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.
Grand Majestic Sichuan
The dish: Suan Rong Pai Huanggua (HK$98)
Hong Kong’s three-week run of autumn, winter and spring is now behind us, and with patio season in full effect, we need our bites to be as refreshing as the 10-15 tequila sodas we’ll be downing alongside them. Enter Grand Majestic Sichuan, where I’ll be holding court all summer long. In addition to one of the most gorgeous interiors in all of Hong Kong, GMS boasts an outdoor terrace (with its own fully stocked bar) so you can enjoy Chef Robert Wong’s fiery Sichuan signatures out in the open. I’m still making my way through the menu, but the Suan Rong Pai Huanggua — China Jade heirloom cucumber with garlic dressing — might be the best version of this dish I’ve ever had. Perfectly balanced, crunchy, refreshing, savoury — it’s everything crushed cukes ought to be. — Nathan Erickson, Editor-in-Chief
Grand Majestic Sichuan, Alexandra House, Shop 301, 3rd Floor, 18 Chater Rd, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2151 1299
The dish: Clubwala Palak (HK$198)
Ordering creamed spinach always feels a little like cheating. It’s an indulgent, probably-not-great-for-you dish disguised as vegetable; a terrible — but, man, so good — thing that can only be redeemed by its mere fact of existence: as a teeny-tiny side. At Rajasthan Rifles, though, you can dive face-first into creamed spinach as a (in the words of Lizzo) whole damn meal. The way you’ve always wanted to eat creamed spinach.
Rajasthan Rifles’ Clubwala Palak arrives at the table as a beautifully verdant serving of creamed spinach tempered with garlic, onion, tomato masala and a big chilli garnish. It’s billed as a curry on RR’s menu, which gives you an excuse to order a heaping bowl of steamed basmati rice (what we did) to go along with it, but in all honesty, I had several (more than several) spoonfuls of the spinach on its own, and it’s heaven. It’s hearty, it’s warm, it’s a decadent balm to the chilly Sunday we had. Maybe not great for your cholesterol, but it’s great for your soul. Move over, chicken soup. — Joey Wong, Editor
Rajasthan Rifles, G/F, The Peak Galleria, Hong Kong, +852 2388 8874
The dish: Butter Brioche (HK$28/ pack)
Okay, so this might not be the most obvious, but what you’re currently looking at is one of Bread Pantry’s newest selection of toaster-ready loaves: Butter Brioche. Two full slices of it with some very delicious extra odds and ends, including melted mature cheddar and parmesan, spam, two runny yolk eggs and a generous spread of mustard and béchamel sauce. Or as we’ve ceremoniously named it: a rogue Croque Madame with Spam. But this is about the bread, and the butter brioche turned out to be a very appropriate — the best! — foundation to this hefty creation, owing to the light and fluffy texture, along with a mildly sweet aftertaste. And as the cheese crisped up along the edges of the toasted crust, you’re met with the crunchiest, crackly first bite that’s quickly followed by a soft, savoury centre and a cheesy finish. Through all the tossing and turning, the Good Sport brioche held up in structure to maintain a picture-perfect finish so I could snap a quick photo. There are other, of course, more refined ways you can enjoy this butter brioche; recipes that chef Grégoire Michaud demonstrates on the Bread Pantry website here, but this is definitely not one of them. I hope he doesn’t mind. All should be forgiven though, since I’ve saved the remaining slices for a simple butter and jam spread — the K.I.S.S. way (Keep it Simple with Spread), as recommended. — Lorria Sahmet, Editor