From an all-mushroom menu to crispy salmon stuffed pitas and sea urchin tempura — check out all the best eats to track down this week in Hong Kong.
Mushroom mania at Root Central
Foodies will likely have already made it to the newly opened H Code, the new F&B destination on the steps of Pottinger Street, where you can slurp chicken ramen out on the patio at Nojo, smash yakitori skewers upstairs at Birdie, or debate the finer points of wine and food pairings over at wine restaurant, Piin. Those seeking a farm-to-table experience, however, will want to head over to Root Central, where head chef Vito Chan parlays his passion for sustainability and clean eating into a delicious degustation menu marrying French technique with Asian flavours.
Chan has previous worked at prestigious institutions such as L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Amber, and has trained for a stint under celebrity chef, Donovan Cooke. In his first head chef role, Chan exercises full creative license in an eye-opening 8-course degustation. The team were extremely passionate about explaining the sources of the seasonal menu mushroom during a recent tasting (most hailing from Yunnan province), and we were invited to discover the various nuances and flavours of the different types of funghi. While mushrooms may not be everyone’s cup of tea, fans will want to head over to the restaurant now to try the seasonal menu before it’s replaced in a few weeks.
Highlights range from a cèpes mushroom puree, wrapped in a light tofu skin; to Japanese abalone and pickled golden mushroom from Yunnan in a clear duck consommé. Our favourite, however, was the Koshihikari rice — the superior product (chewy and al dente with soft, plump grains) cooked in a fragrant truffle water and topped elegantly with matsutake and blue mussels. The menu caps off with the black truffle ice-cream that delicately toes the line between savoury and sweet.
HK$1,380 per person for 8-course menu. Root Central, 7/F, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2420 8112
Craving the flavours of the Middle East? With its colourful interiors and buzzy ambience — including a semi-open kitchen and separate bar area — Bedu certainly makes its case for drawing in the lunchtime crowds. With a new set menu that allows for flexible customisation, chef Corey Riches is catering to those seeking a tasty and affordable bite during their lunch hour with intriguing combinations that champion the spicy and captivating flavours of the Middle East.
We’re big fans of his bold dishes that effortlessly cross the borders of Lebanon, Turkey and Israel (check out our review here
). While dinner offers hearty family platters of za’atar-rubbed lamb and chilli saffron squid, lunch takes the best of Bedu’s proteins and repurposes it into an easily digestible set lunch format. Priced at HK$140 per person, guests can choose their main protein (the spiced chicken pictured above and lamb shoulder are our favourites), then opt to have it with rice, wrapped in pita, or with a side salad if you’re looking to avoid carbs. The set lunch also includes a drink such as homemade lemonade and a dessert, while a main-only option is available for HK$95.
Bedu, 40 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2320 4450
A celebration of sea urchin
Many will head to Sheraton Hong Kong for a steak feast at Morton’s or to soak up the skyline at Oyster Bar, but the hotel’s Japanese restaurant is worth seeking out this month to experience their seasonal special — the ‘Sea Urchin Festival’. Fans of the briny, lush lobes of uni can savour the delicacy to their heart’s content in this one-off menu, as Unkai Japanese Cuisine presents a variety of dishes spurred by various cookings methods and textures of sea urchin.
From now through the end of August, chef Oshitani Takaho, a native of Aomori by the Northern Japan Sea, highlights the marine delicacy of his home region, featuring tender purple sea urchin from Hokkaido and Chiba-ken. Don’t miss the simmered sea urchin (HK$480) is a soothing broth topped with rich purple sea urchin, while sea urchin with cold tofu (HK$180) juxtaposes the succulent uni atop silky tofu. Fried rice gets a toss on the searing teppanyaki enhanced with slightly torched sea urchin, while the tempura (HK$480) is a tantalising study in temperatures and textures, with the crispy hot batter offset by the cool and creamy uni filling.
Unkai Japanese Cuisine, 3/F, Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers, 20 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2732 6841