Header image courtesy of Rosedale Hotels
Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful… The fire under the sizzling claypots, that is. Claypot rice is a local winter delicacy that we simply can’t get enough of, and since sharing is caring, we’ve rounded up the best spots in Hong Kong for you to tuck into some classic claypot rice.
Photo credits to @thewanderingchopsticks
1. Siu Wah Kitchen 紹華小廚
Siu Wah Kitchen’s owner and head chef Wah Gor made his name cooking up classics at the famous Sun Tsui Wah Claypot Rice Restaurant (gone but not forgotten). You can find 20 of those beloved varieties here, in addition to 10 of Wah Gor’s own unconventional ingredient mixes, such as Wild Mushrooms and Foie Gras, Thai-style Roasted Pork Neck, and Sichuan-style Mala Seafood. Wah Gor uses Thai rice as his base, and the rice is first soaked for an hour to cut down on the cooking time, then cooked on gas rings before the addition of a hearty amount of main ingredients, which is then finished off over charcoal. Don’t forget the soy sauce! The soy sauce at Siu Wah is specially mixed to be flavourful but not overpowering.
Siu Wah Kitchen, Shop CF3, Aldrich Bay Market Cooked Food Centre, 15 Aldrich Bay Road, Shau Kei Wan | (+852) 8199 8188
Photo credits to @button_life
2. Four Seasons 四季煲仔飯
As night falls and the cold winds sweep Temple Street Market, the streets come alive with the smell of charcoal grills. You’re spoiled for choice along Temple Street when it comes to claypot rice, but we recommend going to the OG: Four Seasons. Serving steaming hot pots to the people for over 30 years, Four Seasons maintains their authenticity by using traditional charcoal grills to cook their rice pots, and offering a strict menu of 30 local classics, such as Chicken and Chinese Sausage Rice. Make sure you order a side of Teochew-style Deep-Fried Oyster Omelette, which Four Seasons makes with flavourful duck eggs and fresh oysters. The long lines outside that start from as early as 6pm are a testament to the success of this decades-old restaurant.
Four Seasons, 46–58 Arthur Street, Yau Ma Tei
Photo credits to @ridahb
3. Kwan Kee 坤記小菜煲仔飯
We’ll start this off by telling you that you should probably make a reservation at Kwan Kee, especially if you’re headed to the original branch on Queen’s Road West. Helmed by Kwan Gor, who single-handedly looks after the 12 stovetops in the kitchen, Kwan Kee’s selection of 30 signature claypot rice dishes has earned them a Bib Gourmand distinction from the Michelin Guide.
Everything at Kwan Kee reflects Kwan Gor’s attention to detail, from the types of pots used (ceramic, which is more expensive but lasts longer) to the soy sauce (Kwan Gor insists on using Japanese Kikkoman soy sauce, which is then cooked down with ginger, scallions, and bone broth). Each claypot rice is made to order over the grill, but we promise the half-hour to one-hour wait is absolutely worth it when you uncover the pot and bask in the aromas and flavours that have really had time to develop. The crispy rice pieces at the bottom of the pot are on point here too.
Kwan Kee, Shop 1, G/F, Wo Yick Mansion, 263 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun | (+852) 2803 7209
243–245 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Wan | (+852) 2803 0215
Read more! We have a lot of fillings for these dumpling spots.
photo credits to @chococook
4. Wing Hop Sing 永合成馳名煲仔飯
Wing Hop Sing is the claypot rice spot for those who need to shake off the cold earlier in the day. Open from 7am to 4pm on weekdays, Wing Hop Sing has all your claypot standards available, but their standout signature is the Hand-chopped Beef and Egg Rice. This pot has an amazing medley of mouthfeel and a surprising amount of depth of flavour considering the simplicity. The hearty pot is cooked in a bread oven, which distributes heat more evenly and thus creates a simultaneously fluffier and crispier rice base, which is then topped with a hand-chopped and perfectly-sauced layer of beef. The egg is still raw when it arrives in front of you, and the sheer delight of mixing in the egg yolk and soy sauce with the beef and rice is enough to jumpstart your appetite (as if you weren’t starving already). Wash it all down with their Chinese soup of the day.
