Ah, the humble potato. Boil them, mash them, stick them in a stew. There is no other food more closely tied to Ireland than this famous spud, and though potatoes didn’t reach the Emerald Isles until well after the missionary’s death, this St Patrick’s Day we’ve only got eyes on these best potato dishes in Hong Kong. There’s more to preparing potatoes than just fries (or chips… “potato, potahto”, right?), and from latkes to gnocchi, there’s bound to be a potato dish that’s a-peeling to you.
Memories of Hong Kong’s colonial past remain at The Chinnery, the Mandarin Oriental’s intimate lounge that serves up traditional British pub fare, as well as being home to one of the world’s largest collections of single malt whiskies. The Shepherd’s Pie ($318) is a must-order here, a hearty dish served in a cast-iron skillet with flavours that’ll transport you straight back to the UK. It’s topped with a rich creamed potato mashed with cheddar cheese, piped directly onto the piping hot stew underneath and perfectly browned under a broiler. There are heaps of great shepherd’s pie options around Hong Kong but The Chinnery’s is definitely a showstopper. Wash it all down with a cold beer in a silver tankard.
The Chinnery, 1/F, Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Road Central, Central | (+852) 2825 4009
The gratin dauphinois is a simple dish at its heart: layers of sliced potatoes baked in milk or cream. The Landmark Mandarin Oriental’s wino neo-bistro SOMM takes the gratin dauphinois to new heights with their Potato & Black Winter Truffle Gratin Dauphinois ($198). Starchy slices smothered in heavy cream baked until bubbling and blanketed with a very generous layer of winter black truffle make for the ultimate luxurious comfort food even when it’s not cold outside. It’s one of SOMM’s signatures for a reason, and be sure to ask for the perfect wine pairing for it.
SOMM, 7/F, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central | (+852) 2132 0055
Alvy’s classic yet creative pizzas always hit the spot, but did you know that they do a fantastic latke dish as well? Latkes are a thick potato pancake similar to a hash brown, typically associated with Hanukkah and originating from Eastern Europe as potatoes were a cheap staple. Alvy’s adds in their unique twist, paying homage to Hong Kong comfort food by adding charsiu pork to their latkes ($84) and covering them with a thick layer of tangy geung yeong (ginger paste with green onion, salt, and oil… an umami bomb and usually paired with chopped chicken at Cantonese barbecue restaurants) and balancing it out with a bed of sour cream and chives underneath. You won’t be satisfied with just one.
Alvy’s, 8 Holland Street, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2312 2996
Ivan the Kozak has been around for two decades, and it’s all thanks to their kitschy decor and homey Cossack cuisine. Here you’ll find the best pierogi (pirogi) in town, Eastern Europe’s answer to our favourite Chinese dumplings. Pierogis can be filled with all sorts, but the potato and mushroom pierogi ($88) at Ivan the Kozak is simply a standout. These moreish parcels are stuffed with mashed potatoes and mushrooms, then boiled in water and served with chopped parsley and sour cream for dipping. Best of all? No MSG is used in any of their dishes. Remember to make an advanced reservation!
Ivan the Kozak, 1/F Parekh House 63 Wyndham Street | (+852) 2851 1193
Modern Spanish restaurant La Rambla not only has stunning views of the Victoria Harbour but they’ve also got an abundance of potato-based dishes. Potatoes make up a huge part of Catalan cuisine, so it’s no surprise La Rambla does it well with fresh ingredients and lush updates. Their Patatas Bravas ($120) are little bombs of salty, spicy, deep-fried delight, perfect for happy hour drinks on the terrace. For two more filling options, their Tortilla de Patatas Cebolla y Jamon ($150) is a fluffy and flavourful fondant potato omelette with caramelised onions and pork butt ham, while their Ensaladilla Rusa with Bluefin tuna ($180) is a refreshing Japanese fusion take on the traditional potato salad, complete with nori & mustard mayo, piparras peppers & caviar oil.
La Rambla by Catalunya, 3071-73 Level 3, ifc mall, Central | (+852) 26611161
New Punjab Club is a boisterous tandoor grillhouse with zesty Punjabi cuisine, good vibes, and a Michelin star to boot (They were the world’s first Punjabi restaurant to receive a star). Sure, the tandoori here is phenomenal, but we’re talking potatoes here, so we’ve got to bring your attention to their Dum Aloo ($148). New Punjab Club uses Papa Coctel Peruvian potatoes in their Dum Aloo, and opts to deep fry them before being added to the fragrant tomato curry with green cardamom. This gives the potatoes a smooth melt in your mouth texture while still absorbing all the yummy gravy.
New Punjab Club, 34 Wyndham Street, Central | (+852) 2368 1223
The Localiiz team loves 208 Duecento Otto, a stone’s throw away from the office. We’ve always been big fans of their hazelnut and radicchio gnocchi, but their Gnocchi di Prezzemolo, Insalata di Cernia Arrosto e Capperi ($208) is just as, if not more, scrumptious. Gnocchi is one of those pastas that’s tricky to get right, but so worth it when the pillowy potato-based dough comes out fluffy. 208’s version is made with parsley in the dough, and paired with roasted grouper, fried capers and garlic. It may be served looking a bit petite, but we promise it’s filling.
208 Duecento Otto, 208 Hollywood Rd, Tai Ping Shan | (+852) 2549 0208
Dining at Ba Yi is like going home for dinner, with their heartwarming Xinjiang cuisine and cosy surroundings. Uyghur food is hard to come by in Hong Kong, and Ba Yi keeps our standards high. The focus at Ba Yi is lamb, but sometimes we just want something light and refreshing. Here’s where their fried sour and spicy shredded potato ($58) comes in. A simple and sour dish made from shredded potatoes, a couple shreds of bell pepper and a generous dosing of Sichuan peppercorns and vinegar, this potato dish is divinely orexigenic.
Ba Yi Restaurant, 43 Water Street, Sai Wan | (+852) 2484 9981
We’re going back to where it all began… Peru! The potato was first domesticated in the region of modern-day southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia by the Inca Indians between 8000 and 5000 BC, and it’s all been uphill from there. Chullschick is a splendid Peruvian restaurant that grills up a mean chicken and serves some excellent ceviche, but for a taste of authentic Peruvian street food, go for the Salchipapa ($68). Their Salchipapa is made up of Goldilockian (not too thick not too thin) fries, thinly sliced pan-fried beef sausages, and the creamy Chullschick special sauce. You’ll have to stop yourself from ordering seconds.
Chullschick, Shop D, G/F, 45-53A Graham Street, Soho, Central | (+852) 2668 3948