They gave us K-Pop, cutesy fashion, and shelves stacked with beauty products, and now they are filling our stomachs with their tantalising cuisine. Globetrotting food writer Holly Graham samples the delights of Korea one plate at a time at Hong Kong’s K-fusion restaurants.
Korean fusion is popping up everywhere in Hong Kong and as someone who lived in Seoul for two years, I have an insatiable appetite for Korean food. If I see something with kimchi in it, I have to try it, so I’ve been on a hunt to explore this growing trend.
Pronounced ‘Vacancy’, this restaurant is the brilliant new kid on the block swinging straight for the top spot. With great ambiance, friendly staff, fantastic food and innovative cocktails, VCNCY ticks all the boxes. The Kimchi Bloody Mary and Korean Rice Cake’n Cheese are not to be missed. Probably one of the only K-fusion establishments to satisfy my cravings so far. High quality, moreish and well executed dishes will ensure my residency at this joint.
Basement 41, Staunton Street, Central, (+852) 2608 1788
With a bright and modern interior, U-Hang has that hint of hipster flair, serving a creative cocktail list which boasts makgeolli (Korean rice wine) and soju based concoctions. The food is adequate and although their U-Hang Burger features a pork patty that’s a bit sparse in the seasoning department, the kimchi mayo gives it the kick it needs. Although I’m not in any rush to return here, they do have varied brunch, lunch and dinner menus on offer that might warrant a second visit.
58-60 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, (+852) 2549 6788
Edition is my new favourite bar and it’s my mission to become a regular here. With adventurous bar snacks, soju cocktails, shisha, and a long, cheap happy hour (Monday to Friday, 12-9pm, $8 skewers, and $38 drinks anyone?). You’ll need to get in this tiny bar early to find a seat and work your way through their sandwiches, sliders, and house infused sojus. Lots of their dishes, such as the Kimchi Fries, combine cheese and kimchi, which is always a winner in my K-fusion book.
37 Peel Street, Central, (+852) 2336 6695
Hanjan just doesn’t quite make the mark. The cocktails are small and overpriced and when I visited, they were sold out of their signature dish, the Kimato Cheese Ball, which I had been really looking forward to trying. Their Bulgogi Nachos consist of cheesy slop, disappointingly served on what are obviously Tangy Cheese Doritos. The Bolognaise Ricecake is enjoyable, but doesn’t make up for the overpriced disappointment of this place. The coverage and praise they have received is unwarranted!
G/F, 4-5 Wo On Lane, Central, (+852) 2408 6000
This brand new Korean drinking game themed bar in Lan Kwai Fong is a frustrating affair. After having our drinks order exasperatingly confused every time we attempted to place it, we then had to wait over 45 minutes for fried chicken and a kimchi pancake at K-Pocha. Their pancake is soggy and flavourless, but the chicken almost makes up for the shambolic and confused staff. You are probably best just sticking to their buy-one-get-one-free happy hour on house pours and beer (Monday to Friday, 6-9pm), and playing beer pong after work!
7/F, Ho Lee Commercial Building, 38-44 D’Aguilar Street, Central, (+852) 2770 0611
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Restaurant Review: Ore-no Kappou