Whether you’ve been working hard to check off those New Year resolutions or are just searching for some cold-weather respite, a steaming hot plate of comfort food is always welcomed like a comforting balm to the soul. In this week’s New Eats, we highlight some of Cantonese cuisine’s stalwarts, from the crackly crust of Chop Chop’s claypot rice, to the small, steamed packages of SiFu.
Chop Chop, the modern siu mei (Cantonese barbecue) eatery, is rolling out with seasonal claypot rice menu in line with cool temperature drops. Slow-cooked for a satisfying crispy, crunchy base, Chop Chop’s casseroles features a contemporary twist on traditional toppings, including a delicious Japanese beef & egg (HK$120) and foie gras & morel mushrooms (HK$120). Among traditional favourites like waxed duck leg and Chinese sausage, the restaurant’s most popular version remains to be the ‘Sorrowful’ claypot rice. Layered with chef Dai Lun’s signature glazed char siu and a perfectly fried egg, it’s the exact replica of the dish that rose the ranks after its debut in Stephan Chow’s movie, ‘God of Cookery’.
Don’t miss Chop Chop’s upcoming Chinese New Year special: ‘Poon Choi’ clay pot rice (HK$328), available for the whole of February. Atop the fragrant, fluffy grains, find auspicious ingredients like abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw, dry scallops and more that nod to the lunar holiday.
Chop Chop, Shop 3, G/F, 18 Wang On Road, North Point, Hong Kong, +852 3618 7718
Month-wise, it may be a well-past hairy crab season, but at the K11 Musea Shanghainese spot Sexy Crab, the prized golden delicacy continues to be the star of its menu, naturally. Adopting the seasonal palette for a dish so hearty and nourishing, the harbour-side restaurant adds poon choi to its menu, topped with none other than Sexy Crab’s signature trio of crab meat, crab roe and crab oil. Choose from a choice of two crabs, golden hairy crab roe (HK$2,588) and Japanese Hokkaido hairy crab (HK$3,888), fit for 6-8 people and comes with a generous serving of fish maw, pork knuckle, Hokkaido scallops, among other Chinese New Year staple ingredients. It is now available until 20 February for delivery.
Sexy Crab, Shop 401A, 4/F, K11 Musea, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Hong Kong, +852 6655 7629
The Cakery’s Chinese New Year-themed afternoon tea set (HK$588 for dine-in, or HK$688 for takeaway; for two) serves up a selection of nostalgic flavours – both sweet and savoury — central to the prosperous holiday. Health-conscious and all guilt-free, the beautifully presented bites begin with CNY classics like turnip cake, red-sugar sweet rice cake and goji berry and red date scone. On the side, the oolong shortbread and ginger cookies are a light accompaniment to a steaming pot of herbal tea.
The Cakery, various locations including Shop 303, Landmark, Central, Hong Kong, +852 6683 3833
Newly opened in the cosy lobby of Central’s Nexxus building, J.A.M food market is a collaboration of four restaurants, serving up regional favourites from four different cuisines. Among plates of beef rendang, beef stews and soupy pho, there is SiFu, specialising in modern riffs on Cantonese dim sum prepared by chef Cheung Kin-Ming — the current sous-chef of two-Michelin Ying Jee Club. A delicious lunchtime pick-me-up, the current set-menu sees (HK$148) abalone-topped siu mai, steamy lotus leaf sticky rice and baked barbeque pork bun, but will continue to rotate every three months. It’s comfort food, in particular on dreary Monday afternoon, at its best.
SiFu, J.A.M, Lobby, Nexxus Building, 41 Connaught Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 2808 2806