredients, such as the huge shiitake mushrooms that came with our braised Tianjin cabbage. We were a little disappointed with the Tin Lung Heen Peking duck; the skin wasn’t crisp and the meat slices were a bit thick and coarse. The wraps were also a tad too thick. 102/F, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui Summer zest: why Mediterranean is the season’s hottest foodie trend Yung’s Bistro We preferred the small plates and original specialities to the barbecued meat for which the restaurant is known. The deep-fried shrimp balls encased in a crunchy pastry were a delight with the molten core of fermented bean curd. The char siu option featuring Canadian pork belly was firmer than the usual texture but more flavourful, with a good balance of char and fat. We also liked how the restaurant uses local ingredients and flavours when appropriate, a case in point being the crispy pork ribs with preserved olive sauce and aged tangerine peel – the latter being a nostalgic Hong Kong snack. The White Rabbit Candies Custard, while simple compared to the aromatic hot almond tea with egg white, likewise featured an emotional flavour profile for those who grew up on the sweets. It does not hurt that the bunny is very Instagrammable. The pricing here is a bit haphazard, ranging from reasonable costs for most desserts and sides (under HK$70) to eyebrow-raising HK$200 regular portions of their barbecued specialities, and HK$150 and up for regular seasonal vegetables. Shop 701, 7/F, K11 MUSEA, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .