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 dish: Margherita (HK$158)
Chef Gavino Pilo has quietly opened Little Napoli, a grab-and-go Neapolitan pizza counter, in the heart of Happy Valley, one of those places that, if you don’t go there often, you usually say out loud, “I should come here more often”, each and every time you visit. But I digress. This is about pizza, delicious pizza, made with love by a chef from Naples, who strongly recommends you eat the pies fresh out of the oven. That oven is hand-built from brick, and cooks pizzas almost as quickly as you order them (90 seconds!), and we won’t blame you if you find yourself inhaling them even quicker than that. The restaurant also packs you a pair of scissors, the recommended way to slice Neapolitan pizza, as it’s the best way to keep the crust “puffy and fluffy,” as my colleague Sandra Kwong put it. So, meal and a gift. You can’t go wrong. –– Nathan Erickson, Editor-in-Chief
Little Napoli, 8 King Kwong Street, Happy Valley, Hong Kong, +852 6882 1823
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The dish: Smoky Pulled Pork Taco, Pickled Red Onions (HK$65)
Before I begin, here’s where I stand with tacos: I like a soft one. Preferably presented with a warm flour tortilla, slightly damp to the touch. A harbinger of the juice-infused cuts of protein I have to look forward to. No resistance! These tacos from Shady Acres’ spankin’ new menu, though, might have shifted my taco-preference meridian line off-kilter. Shoved it with force, in fact. Talk about a palate-changer.
The taco itself is a whole damn cornucopia of textures. It’s got the tenderness of the pulled pork (more on that in a sec); the light crunch and salinity of radish and pickled red onions and strands of on-stem cilantro — all tucked into the embrace of a very, very crispy, grilled-on-both-sides taco shell.
The pulled pork nestled in between the crescent folds of Shady’s tacos are melt-in-your mouth-good. And of course it is, it’s had 12 hours of marinating and nine hours of braising; an almost full day’s worth of sousing and prepping before it hits your tongue with that perfectly tender, indulgent, just-a-little-spicy bite. The kind of bite you won’t mind getting your palms and all ten fingers messy for. Get in there! But, especially, get in there on Taco Tuesday evenings for two of these beauties and a glass of white for just HK$100. — Joey Wong, Editor
Shady Acres, G/F, 46 Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 9176 7500
The dish: Rangers Valley Hanger Steak (part of the 2 or 3 course menu HK$650/750 per person)
Hanger steaks are rarely my first choice of cuts; I love a fatty ribeye, the marbling of a good sirloin, a heavy-handed cut of a Porterhouse. However, as a follow-up to my pre-festive get lean spiel, I opted for a lean hanger that night, and boy, it turned out to be, arguably, the team’s favourite main of the night. Perfectly pink, gently charred, and topped with spinach, slow cooked beef tongue, bone marrow & baby carrots. A delight. –– Sandra Kwong, Features Editor
Hue, 1/F, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 3500 5888
The dish: Dubu Kimchi (HK$88)
Lay your eyes upon this gloriously decadent dish. This is DAM:A’s Dubu Kimchi. But before you’re fooled by the shredded cabbage coleslaw mound over the top –– no, it not like anything you’ve ever had. Not that wet, watery goop that coleslaw is often associated with.
This one is made fresh and very crunchy. It’s made with kimchi-mayo like dressing that is house-made from scratch –– not simply gochujang, as I eagerly asked chef wondering if I, too, could recreate this at home (the answer is no) –– with a medley of ingredients that I can’t bring to mind at this moment. But what has stuck in my mind was the very delicious flavours. A slight sweetness married with a sharp tang. Then, another surprise: a pile of crispy cubed tofu tucked underneath. It wears a crumbly coat to pick up stray droplets of that lovely kimchi sauce with a salt-and-peppered sleeve just thick enough for a satisfying crunch, giving way to the softest, silkiest tofu bite hidden within. Be smart and carefully teeter a heaping of kimchi coleslaw over the small square surface area for the best kind of bite. –– Lorria Sahmet, Editor
DAM:A, G/F, 110 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
Kerry Hotel Hong Kong
The dish:Kaviari Smoked Salmon Imperial Fillet (fromHK$668, part of the Truffle & Caviar Afternoon Tea)
Kerry Hotel is collaborating with French caviar brand Plantin Kaviari for a luxurious truffle and caviar afternoon tea set. Whether you’re into sweet or savoury, the tea set will have it all.
I’m a savoury over sweet kind of guy. So for me, the Kaviari Smoked Salmon Imperial Fillet and Kristal Caviar topped with capers and chive crème fraîche was the standout bite for me. The texture and slight saltiness of the caviar paired with the smoked salmon was just right. Other than that, here were some of my favourites, the “Ceviche” Hokkaido Scallop topped with Kaviari Kristal Caviar and the freshly bakes scones toped with clotted cream.
From now until 31 December 2021, the tea set will be available on Monday to Friday, for HKD$668, while on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, the tea set is HKD$688. Did we mention, after enjoying the tea set, you will also receive an exclusive 10% discount code to Plantin’s Kaviari E-Shop? Perfect for holiday season. –– Austin Miao, Branded Content Manager
Kerry Hotel Hong Kong, 38 Hung Luen Road, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2252 5888