We all get stuck relying on old standbys from time to time, but it’s worth pushing out of your comfort zone every now and again the next time you’re planning to dine out. This week, we’re tucking into a traditional Hakka-style dish of baked fish intestines at Dragon Noodles Academy (way more delicious than it sounds), stopping by Bizou for crab cakes and Mediterranean-style lamb chops, and savouring a talented Italian chef’s riffs on tried-and-true favourites. Whether old or new, classic or modern, this week’s new eats all have something in common: They’ll have you digging in to the very last bite.
Step back in time at Dragon Noodles Academy
Craving a taste of old Hong Kong? Head to Dragon Noodles Academy, where a nostalgic tasting menu with traditional Guangzhou-style recipes is on the menu through 31 August. Inspired by 1970s Kung Fu academies, the old-school restaurant is known for its vibrant mix of traditional recipes jazzed up with a modern twist, and its funky surrounds are complete with hand-carved dragons, papier mâché lion heads and electric-hued furniture.
On the ‘Nostalgic Guangzhou’ menu, head chef Winson Yip’s dim sum dishes are a treat, from traditional siu mai with quail egg (HK$59 for three), to steamed pork dumplings stuffed with pork liver (HK$59 for two) — the latter a nod to one of Kung Fu legend Bruce Lee’s favourite foods. The baked fish intestines is another winner (HK$139): For this Hakka-style dish, the intestines get steamed with ginger, garlic chives and dried mandarin peel, then tucked into a casserole-style dish with eggs and deep-fried you tiao. Finally, don’t pass up the classic Cantonese double-boiled winter melon soup: meant to reduce heat and prevent swelling in this humid weather, the soothing broth comes in a ceremonious whole winter melon, with waiters stopping by every few minutes to top up your bowl.
Dragon Noodles Academy, Shop G04, G/F, Man Yee Arcade, Man Yee Building, 68 Des Voeux Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2561 6688
Global bistronomy at Bizou
Delivering comforting bistro-style favourites and a well-stocked liquor cabinet, American brasserie Bizou is one of our favourite pit stops anytime we’re feeling peckish around Pacific Place. This August, they’re dialling up their offerings with a brand new 3-course tasting menu (HK$398 per person) designed by recently appointed head chef Duilio Desimoni.
The Argentina-born chef (whose resume includes stints at Park Hyatt Buenos Aires and Executive Chef at P.F. Chang’s) will build on the balanced “bistronomy” theme of Bizou with a protein-heavy menu drawing from an eclectic mix of influences around the globe. Guests partaking in the tasting menu can start with Boston-style crab cakes with a spicy aioli or the steak carpaccio tinged with Creole mustard, followed by mains of sautéed scallops on a bed of corn mousse or Mediterranean-style grilled lamb chops served with mint hummus. Dessert wraps up with a crowd favourite, chocolate lava cake, or a lighter yet just as satisfying option: Bizou’s classic key lime pie featuring a puff of charred meringue.
Bizou, Shop 132, L1, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, +852 2871 0775
Tuck into summer’s bounty at Giando
We may be nearing the end of summer, but Giando’s chef-founder Gianni Caprioli is still paying homage to the season’s best produce with a smattering of vibrant, colourful new dishes on the menu. With an ever-present dedication to using only the freshest ingredients, Caprioli showcases his elegant, simple Italian cooking in a new menu that traipses across land and sea.
For starters, tuck into the beef tartare drizzled in a cold broth with briny caviar (HK$278); the creamy burrata with marinated eggplant and sun-ripe Italian tomatoes (HK$198); or a multi-hued carpaccio of scallops, red shrimp and amberjack (HK$238). The octopus salad with crushed potatoes (HK$188) is revved up with Sicilian olives and capers; while veggie lovers will gravitate towards La Melanzana (HK$148), Caprioli’s riff on the classic Italian eggplant parmigiana. Finally, the pastas are well worth breaking your summer carb fast: We’re loving the sound of the lemon risotto (HK$188) dotted with soft Robiola cheese, and a take on spaghetti ai ricci di mare (HK$328) with fresh sea urchin and salty bottarga.
Giando, 9 Star Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2511 8912