Header image: Char sui from Fook Lam Moon
To welcome us to the Year of the Monkey, professional eater Fine Dining Explorer gives us a taste of two of his favourite Chinese restaurants in the gastronomic mecca that is Hong Kong.
Chinese cuisine is amazingly rich in its diversity and variety in terms of both ingredients and preparation. From dim sum lunches to hot pot dinners; from street side vendors to elaborate banquet tables; from simple snacks to regional classics – there’s always something to suit your mood. Even after completing The World's 50 Best Restaurants and visiting more than 80 Michelin three-star restaurants, I still have plenty of time for Chinese food!
Of course, a lot of cities have great Chinese restaurants but I’ll take just one – Hong Kong, often described as a gourmet paradise. The variety of food on offer is simply mind-boggling, so where should you go? Well, two places immediately spring to mind. If you’re looking to experience some of the best in Cantonese cooking while you’re in town, you could go to the iconic Fook Lam Moon; but if you fancy a quick and casual meal, you’ll love the world-famous roast goose at Yat Lok, one of the cheapest Michelin-starred eateries in the world.
Fook Lam Moon
53-59 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon +852 2366-0286
Home branch: Shop 3, G/F, 35-45 Johnston Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong +852 2866 0663
Founded in 1948, Fook Lam Moon has steadily built an excellent reputation for brilliant traditional Cantonese cooking, and is now one of Hong Kong's most iconic restaurants. Ranked No. 15 on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015 list, it serves among the best dim sum lunches in the city, along with a wide range of Cantonese roasted meat, such as char siu or roasted pork. If you want a lavish meal that includes some great Chinese delicacies, pre-order the double-boiled Bird's Nest in Whole Coconut.
G/F, 34-38 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong +852 2524 3882
Home branch: Block A, Po Wah Building, 5 Tai Ming Lane, Tai Po, NT +852 2656 4732
Yat Lok is a small but world-famous eatery, dedicated to a single dish: roast goose. This is a delicious blend of simplicity and complexity, served unaccompanied on a plain white plate. The marinade blends an incredible 38 (yes, 38!) ingredients, including dark soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, star anise and cloves. The skin’s so crispy it nearly shatters on biting, while the succulent meat beneath manages to be sweet yet salty at the same time. It’s like several dishes combined into a single, wondrous mouthful!