Header image courtesy of Kikanbo
With typhoons and rainstorms lashing at us from all sides, Hongkongers would do well to stick to indoor activities this month. While you’re looking for foods to whet your appetite, why not check out some of the most exciting new restaurants and menus to be found in Hong Kong this August?
Inventive take on Vietnamese cuisine at pho.dle.bar
Pho lovers will want to dig their chopsticks into the new opening of pho.dle.bar in Elements. Combining classic Viet dishes like pho, bun, and rice paper rolls with modern, fusion ideas like Chilled Roasted Eggplant with Dill, Apple, and Peanut ($68) and Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork and Asian Slaw in Wheat Pancake Wrap and Hoisin Honey Sauce ($78).
Sate yourself with a zesty Lemongrass Beef Bun Cha ($82), a cold noodle dish complete with a sour and umami sauce of tamarind juice, fish sauce, and oyster sauce, and the irresistible Beef Short Rib Pho ($128), with a rich broth of diverse ingredients like star anise, cinnamon, and fructus tsaoko. Slurp up a belly-warming meal before heading off for a flick at the cinema!
pho.dle.bar, Shop 2132, ELEMENTS, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2196 8175
New build-your-own salad bar at MANA! Star Street
Hong Kong’s OG vegetarian and vegan eatery MANA! has bedecked their sparkling new Star Street branch with a build-your-own salad bar. Situated in the heart of Wan Chai’s working district with their roomiest location yet—there’s one whole corner dedicated to enlightening reads and a nook scattered with plump cushions and seating mats for an afternoon laze—workers in the area can rejoice in a lunch option packed with wholesome flavours and nutritious benefits. The custom salad bar is fully stocked with all of the health-boosting, nourishing ingredients that MANA! is known for, including crispy tempeh, alfalfa sprouts, grilled tofu, nutritional yeast, and must-haves like roasted cauliflower, portobello mushrooms, kale, and avocado, to name a few. Make it a full meal by adding on a side of soup, za’atar chips, or rainbow yams.
There’s also a new breakfast menu on the table for those in need of a quick bite before heading in to work, with delights like the Avocado Flatbread ($75), with mashed guacamole, mixed herbs, and za’atar sprinkled on their signature flats, or the Tahini Toasty ($65), an indulgently-sweet snack with tahini butter and organic maple syrup sandwiched in-between MANA!’s classic flatbread—almost like a dessert quesadilla.
As with all MANA! shops, no plastic containers or cutleries are used, and all plant-based and paper packaging are fully compostable, as are your leftovers. Ditch the unhealthy takeout you were eyeing and opt for a bit of green for your next lunch instead.
MANA! Star Street, 8–10 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai | (+852) 5501 7591
Tongue-numbing Sichuan delights at Chuan Palace
Spice up your life with MOKO’s newest addition, Chuan Palace. Prep your taste buds for a mala adventure with authentic Sichuan specialities and dim sum, courtesy of two master chefs with accumulated experience at Chinese behemoths San Xi Lou, Golden Valley, and Wing Lei Palace of Wynn Palace.
Famous Sichuan trademarks like Chilli-Poached Chicken in Sichuan Style ($388), Wok-Fried Mandarin Fish Roe in Sichuan Style ($198), and Deep-Fried Honeydew Milk ($178)—a rarity even amongst traditional restaurants on the Mainland—are the highlights of the menu, with dim sum delicacies like Steamed Beetroot Dumplings with Spicy Sauce ($38), Baked Taro Puffs with Scallops and Egg White ($38), and Steamed Green Tea Dumplings with Minced Pork ($38) holding up the rear. Fans of that signature mala experience won’t want to miss this.
Chuan Palace, Shop 501, MOKO, 193 Prince Edward Road West, Mong Kok | (+852) 2339 1900
Authentic Basque cuisine at Olé Spanish Restaurant
Leading the Spanish food scene in Hong Kong, Olé Spanish Restaurant has come up with an authentic Basque menu for the end of the summer. Led by head chef Antonio Martin and executive chef Jesus Pascual, the duo incorporate northern Spanish ingredients and cooking techniques to bring traditional flavours to life.
Start with the Finca Pascualete Mini Torta Cheese ($88), a creamy goat cheese starter paired with sweet tomato jelly on toast, and continue with bite-sized Burgos Blood & Rice Sausage ($120) for a true taste of classic northern Spanish flavours. For mains, the restaurant has prepared three different iterations designed around the humble cod for diners to choose from. Try the Codfish Tongue “Kokotxas” and Cockles ($210) in a herby parsley wine sauce if you like a tender fish dish. Not quite in the mood for seafood? Opt for the Pearl Chicken Breast ($235), stuffed with prunes for a refreshing twist.
Olé Spanish Restaurant, 1/F, Shun Ho Tower, 24–30 Ice House Street, Central | (+852) 2523-8624
Impossible Meat meets the Butchers Club
Plant-based wunderkind Impossible has joined the burger family at the Butchers Club, expanding the restaurant chain’s menu of alternative meats. Replete with vegan cheese, beetroot crisps, pickles, tomato, vegan burger sauce, and a juicy Impossible meat patty, the Impossible Classic Burger ($120) models itself after the Butchers Club’s best-selling Classic Burger ($100) and promises to be just as delicious.
