Best Bites is a roundup of the outstanding dishes we had this 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.
The dish: Adrakh Ke Panje (3 pieces) (HK$338)
I wouldn’t call myself a lamb person. I like it enough, don’t really taste the “gamey” tang everyone keeps moaning and groaning about. It’s fine! I’d probably go for the steak or a pasta if I really had to choose, though. But Bombay Dreams’ Adrakh Ke Panje — which Google Translate says means “Ginger Claws” — might’ve just made me a Lamb Person. Marinated in yoghurt, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger, the three-count lamb chops are fall-off-the-bone tender. It’s on the restaurant’s ‘Tandoor’ page and, possibly, made to be shared. Which is what we did. But in retrospect, consider getting this as your entrée, all to yourself. It’s that good. And if that’s not reason enough for a visit, Bombay Dreams has just moved house — still on Wyndham Street, but a touch further down on the first floor of Winning Centre. Gone are the white tablecloths and that whiff of a bygone era of “fine dining” at 77 Wyndham; at their new address, the Indian institution is made very cool and very modern with ceramic tableware, marble tabletops and a striking accent wall of elephant door knockers, lined up from seat to ceiling. Because why not. — Joey Wong, Editor
Bombay Dreams, 1/F Winning Centre, 46 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2811 9888
The dish: Loin and belly of Australian lamb (HK$358)
I tried to be good with my diet, I really did, but when Executive Chef Graham Long describes his signature dishes, well… On a good day, I find it hard to resist lamb anyway, so of course, I had to champion this dish for the table. Beautifully plated and served perfectly pink with crushed potatoes, smoked aubergine, green olives and more, this masterpiece hits the spot on multiple sensory accounts. I’ll be back for more, and this time, I won’t be sharing. –– Sandra Kwong, Features Editor
The Continental, Unit 406, L4 Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong +852 2704 5211
McSorley’s Ale House
The dish: Premium Hand-Crafted Angus Cheese Burger (HK$162)
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of hamburger patties of all shapes and sizes and price points. And in a city with so many excellent options — The Diplomat, Honbo, Burger N Boy, I could go on — I’m happy to say I’m spoiled for choice, from the finest of dining to the quickest of fixes. And while it may be a controversial pick among my culinary-minded and highly opinionated friends, I’ll be damned if a Premium Hand-Crafted Angus Cheese Burger from McSorley’s Ale House doesn’t hit the spot. And it did exactly that this past Monday, which is one of the two days each week (the other is Thursday) that you can doubly satisfy your craving with their two-for-one deal — so, you know, bring a friend. –– Nathan Erickson, Editor-in-Chief
McSorley’s Ale House, 46 Staunton Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2385 5515
The dish: Massaman Gai (HK$168)
Oh, what I would give to be on holiday in Thailand. But with cumbersome travel restrictions currently in place, its a dashed dream that can only replaced via a sift through the city’s Thai eateries for a near-authentic meal. Luckily, there are a few close to home dishing close replicas of Thailand’s best –– minus honking tuk-tuks and boisterous atmosphere of street-side stalls, of course. It’s a place like Chachawan, ran by a husband-and-wife duo on the further, quietly unassuming end of Hollywood Road.
Amongst staples –– Khor Moo Yung (grilled pork neck) and Gai Yang (char-grilled chicken) –– that you shan’t look over upon your next visit, the Massaman Gai is another tasty offering from chef Narisara Somboon’s authentic Isaan kitchen. Slow-braised chicken thighs to tender perfection are dipped and served in a generous bowl yellow curry, fragrantly flavoured with peanuts and shallots and served with fluffy roasted potatoes. Try it with a generous sweep of the accompanying warm, crispy roti; it’s the perfect textural bite of nuttiness and slight sweetness that balances the heat. Should you be tempted to sample, the Massaman Gai is part of the restaurant’s limited menu that rotates monthly and will end its run on 30 September. So be hasty with bookings. It’s no sunset meal served beachside one balmy evening in Phuket, but it’s a worthy alternative. For now. –– Lorria Sahmet, Editor
Chachawan, 205 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2549 0020
Header image courtesy of Chachawan