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.
The best dishes we supped on and savoured this week:
Honky Tonks Tavern
The dish: Hyperoni (HK$180)
Team LSA’s love for Honky Tonks is certainly well-documented; our 2021 MMMs Awards winner stole our hearts with their chicken tenders, complete with the perfect sized cup of BBQ dipping sauce. In the interest of doing even more things to my heart, I couldn’t resist stopping in to try the latest of their “Big-Ass Pizzas”, the Hyperoni. Just look at that ‘roni coverage. Look at the crispy edges on that not-too-thin, not-too-thick crust. If you get there early enough, you can get it by the slice — but why stop there when you can have the whole pie? Save the last two for breakfast and thank me later. — Nathan Erickson, Editor-in-Chief
Honky Tonks Tavern, Man Hing Lane, Central, Hong Kong
The dish: Chile Verde (HK$178)
Pork belly is always, always good. No matter its presentation, no matter the cuisine it’s, at the moment, prescribed to, shiny, unctuous slivers of pork belly are easy vehicles for the thickened sauce and broths and salt it’s so carefully simmering within. Which means: big, big flavours. Chicano’s Chile Verde makes a star of the most perfectly slow-cooked wedges of pork belly, served with tortillas kept warm in a patterned pouch. And yes, the surrounding salsa verde was slurped down like a slightly sour, very umami soup as a post-script to the entrée. As you should! Waste not, and all that. — Joey Wong, Editor
Chicano, G/F, 15 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 5595 3334
The dish: Duo Ice Cream Mochi Roll (HK$42)
Yes, I know, Sen-ryo is known for its sushi. But in case you don’t make it past the first few, well-photographed pages of expertly sliced fish and indulgent uni-topped rolls, I’m here to let you know that the beloved sushi restaurant chain is also home to a winning selection of Japanese desserts, including a cream-filled matcha roll cake and a recent-discovery-turned-favourite, Duo Ice Cream Mochi Roll. Your typical summer ice cream sandwich made so much better, Sen-Ryo’s version is the elevated half-and-half combination of black sesame and tofu stacked carefully atop one another and wrapped snug under a thin mochi blanket. The frozen black-and-white scoop stays firmly intact as you pull and tug on the powdery skin and melts together into a lightly sweet, incredibly smooth pool of nutty sesame and earthy soy for a dreamy mouthful.
While you’re here, Sen-ryo has just updated their menu with a few delectable specials: Overflowing Sushi Roll, of bite-sized avocado roll buried under a mountain of minced crab, minced tuna, sea urchin and salmon roe, which I can attest, is as indulgent as it sounds. And the second, which I’m already booked in for, Seared Wagyu Sushi Trio. — Lorria Sahmet, Editor
Sen-ryo, various locations including, Shop 01, B3/F, Kowloon Hotel, 19-21 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2367 9368
The dish: Quinoa Salad ($128)
As a resident of Taikoo, I’ll admit there’s a lack of authentic western food around the area. Eiffel Bistro, though, makes the cut. So for this week’s salad review, I’ve chosen to sample and rate one of their best-selling appetisers, the Quinoa Salad. To be transparent, it’s not my first time at this restaurant, nor is it my first time ordering this salad (what can I say, I’m a creature of habit). But this is how you know it’s good.
Between the Burrata and Tomato Salad (too cheesy; I don’t like cheese), the Raw Tuna and Avocado Salad (too Japanesey; we’re at a French restaurant here) and the Chicken or Smoked Salmon Caesar Salad (c’mon, that’s so basic) on Eiffel Bistro’s menu, I always, always pick the Quinoa Salad. I would describe it as a grain version of the classic Salade Niçoise. A concoction of quinoa, butternut squash, tuna, avocado, pomegranate, raisins and pine nuts, it’s labelled as an appetiser but it feels like more — I’d even say it makes a substantial meal for small eaters.
One very important plus about the salad is how everything fits in one bite. I’m a believer that salads should be chopped — if I have to eat each ingredient separately, then I might as well be eating a series of sides. But every spoonful of the Quinoa Salad is an explosion of flavours and textures. We have a buttery profile from the avocado, sweetness from the pomegranate, crunch from the pine nights. Oh, and this might be controversial, but the addition of raisins in the mix just ties it all together for me (I know there are passionate raisin haters out there — you’re not welcome). — Charmaine Ng, Editor
Eiffel Bistro, G514, G/F, Hing On Mansion, On Shing Terrace, Taikoo Shing, Hong Kong, +852 2446 1598
Ebeneezer’s Kebabs & Pizzeria
The dish: Lamb Saagwala (Prices vary depending on your platform of choosing; I paid HK$87.7)
Not implying food delivery services are the greatest invention of our era, but this week my whole gig was to pick up orders from the reception, wherever I happened to be for the day. The official description for Ebeneezer’s Lamb Saagwala reads “boneless lamb cooked with spinach, onion, tomato and mild curry sauce”, and it arrived exactly as advertised, overcoming the room with an inviting medley of spices one just cannot refuse. Tender lamb cubes meet even more tender minced spinach in a chunky mixture of vegetables, curry and aromatics, stomping into my heart as my new comfort food. — Michelle Chan, Editor
Ebeneezer’s Kebabs & Pizzeria, various locations including G/F, 24 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2973 0081