Best Bites is a roundup of the outstanding dishes we had within the last month: 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 plates we’d recommend you make a special trip for.

Miss Lee

The dish: Rolling Stones — mashed potato foam with rice noodle rolls (HK$118)

Central’s Miss Lee has recently tapped chef Siu Hin-chi of sister establishment two-Michelin-starred Ying Jee Club as a culinary consultant, and the ‘Rolling Stones’ just might be one of the playful plant-based eatery’s most comforting and delicious yet. Pillows of rolled rice noodle rolls are lightly pan-seared and stir-fried with soy sauce and Sichuan chilli sauce, for a crispy exterior and soft, chewy bite. They’re put to bed in a sea of fluffy truffle mashed potato foam — spoon to the bottom to find a layer of sweet sticky caramelised onions to complement all the aromatic, savoury flavours and crispy and velvety textures. A dollop of vegan caviar pearls made from kelp add a touch of briney decadence to tie it all together. Available as part of the lunch and dinner set menus or a la carte. — Evelyn Lok, Managing Editor

Miss Lee, G/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2881 1811

Honjo

The dish: Zucchini flower tempura (HK$160)

Taking inspiration from Japan’s bountiful land and sea, Honjo’s latest menu has introduced brand new innovations that are meant to complement with some of its best-loved signatures — whether it’s simple and satisfying sashimi to a luscious Australian striploin served with fermented mushroom puree. The Zucchini flower tempura is one such kooky new creations by the Honjo culinary team’s newest talent, marrying the Italian tradition of deep fried and stuffed Zucchini blossoms with an Asian twist — it’s instead stuffed with a mixture of minced prawn and beef, and deep fried tempura-style for a delicate crunch. The filling itself is juicy and satisfying, and brings to mind the fresh umami qualities of a Cantonese wonton. A winning snack or appetizer that hits the spot at the end of the day — especially when washed down with a carafe of sake or two. Available a la carte or part of the new 10-course Dreamer tasting menu — EL

Honjo, 1/F, 77-91 Queen’s Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2663 3772

Rubia 

The dish: Lazy Omelette with gambas al ajillo (HK$90)

Another comfort dish that ticks all the boxes comes in the form of Rubia’s ‘lazy omelette,’ which was recently introduced on its tapas menu — available in the downstairs taberna bar. A thinner alternative to the traditional Spanish tortilla omelette with potatoes, this iteration borrows from a well-loved dish at sister restaurant Pica Pica. The omelette is not flipped — hence ‘lazy’ — and is topped with a delicious plethora of minced sweet onion, mashed potato and sweet, succulent prawns cooked in garlic sauce. A dish worth risking the garlicky breath for if you’re on a date (or you have to put your mask back on before heading on your way home). — EL

Rubia, UG/F and 1/F, C Wisdom Centre, 35-37 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2889 1199

Arbor

The dish: Saba with fruit tomato 

Perrier-Jouet recently announced its historic transmission between the seventh and eighth cellar masters — Hervé Deschamps to Séverine Frerson, the Maison’s first female chef de caves since its conception in 1811. For the occasion, the Maison partnered with Arbor to create a limited time pairing menu, with numerous dishes made to pair with Hervé Deschamps’ landmark contribution to the house — the Blanc de blancs. One particularly memorable pairing was between the saba course to go with the 2006 Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs. Perfectly executed as is expected of chef Räty and team, the melt-in-your-mouth saba mackerel bursts with a gentle sweetness of the ocean and light smokiness thanks to the torch-blistered skin, lending a nice char on top. It’s served simply with a slice of fruit tomato, the sweetness and tartness counteracting the fattiness of the fish. A sliver of pickled kombu seaweed balances on top with a sprinkle of shiso flower petals, altogether bringing out even more of the floral and acidic notes of the Chardonnay-only cuvée.

Though only as part of the special menu that ran until the end of October, guests can still look forward to the Blanc de blancs non-vintage showcased at the restaurant through to the end of November during brunch — where you can no doubt expect the team to be able to finesse up a variety of autumnal fish and other seasonal ingredients that work best with the wine. — EL

Ying Jee Club

The dish: Honey glazed barbecued pork (HK$280)

There are a million renditions of the quintessential Hong Kong dish of char siu out in the city, but it’s safe to say I truly haven’t had such great barbecued pork in a very long time. At two-Michelin-starred Ying Jee Club, chef Siu Hin-chi is in his element with his tome of old-fashioned, often laborious Cantonese dishes, and this rendition of the classic barbecued pork uses age-old methods to major success. Using well-marbled Spanish pork butt, the team apparently tenderises the meat using a foot-long mallet — pummelling it into submission until what results is a melt-in-your-mouth cut of pork with equal fat and meat in every bite. It’s marinated in a secret sauce that tastes heavy on the aromatic rose liquor, candied to perfection with a honey glaze and a good balance of smoky char and caramelisation. When everybody at the table gets quiet while eating a dish like this, you know it’s worthy of the praise. — EL

