Just in case you needed a bite between bar-hopping through your favourite, well-missed spots, here are this week’s New Eats.
And here we are, halfway through 2022 and at the final full week of May. It’s officially summer next month, and while we mourn the loss of scheduled summer holidays of our youth and the preposterous lack of Summer Fridays in Hong Kong’s corporate culture, there are some few things to look forward to that’ll ease you through the week: the annual return of Art Basel and Art Central, a surprise public holiday (Dragon Boat Festival!) next Friday and this entire list of updated New Eats.
Maybe you remember when wellness brand nüte had a teeny little stand at Basehall last year, where they introduced the magical creation that is Pizza Granola. Well, nüte is back at Basehall again, this time for a longer residency, a larger vendor spot and a catchy new name: benko by nüte. Joining together Japanese words “bento” (lunchbox) and “kenko” (healthy), benko continues the nute brand’s committed journey towards conscious eating by adapting modern, “Japaneasy deli”-style bento bowls designed with healthy and hearty recipes. Among a menu of vegan and vegetarian serves of Cold Ume Tofu Mazemen and Crispy Chilli Garlic Chive Omelette Don, there are also bowls dedicated to chicken — Yuzu Chicken Don — and fish — SenchaMarket Fish Ochazuke and Wasabi Soy-cured Mackarel Don — along with lighter bites of veggie gyozas and Onigirazus (sushi sandwiches).
benko by nüte, Basehall, Shop 9A-9C, LG/F, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong
It’s officially summer — Black Sheep said so. With the latest line-up for its Plated series, Black Sheep makes Mondays and Tuesday a little bit better after a lazy weekend in the sun with all-new menus and friendly new faces at these venues below:
Conceptualising a new menu for the sticky humidity, head chef ArChan Chan debuts Golden Fortune. Amongst chef ArChan’s classic Cantonese bites, discover a refreshing selection of cooling dishes, from shredded mushroom salad with king oyster mushrooms, hand-chopped pork jowl and cabbage dumplings, Chongqing chicken wings, steamed live razor clams and a familiar Cantonese banquet favourite, cheesy e-fu noodles with wok-fried tiger prawns. End the evening with chef’s refreshing sheep’s milk yoghurt with dragon fruit granita. Reservations here.
Ho Lee Fook, 3-5 Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2810 0860
Chef Teya Mikhael might be new to the city, but she’s so very familiar with traditional Lebanese cooking, something she’s been consistently adding to the menu at Maison Libanaise. Sharing her favourite regional recipes and childhood flavours, she curates L’Éte À La Maison, a hearty, home-style menu that’s shared amongst family and friends. The delicious mezze spreads features everything from Hummus Beirut (a combined plate of chickpea purée, tahini, tomatoes and lemon juice served with hearth-baked pita bread) to generous mains of roasted cauliflower, charred half-chicken and the Plated exclusive Labneh Bel Banadoura. Reservations here.
Maison Libanaise, 10 Shelley Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2111 2284
You might recognise chef John Nguyen; he previously held court at Hanoi bia hoi-style kitchen Chôm Chôm. Moving a couple MTR stations down to helm Saigonese grillhouse Le Garçon Saigon, chef Nguyen creates a menu focused on the widely loved grilling culture of the capital city. The Un Soir D’Eté menu begins with Pho Onion Soup, made with chef Nguyen’s signature ingredient of wood-fired bone marrow, Bánh Xeo made with a twist (grilled cheese and roasted tomatos) and the eight-hour show-stopper braised beef tongue, served with brown butter fish sauce, rau ram oil and pickled veggies. The evening ends with the classic condensed milk flan, topped with drip coffee caramel. Reservations here.
Le Garçon Saigon, 12 Wing Fung Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2455 2499
Over at Rosewood’s Bayfare Social, there’s a new face in the mix: Jorge Vera Gutierrez joins as chef de cuisine to lead a newly refreshed menu of traditional tapas and seasonal Spanish fare. Previously head chef at Sai Ying Pun’s La Paloma, Gutierrez’s excellent cooking is the condensed result of an impressive resume which includes two Michelin-starred DSTAgE by his former mentor, Diego Guerrero, Dani Garcia’s three-star Bibo in Madrid, and a detour to Copenhagen with wine and seafood spot, Kødbyens Fiskebar, and modern Danish restaurant Aamanns by the “King of Smorgasbord”, Adam Aamann.
