Best Bites is a roundup of the outstanding dishes we had within the last week: Those which renewed our love for established venues; caught our attention at a new opening; or freshly impressed upon us the creativity and skill of Hong Kong’s talented chefs. From casual street snacks to meticulously prepared tasting menus, these are the best dishes to try in Hong Kong, and the plates we’d recommend you make a special trip for.
These were the best dishes we supped on and savoured this week:
The Baker & The Bottleman
The bite: Triple Valrhona Chocolate Cookie (HK$50)
I think I speak for everyone — even those who claim to not be dessert people (hi Joey Wong) — that chocolate chip cookies are an exception. They automatically top any list with regards to best anything. It’s a chocolate chip cookie! There can not be anything better.
Of course, unless, it’s another chocolate chip cookie. Then, yes, there can be one that ranks further than best. In this case, a triple Valrhona chocolate cookie by Oli Marlow and the Simon Rogan team at newly opened The Baker & The Bottleman at Lee Tung Avenue. It has everything you ever wanted in a chocolate cookie: The golden crispy edge. The molten chocolate stream that weaves through the buttery dough. Melted chocolate craters over the picture-perfect wrinkly surface. Super in size, this one is also super in texture; the fudgy, chewy kind that doesn’t harden into a crisp once cooled and stays all nice and gooey whether you eat it fresh out the oven or “keep it as a special treat” for noon. My Eating Good willpower isn’t that solid, so of course I could not resist. I broke off small chunks as “tasters”, which ended up being the whole thing finished in one sitting. Don’t be a scaredy cat and get the smaller size. Go big or go home. Otherwise you’re not worthy of the cookie. — Lorria Sahmet, Editor
The Baker & The Bottleman, Shop G14-15, G/F – 1/F, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
The dish: Sorrowful Rice (HK$115 / set)
In spite of all my waxing over healthier choices in Friday’s sister column, I still won’t deny myself a delicious meal (between 1-7pm, please), because happiness, blah blah health, too. Enter Chop Chop — MMMs Award winner and home of Chef Dai’s signature sorrowful rice, the exact dish that he created for Stephen Chow’s The God of Cookery. Divine inspiration struck when chef was making this dish — the man can roast a pig. And as my lunch partner pointed out, the true genius of this serve is the sauce placement — on both the top and the bottom of the dish, so the rice, heaven’s perfect sauce vehicle, soaks it all up by the time you reach the scraps.
Chop Chop, Shop 3 G/F, 18 Wang On Road, North Point, Hong Kong, +852 3618 7718
Boy n Burger
The dish: The Health & Wealth Tofu Burger (HK$38)
I like tofu, but not like that. There’s a time and place for tofu; namely, when it’s prefixed with “Mapo”; when it’s suffixed with “Fa”; when it’s, even, a little stinky. I, however, am not a fan of substitutions. I don’t want to pretend portobello is beef; pretend spiralised zucchini is pasta. They’re all good on their own, I just don’t want to play pretend! I’m tired! This limited-edition Chinese New Year burger from Boy n Burger is an excellent example of How To Do “Healthy” deliciously. (I’m not sure if this burger is healthy, but it’s named “Health & Wealth Tofu Burger”, so I’m extrapolating). The wedges of tofu tucked between BnB’s toasted sesame bun have just the right chew; it’s also fried golden and crispy and drenched in a delicious Chinese Hoisin Honey BBQ sauce for that perfect, satisfying, just-salty-enough bite. No pretending! You don’t need meat to feel satiation! But I guess the “fried” part is not negotiable. Baby steps. — Joey Wong, Editor
Boy n Burger, G/F, Shop 3, 208 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 3686 0928
The bite: Confetti Cake (HK$600; 8-inches)
Is cake cheating? Black Sheep’s Butter Cake Shop opened on Staunton Street last October, and launched a new item to celebrate — the Confetti Cake. And the moment I laid my eyes on that beauty, I knew in my heart… that was my birthday cake. It’s glorious, a rich cream sponge layered in not-too-sweet vanilla buttercream and packed with rainbow sprinkles. Please forgive this low-quality image of a high, high quality cake. Colourful flame candles courtesy of Daiso/AEON Living! — Sakina Abidi, Editorial Assistant
Butter, G/F, 34B Staunton Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2810 0660
The dish: Caramel Black Cod (HK$238)
A long-awaited dinner date was swiftly cancelled by dining restrictions, so instead we opted for the next best thing — a picnic in the park, courtesy of Black Sheep GO. Wine poured into paper cups and a plethora of delicious Vietnamese favourites ordered (wok-fried morning glory, gai lan, shrimp rice paper rolls — you know the drill), the standout dish had to be the caramel black cod. A blend of caramel fish sauce, garlic, lemongrass, lime, ginger, and jasmine rice make up this delicious large plate from Chôm Chôm’s lively Bia Hoi menu. Swimming in a sticky, tangy and sweet sauce, the cod is delicate, flakey and everything you hope a good fillet of fish to be. Even better when consumed in front of sparkling Hong Kong harbour views. — Lexi Davey, Managing Editor
Chôm Chôm, 58-60 Peel Street, SoHo, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2810 0850
The dish: Momo Platter (HK$108)
I only recently learnt about Nepalese cuisine, and I’m ashamed to admit it. I’ve definitely been missing out on momos, and right now it’s my personal favourite form of dumplings. Funky Monkey, located in Jordan, TST, and Tung Chung, and serves authentic Nepalese cuisine — yet, their momos have this sort of uniquely distinguished flavour that truly makes you want more.
The dough holding the flavourful filling is thin yet so chewy — I love it! Combined with the Nepalese spices bursting in your mouth, it’s lip-smackingly good. If you can’t handle too much spice like me, don’t worry, they have a non-spicy option, as well as a meat-free option. Unable to decide what momos to get, we decided to order the huge Momo Platter, which filled us up, for just over HK$50 each. I was too busy stuffing my face to take pictures, but Funky Monkey’s cocktails are one to try as well. Decorated with tropical fruits and served in cute glasses, the extensive choice of cocktails will keep you satisfied for the night. — Subin Hong, Editorial Intern
Funky Monkey, various locations including G/F, 17 Wai Ching Street, Jordan, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2469 0055