Lee Lo Mei

The dish: Lee’s Little Lobster ($208)

Don’t knock the whimsical interiors and pun-riddled names — they’re not playing games here with the food at Lee Lo Mei. Out of a number of seafood-centric dishes available, the signature ‘Lee’s Little Lobster’ was the absolute highlight. I love a good Boston lobster tail as much as any self-respecting seafood lover, but what got me was the sauce and seasoning — a crack-like blend of Thai chilli paste and butter, topped with fried garlic, breadcrumbs and dried chilli, then served on a pool of tomato-ey black pepper sauce. Thankfully, you can mop up all the sauce with the accompanying Beijing-style fried ‘silver thread buns.’ Typically topped with condensed milk, you can also spoon some condensed milk foam — whipped to a lighter and hence less sugary taste — on top to counteract the peppery heat of the sauce, but I went all in and wiped my plate clean with the sauce instead. — EL

To highlight the traditional Chinese “silver thread roll” with condensed milk, Chef Lee 

Lee Lo Mei, G/F–1/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong

LPM Restaurant and Bar

The dish: Grilled lamb cutlets with smoked aubergine (HK$458)

Amongst all the mainstays at La Petite Maison — now LPM — such as the escargot, the seafood starters and the French toast, the grilled lamb cutlets have been firm favourites amongst Hong Kong’s epicureans ever since the restaurant opened here in 2018. On our recent revisit, I was bowled over by the famed lamb chops: perfectly seasoned (apparently, marinated with an olive, cardamom and sherry puree) and grilled to perfection. The meat itself was stunningly pink and tender the whole way through, and frankly didn’t need any additional dressing, though it was topped with a light chiffonade of parsley, sundried cherry tomatoes, served on top of a bed of confit shallots for contrast, and with a quenelle of smoked aubergine on the side. Delicious, consistent and will definitely have us going back for more. — EL

LPM Restaurant and Bar, Shop 1, 1/F, H, Queen’s, 23-29 Stanley Street, Central, +852 2887 1113

Sushiyoshi

The dish: Hairy Crab Miso Cappuccino

Extremely fragrant, yet delicate in taste, the Hairy crab miso cappuccino from Sushiyoshi bridges the seasonal delicacy of hairy crab with the richness of Japanese miso for this exquisite dish. Delightfully packaged in a pristine cappuccino cup, the hairy crab is processed as a bisque, adding a complexity to its creamy flavour by drawing out a deeper, perfectly seasoned taste. Each sip highlights the fine quality of Sushiyoshi’s chosen ingredients. Although the smell of hairy crab fiercely meets you at first sniff, the end result on the tongue is both smooth and incredibly light, capturing the fleeting feeling the fall season has in Hong Kong. You can find this dish as an integral part of Sushiyoshi’s 20-course hairy crab limited edition omakase menu (HK$2,980 per person), offered from now until the hairy crab season ends in mid-December. — Wendy Wong, writer

Sushiyoshi, 1/F, The Otto Hotel, 8 Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2657 0280

Honky Tonks Tavern

The dish: White trash pizza (HK$100)

If you’re willing to brave the crowds now holding court at the Pak Tsz Lane Park thanks to Honky Tonks Tavern, you’ll see what all these punters have been sacrificing personal space for. Yes, Shady Acres’ newest sister establishment brings on once again fuss-free brews, wines and quirky cocktails at great prices, alongside pretension-free surrounds and a food menu of endless guilty pleasures that strike the ideal balance between low- and high-brow dining (fried Nashville hot chicken with caviar, anyone?). If you prefer the lower end of the stick — you’ll want to try the White Trash pizza, which, as its name suggests, contains everything you might find in a stereotypical trailer park abode. The thin-crust pie is topped with tomato sauce, shredded chicken, bacon bits, jalapeño slices, a healthy drizzle of cool ranch and Dorito dust — for a shockingly delicious combination that doesn’t go down at all feeling as junk food for some reason. It’s a humble pizza that’ll fill you full of nostalgia, especially if you grew up in North America, hitting all those addictive sweet-and-savoury notes that will keep you coming back for more. — EL

Honky Tonks Tavern, 76 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong

Evelyn Lok
Managing Editor
When not trying out the latest beauty and wellness trends, Evelyn is likely enjoying a perfectly balanced negroni or exploring some of Hong Kong's best new places to eat and drink. At Lifestyle Asia she covers everything from the biggest events in town to interviews with Hong Kong specialists, with topics spanning art, food and drink, health, tech, and travel.