At Bayfare, Gutierrez introduces a slew of Spanish classics from tuna tradito and scallop tradito, jet-fresh tuna and scallops served respectively with gazpacho or escabeche dressing; plump tomato salad with anchovies; grilled sea bass; traditional roasted Spanish suckling pig, Conchinillo Asado; and Gutierrez’s own signature, squid ink paella stirred in with Spanish octopus and aioli, with the crispy socarrat bottom. End the meal with the beloved churros, or the newly added Catalan Crème, a Spanish dessert of burnt custard with citrus peel and cinnamon.
Bayfare Social, Level Five, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 3981 8732
The humble bowl of noodle is kept infinitely interesting at Taiwanese noodle bar Kiki, who, coincidentally, unveils a brand new summer menu to keep patrons returning again and again. In a just-added two-course set, two new mixed noodles recipes top the menu, as well as the return of popular favourite Hiyashi Chuka with Assorted Seafood, Kiki’s own take on the classic ramen with sliced octopus, scallops and crabsticks. As for newly added duo that plays on familiar flavours, there’s the Basil Chilli Pepper Minced Pork Mixed Noodle as gentle nod towards the stir-fried minced pork Thai favourite, and the Spicy and Sour Mixed Noodles with Pork and Cabbage Wonton as a dedication to authentic Sichuan spice. For complementing sides, go for the garlicky smashed cucumber salad dressed in vinegar or Century Egg with chilli pepper sauce.
Kiki Noodle Bar, various locations including Shop 2017, Podium Level Two, ifc mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2114 3426
So instead of another weekend brunch with your usual French toasts and open-face avocado sandwiches, Holt’s Cafe at Rosewood is introducing “Global Gourmet”, a Sunday brunch that takes diners on a gastronomical journey through various international cuisines. First on the itinerary is a quick jet-set to nearby Bangkok for the taste of food market specials, prepared by Thai-native chef-in-residence Piyawan (Kung) Ketkaew. Cuisine staples are mixed in with nostalgic flavours of Ketkaew’s own childhood, with dishes like Pad Thai, grilled chicken satay, Massaman Curry and Pad Kra Pow (wok-fried minced wagyu with holy basil, bird’s eye chilli and crispy Japanese fried egg). The menu rounds out with, of course, the perennial Thai dessert favourite: Khao Niaow Ma Muang (mango sticky rice).
Holt’s Cafe, Level Two, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon Hong Kong
If your midweek evenings are typically free, make sure you slot in La Paloma’s Wednesday Tapas Tour, scheduled to occur bi-weekly starting from 25 May (aka this Wednesday!). Chef-owner Alex Fargas is taking diners on a tasty tour through Spain, each week spotlighting a different region with eight dishes and a dessert. The journey begins at seafood-bounty Galicia, located at northwestern Spain with 400 kilometres of coastline, where waters are fresh with mussels, calms, cockles and scallops. Dishes to look out for include the regional Pulpo à la Gallega, with octopus, potatoes and paprika; Rubia Gallega, grass-fed beef with aromatic notes of butter, cheese and foie gras; and padron peppers, an enduring tapas favourite.
Wednesday Tapas Tour will continue though the regions of Catalonia and Madrid before ending in the Basque Country. In the Catalonia chapter, chef Fargas will be preparing family recipes of his own, namely hearty stews, while the Madrid edition will spotlight signatures of the region, like braised oxtail. Basque Country, located at the northern coast of Spain, will feature dishes with distinct Arabic influences, a reflection of the large populations of Arab Muslins that reside in the area. To accompany the experiential meal, a live flamenco performance by Esencia Flamenco will take place at 8:45pm.
La Paloma, 189 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 2291 6161
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