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Best Bites: 5 dishes we loved this week

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:

Cotton Tree Terrace at The Murray, Hong Kong

The dish: Salame Piccante (HK$258)

We’re all about music here at LSA, so of course the team couldn’t turn down a chance to check out the return of jazz nights on The Murray’s Cotton Tree Terrace this past Thursday. It was a night of live tunes and tequila sodas, but a couple of tasty pies — bonus shoutout to the Funghi e Tartufo — really stole the show. Will be back for more. — Nathan Erickson, Editor-in-Chief

The Murray, 22 Cotton Tree Dr, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3141 8888

Check In Taipei

best bites 20 June

The dish: Mochi Pineapple Cake Eggtarts (HK$48) 

We haven’t travelled in a while, so here’s a sweet, single reminder of what is there to love about Taiwanese cuisine: pineapple cakes. Nope, not the spongy kind that has likely popped up in your mind’s eye, but the rectangular pastry encased with an incredibly jammy centre within. Even better when it’s fresh-out-the-oven. At Check In Taipei — who’s just opened a second location of their comfort-first casual eatery at Harbour City — the signature pineapple cake assumes a much more substantial role — three times, in fact, of its original composition. Here, it’s a mammoth dessert terrine of sorts; the usual pineapple jam sandwiched beneath a layer of Check In Taipei’s famously soft and gooey mochi and a final seal over the top of creamy egg custard that’s caramelised to glistening perfection. It appears like an egg tart and almost tastes like one, before you get a nibble of the crumbly shortcrust pastry and familiar tang of pineapple jam, and it’s the same well-loved creation — just with so much more to go around. — Lorria Sahmet, Editor

Check-in Taipei, Shop 2204-6, 2/F, Harbour City, Gateway Arcade, 5 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Grand Majestic Sichuan

The dish: La Chao Xi Lan Hua (HK$128)

Regular readers of our Best Bites segment will know I eat very, very clean. Which is why despite all the great reviews about it, I’ve never been to Grand Majestic Sichuan. Until now, I suppose. In my defence, everyone knows Sichuan food is anything but clean and light. It’s bold, spicy and sometimes very pungent. So, not so great for someone who prefers to eat salads without dressing.

Luckily, the Black Sheep restaurant has a whole section dedicated to vegetables and tofu, with over eight variants of stir-fried and braised greens to pick from. I was torn between the cauliflower and broccoli, but decided on the latter — and lemme tell you, it did not disappoint. True to its Sichuan roots, the La Chao Xi Lan Hua (which means “spicy fried broccoli” in Mandarin) is immensely flavourful and spicy af, the result of a good tossing in the wok with black bean and chilli peppers. And I hate to admit it, because it isn’t the healthiest way of cooking veggies, but it’s probably the best broccoli I’ve eaten, much better than the bland, plain-steamed broccoli I make for myself at home… — Charmaine Ng, Editor

Grand Majestic Sichuan, Shop 301, 3/F, Alexandra House, 18 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2151 1299

Meet Fresh

best bites 20 June

The dish: Q Mochi Milk Shaved Ice (HK$52)

Having dessert at Meet Fresh is always a lesson in patience — it’s an unusually hot (plus humid, just what you expect from Hong Kong) night, and camera cuts to me standing in the queue, bullets of sweat dripping down every inch of my skin. If the universe gives you a sign to get shaved ice, you’d be a fool not to act upon it. Cue this absolute unit of a dish: chewy taro balls, mochi and melon jelly pile up at the base of a shaved ice mountain, at the top of which sits a full scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s not just dessert, it’s dinner and dessert, it’s a mukbang. Bon appétit. — Michelle Chan, Editor

Meet Fresh, Multiple locations including Shop 1, G/F, V Point, 18 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, +852 2566 1318

LOL Cafe Bar

The dish: Smoked salmon cream cheese bagel (HK$68)

To continue my quest to find great breakfast food around my area, I’m determined to try every menu with keywords like “scrambled eggs or bagel” on it. Within a 5 minute walk from my very comfortable couch, I found a dish that was worth it for me to put on actual clothes for. It had all the elements I was looking for and more. For just HKD$68, you get a full-size bagel, a generous portion of creamy scrambled eggs, a bowl of meatballs (which was a lovely surprise), a side of salad and regular coffee. It really is everything you need to start the day right and healthy, with all the greens on the plate. I can’t wait to go back this weekend to try out their other brunch options, perhaps a parma ham egg benedict? — Leanne Lam, Social Media Manager

LOL Cafe Bar, G/F 60 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, +852 3596 7862

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