If you want to grab a stand-out pic with your bun for the ‘gram, be sure to pop by the Butchers Club at K11 to catch a 3D floor painting of the revolutionary burger by Hong Kong artist Terena Wong until the end of the month. Don’t forget to tag your picture with the eye-popping artwork with #TheButchersClub and #ImpossibleBurger for a chance to win an Impossible Classic Slider!
Japan’s spiciest miso ramen at Kikanbo
Arriving fresh off the boat to Causeway Bay this August, Japan’s famed ramen restaurant, Kikanbo, is here to spice up your summer. Famed for its original “double soup” recipe that takes a total of eight hours to make, all broth bases at Kikanbo are made from a mixture of pork bones, chicken carcass, vegetables, and seafood. Add that to a fiery pit of hot spices and you’ve got yourself a bowl of the restaurant’s infamous Karashibi Miso Spicy Ramen.
Diners can choose from five different levels of spiciness and numbness, starting from the lowest (with no spices at all) to ONI, the maximum level of spiciness. Opting for no spices will get you a piping hot bowl of ramen in its “double soup”, mixed with a homemade miso. For ONI level—allow us to first give you a round of applause—this insanely spicy ramen dish will challenge your tastebuds to the extreme with none other than the world’s hottest chilli, the Carolina Reaper. Those who are able to finish theirs can receive an ONI candy to commemorate your defeat of the almighty ONI ramen!
There are eight types of ramen offerings that come with various toppings, including bean sprouts, baby corn, onsen tamago, and coriander. In addition, you can also add on side dishes, such as the sweet, flavourful pork belly rice. It is very common in Japan for people to add a side of rice into their ramen broth after they’re finished with the noodles. Not only will your belly feel fully satisfied, but you get to savour every last bit of your dish, too!
Kikanbo, G/F, 530 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay
Refined Western-Asian fusion at Infinity
Equipped with a colourful resume that boasts established restaurants like Cucina and Gough’s on Gough—as well as a stint at Gaggan in Bangkok!—Chef Louis Tam is no stranger to pushing boundaries. His latest pop-up, Infinity at Taste Kitchen PMQ, is the perfect playground for diners to experience his thoughtful and inspired molecular gastronomy. We recommend the 10-Course Tasting Menu ($588) for dinner; sink your teeth into dishes like the adorable, mushroom-shaped Italian Wild Mushroom Brioche, a beautiful yin yang-pleated Black & White Sesame Dumpling filled with Berkshire pork, a moreish Miyazaki Wagyu A4 on Charcoal Cassava, and the gooey Tainan No. 9 Peanut Choux.
Think of Infinity as an entry-level Tate Dining Room & Bar, with equally big ideas and a wholly unique dining experience to be had at a fraction of the price. The pop-up runs until August 11 and is well worth a visit while rising star Chef Louis is still exploring and experimenting with his culinary style.
Infinity at PMQ Taste Kitchen, H113–H114, 1/F, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central | (+852) 6532 6528
Limited-edition wagyu ramen at IPPUDO
Ramen favourites IPPUDO are celebrating their eighth anniversary in Hong Kong with a seriously delicious noodle creation. This summer, cool off from the scorching heat with a wholesome celebration of Fukuoka’s “yatai” culture in the form of a heavenly Wagyu Ramen Set ($148), complete with a Mini Wagyu Don and a thirst-quenching Kirin Ichiban Yuzu Beer. Dig into a hearty broth infused with umami beef and dried fish, topped with firm ramen noodles and melt-in-your-mouth wagyu. Next, move on to juicy grilled wagyu cubes with a garlicky homemade sauce and pearl rice, and wash it all down with a zesty Kirin Ichiban brew. Kanpai!
IPPUDO, locations vary
Read more! How many of these nostalgic Hong Kong sweets have you tried?
Maxim’s presents classic Cantonese dim sum and dishes
Ever wanted to go back to the mid-20th century to get a taste of authentic, old Hong Kong dishes? Here’s your chance at Maxim’s Chinese Cuisine. Their brand-new Classic Cantonese Dim Sum and Dishes menu features over 20 kinds of old Hong Kong dishes, such as Crispy Tea-Smoked Chicken, melt-in-your-mouth Deep-Fried Goose Liver Custard with Pickled Ginger and juicy Deep-Fried Crab Claw. End the meal with a sweet treat and dig into a portion or two of the Deep-Fried Egg Puff or the Baked Mashed Lotus Seed and Preserved Egg Pastries for some flakey, buttery goodness.
Maxim’s Chinese Cuisine, locations vary
New summer dishes and cocktails at Zuma
Hit up beloved Japanese izakaya Zuma this summer for toothsome cool-down treats to beat the heat. We’re tantalising our taste buds with traditional cold dishes like Chilled Somen Noodles with Sea Urchin, Grated Ginger, and Wasabi ($280) and a fresh Tomato Salad with Roasted Eggplant and Ginger Dressing ($120) grilled on binchotan charcoal, and wrapping up with a tropical Roasted Pineapple and Lychee Sundae with Crumble and Coconut Ice Cream ($138). Pair it off with a fruity Big Apple Berry ($120) that combines raspberries, blackberries, lime, apple, vanilla, and Ketel One vodka and we’re closer than ever to our next beachside holiday. Want to combine dessert and tipple? Check out Fujisan ($120), a delightful fusion of Bulleit bourbon, Fuji apple, sherry caramel, and lemon atop icy kakigōri.
Zuma, Landmark Level 5 & 6, 15 Queen’s Road Central Hong Kong | (+852) 3657 6388
Originally published on August 1, 2019. Updated on August 16, 2019.
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