As much as I enjoy cooking at home, I equally love to eat out. I am one of those who constantly researches and reads about new restaurants, menus, bars and pop-up dining events. I guess (actually am pretty sure) the food scene is one of the main reasons my husband and I have lived in Hong Kong for so long.
Hong Kong has an amazing dining scene. It is a cosmopolitan city with a Chinese root, which results in offering a great diversity of food. And being a city with the most expensive real estate in the world means that the standard of restaurant foods, whether they are from fine dinning establishments or casual eateries, have to be more than just good. Otherwise you won’t survive the competition. And most of all, everything is so closely located (more like packed together) that you rarely stay “hangry” for more than half an hour before you get to the restaurant.
House bread with homemade red sauce at Frank’s
My mother-in law is Italian American from Boston, so I know what proper Italian-American food should be like. My husband and I went to Frank’s Italian American just 9 days after coming back from the US, where we had spent 3 weeks with the family eating lots of Italian foods. And surprisingly we were quite impressed with Frank’s. As well as the food being awesome, it has a fun atmosphere, attentive service and generous family size portion.
They have excellent pasta (orrecchiette and pappardelle alla vodka are fantastic) and “secondi” main course (chicken parmigiana supremo is a must try). But my favorite is their complimentary house bread, more like fried dough with cheese on top, served with homemade red sauce. The pillowy dough has just right amount of chew and beautifully savory. But the real star in my opinion is the red sauce. It truly is a promising and clever start, because it assures you that anything with the tomato sauce on their menu would be delicious.
Frank’s dessert tray
And of course we asked for a dessert menu, and they did us even better by bringing out the whole tray of delightful treats. Who could say no to that? 🙂
South American is one of the cuisines that is still quite rare in Hong Kong’s food scene. There have been a couple of successful restaurants that I loved over the past 5-6 years but they just didn’t last for some reason. I was ecstatic to hear about the opening of this Peruvian restaurant ICHU at trendy H Queens. I started messaging (more like harassing) them for months to find out the exact opening date.
As soon as I arrived, I started with delightful sweet potato bar snack and pisco sour, which I think is the best in town. Their “octopus skewers” and “wagyu hanger steak” are also very juicy and tasty. The restaurant’s interior is beautiful and sophisticated with the characteristics of South America still intact. It’s a great place for a date night.
Smoky hummus and flatbread at Bedu
I am going to start by saying that I am in love with this restaurant. Everything I tried at BEDU was extremely delicious. I’ve been to this place 3 times in a few months, and the standard of food and service has been consistently high. Their food is European influenced Middle-Eastern, which is down to earth and creative at the same time. Their hummus is a creamy smoky nutty delight, but the bread…oh their homemade flatbread is just sensational. And I am not usually a bread person at all.
Other favorite of mine is “chicken manti (Middle Eastern dumplings) with chili oil”. The dumplings have super delicate skin with tasty filling and perfectly complimented by toasted almonds. A little kick from chili oil also adds a subtle and beautiful contrast to the dish. “Baked feta with thyme honey” doesn’t look like much in the photo, but It immediately captivates you with the intoxicating aroma of thyme honey infused cheese when it arrives. You just need to prepare to get a little sticky in a very good way. “Rack of lamb with za’atar oil” is very tender and succulent. And the mildly fragrant pomegranate seeds cut through the richness of lamb without overpowering.
But my absolute favorite is their dessert “chocolate clafoutis”. The texture is somewhere between chocolate fondant and and cake, and it has slightly crispy bottom thanks to the hot skillet. This rustic French dessert is presented in a modern and elegant way without being too foofy. As soon as you have one spoonful of this gooey treat, you won’t be able to stop. I know I couldn’t, my husband and I devoured the whole thing in minutes. They recently changed the dark chocolate to white chocolate and served it with tahini caramel and vanilla, which we tried of course, and it was as delicious and a little more summery.
Ba Yi has been one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants for years. This casual eatery is a go-to place for authentic Xinjiang style lamb dishes. Their kebabs and cold tofu are outstanding, but my favorite always has been “roasted leg of lamb”. You have to go through with a tiny trouble of calling them and ordering the dish ahead, but it is totally worth it. The spiced meat (mostly with cumin) is incredibly juicy, succulent and finger-licking good. It’s just a mouthful of happiness :-).
My list will continue on my next post, and there’s so much more to come. Stay tuned for Part 2!