Best Bites and Sips 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 and mixologists. From casual street snacks to meticulously prepared cocktail creations, these are the best dishes and drinks to try in Hong Kong — the ones we’d recommend you make a special trip for.
The best dishes and drinks we supped on and savoured this week:
The dish: Hainanese Chicken (HK$350)
As accessible as global cuisines are in Hong Kong, there are always enduring staples that have become easy, if not familiar, loves. The Hainanese chicken rice is one of them. With considerate portion sizes of carbs, protein and veg to call it a balanced meal, the Hainanese chicken rice is kind of dish where there’s enough happening so you’re kept intrigued, yet never distracted by one being tastier than another. And though wildly popular, not all, as you can expect, are created equal.
The one at The Lounge at the Four Seasons leans towards the more decadent end of the spectrum. They offer a choice between light and dark meat, but you will have to decide ahead to reserve a portion as the coveted signature is served in very limited quantities. Deliciously fragrant, the silky-soft chicken, prepared by the venue’s dedicated Chinese chef, is carefully poached in 90°C chicken stock for extra depth in flavour and tenderness in texture. It’s served with the classic accompaniments that make the dish so easily lovable: rice infused with chicken oil, lemongrass and garlic, fresh choi sum and rich, clear broth. It’s the teeny-tiny details that differentiates this usually humble staple to an exquisitely delicious one. Suddenly, the steeper-than-usual price tag makes sense. — Lorria Sahmet, Editor
The Lounge, Lobby Level, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong
Café 103 at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
The dish: Valrhona Oabika Chocolate Afternoon Tea (HK$468 for one, HK$768 for two from Monday to Friday; and HK$498 for one, HK$818 for two on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays)
Sigh. Maybe I’ll just go ahead and admit that I’m an afternoon tea person after all. This is like, the fourth time I’ve written about afternoon tea for Best Bites, so I might as well just face the truth. Ahem. It’s true, guys. I’m one of those girls who like to take hundreds of pictures with their fancy tea sets. Feel free to unfriend me.
Anyway, for those who are still here — The Ritz-Carlton’s newest afternoon tea is a special one, because the hotel has collaborated with none other than decorated confectionery brand Valrhona to launch a majorly chocolatey set for two months. From 19 September to 30 November, you can dive into a chocolate wonderland with the Valrhona Oabika Chocolate Afternoon Tea.
What’s so great about this particular tea set, you say? Well, for one, it’s from The Ritz-Carlton, so it can’t be bad. And secondly, it highlights the special Oabika, a concentrate developed by Valrhona from cocoa pulp extract. You’ll find it as a key ingredient in every single item on the time-limited menu. Literally every bite — sweet and savoury — in this set contains chocolate, including the Classic Beef Sheperd’s Pie with Hints of Chocolate and the Braised Pork Shoulder with Chocolate Barbecue Sauce. It sounds weird, but I promise it’s good. So if you’re a chocolate lover, here are some words of wisdom straight from, um, moi: don’t miss the Valrhona Oabika Chocolate Afternoon Tea! — Charmaine Ng, Editor
Café 103, Level 103, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre (ICC), 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2263 2270
The drink: Supreme Meta Green Tea (HK$9)
On Saturday, when I walked from Sheung Wan to IFC and back to get my steps in, I realised that I had misjudged the weather. The breeze that I thought would last turned out to be just a front for the extremely humid and hot temperature. So I turned to Circle K and got the one drink I kept hearing about over and over again from my colleague Charmaine for the past weeks. I was already a fan of the Oolong tea version of this drink, so I was excited to try it out. The taste of the green tea was very distinct and refreshing. The buckwheat ingredient added a nutty flavour that balances out the lightness of the tea. Very much needed on a summer afternoon. — Leanne Lam, Social Media Manager