Wing Hop Sing, 360 Des Voeux Road West, Shek Tong Tsui | (+852) 2850 5723
Photo credits to @missfatsum
5. Sheung Hei 嚐囍煲仔小菜
Ask any Kennedy Town local for their claypot rice recommendation and they’ll more than likely point you in the direction of Sheung Hei. The owner Hong Gor is relatively young, but the quality of the claypot rice at Sheung Hei is up to par with his older counterparts, as working alongside him is a former chef of Kwan Kee. He was inspired to open his own claypot rice restaurant after living above the famous Kwan Kee, and now Sheung Hei has also been recognized by the Michelin Guide for a Bib Gourmand distinction.
The claypot rice dishes here do not have any MSG added, using a combo of pig fat and both old and new rice to inject flavour into the dishes instead. It probably helps that Hong Gor’s family works in the dried seafood and tonic food markets, so you can eat assured that the quality of ingredients like dried shrimp and preserved sausage is ace. The charred rice at the end here really hits the spot and makes those long waiting times totally worth it. Go for the classics here, like the Eel and Field Chicken combo or Preserved Sausage and Spare Ribs Rice.
Sheung Hei, 25 North Street, Sai Wan | (+852) 2819 6190
Photo credits to @datewivfood
6. Wing Kee 榮記茶餐室
Wing Kee is the place to go if you’re looking for a little creativity in your claypot rice dishes. Their claim to claypot fame is the “devilishly delicious” Cheesy Claypot Rice, available with your choice of chicken, beef, or even luncheon meat. This cheesy creation is a great marriage between Western ingredients and Asian techniques; the end result is an indulgent dish filled with corn, onion, tender meat, and two types of cheese, topped with deep-fried bacon bits.
Not a fan of the unusual? Wing Kee has found a way to spice up the classics too, with their Flaming Rose Beef Claypot Rice dish. For all intents and purposes, it’s still a simple pot of fatty beef chuck flap slices and rice, but here’s the kicker: the chuck slices are arranged into the petals of a rose, then set aflame when brought to the table, leaving behind the subtle flavours of rosewater essence and rum. Needless to say, the rice in this dish (and all their other claypot offerings) is crisped to perfection. Wing Kee has won the hearts of Tsz Wan Shan locals and beyond with their warm and welcoming service, as the business is run by the Li family and treats every guest as one of their own.
Wing Kee, Shop A & B, G/F, 12 Yuk Wah Crescent, Tsz Wan Shan | (+852) 2328 9232
Read more! Warm up at our favourite congee restaurants in town.
Photo credits to @anthony5222
7. Chan Hon Kee 陳漢記粥麵專家
Specializing in claypot rice and steamed rice noodle rolls (cheung fun), eager diners brave the cold and queue for dinner at Chan Hon Kee. Chan Hon Kee is a truly beloved joint in Tai Po, sating those late-night carb cravings since the 1990s. The semi-open kitchen allows diners a peek into the rows and rows of stoves burning away, and they boast a two-page menu of over 50 claypot rice dishes, the largest out of the restaurants mentioned here. The combinations you can order are endless, including standard field chicken (frog), ribs, chicken, beef, preserved fishes and meats, as well as your choice of egg or salted duck egg. We love how the house-made soy sauce here is infused with garlic oil, and the ridiculous amount of toppings they put in each pot.
Chan Hon Kee
, 91B Wan Tau Street, Tai Po | (+852) 6856 6044
Photo credits to @ken_pty
8. Chuen Moon Kee Restaurant 銓滿記餐廳小廚
Fans of seafood rejoice, as Chuen Moon Kee specialises in seafood claypot rice dishes. Sourcing the seafood fresh daily from the nearby Mong Kok wet market, chef-owner Chuen Gor takes pride in his pots. Chuen Gor has a unique way of preparing Chuen Moon Kee’s claypot rice dishes, utilising electric stovetops to cook the rice first, then finishing cooking by tilt-shifting it on a gas stove. The most impressive part about the dishes here is how the crispy rice crust at the bottom can be taken out in one intact piece at the end, which can apparently then be eaten as dessert.
All your favourite seafood dishes can be made claypot rice-style, including the classic Juicy Garlic Prawn and Vermicelli dish, with the vermicelli served on the side. The complimentary Chinese soups at Chuen Moon Kee are made according to a traditional Chinese doctor’s recipes, and are chock-full of Chinese medicinal herbs to boost your immune system in the cold weather.
Chuen Moon Kee Restaurant, G/F, Man Fok Building, 419 Reclamation Street, Mong Kok
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