Header image courtesy of Henry
Now that temperatures are dropping, we’re ready for the richer, more full-bodied flavours that the colder months bring. Fortuitously, Hong Kong has recently seen an uptick in restaurants serving smoked and cured dishes—perhaps not quite enough to warrant a full-blown trend, but certainly enough for us to sit up and take notice. From casual neighbourhood joints serving takeaway platters to proper sit-down affairs with dress codes and glass display cases, here are our favourite smokehouse restaurants in Hong Kong right now.
Founded by the team behind Francis, this cosy Wan Chai restaurant has the same unpretentious ambience as its sister restaurant, but swaps the Middle Eastern meze for Southern-style smoked and grilled meats—in fact, the restaurant name is derived from Southern slang for the charred exterior of barbecued pork shoulder. Fittingly, the fork-tender pork ribs ($160) with black garlic and apple glaze are a signature, though you shouldn’t leave before trying the whipped smoked mackerel ($90), which comes topped with salmon roe and a side of homemade pretzel bread.
Mr Brown, 9 Ship Street, Wan Chai | (+852) 3101 1081
Long before the smokehouse trend came along, Crft Pit was quietly doing its thing out in Ap Lei Chau—which, for the record, is smoking premium ingredients for wholesale and retail. While you can taste their homemade barbecue at the Ap Lei Chau tasting room, it’s by appointment only—which is why we were so pleased to hear that Crft Pit is partnering with Honbo to offer a concise menu of Texas-style barbecue dishes from its Basehall location, including St Louis ribs ($258), pulled pork & DBL smoked bacon ($148), and the signature seven-ounce beef brisket ($222).
Crft Pit, Unit 2, 3/F, Harbour Industrial Centre, 10 Lee Hing Street, Ap Lei Chau
Honbo, Basehall, Shop 1, B/F, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place Central, Central | (+852) 3643 0865
Not to be confused with the extremely similarly-named Smoke & Barrels, this Southern smokehouse from the team behind Kinship uses an imported hickory wood-fired smoker, affectionately nicknamed “The Beast,” to make its authentic Texan barbecue. Everything is cooked slow-and-low, just as it should be—resulting in meat that’s thoroughly charred on the outside and fall-off-the-bone-tender on the inside. Wash your hands and get stuck in with the cider-glazed baby back ribs (starting from $208), or go for the smoked all-American brisket (starting from $108) for a taste of authentic Americana.
Smoke & Barrel, 32 Wyndham Street, Central | (+852) 2866 2120
Thought five-star hotel dining was all tasting menus and fish forks? Henry is here to prove you wrong—headed up by chef Nate Green of Rhoda fame, this smokehouse, grill, and butcher at the Rosewood Hong Kong treats Texan barbecue with the kind of reverence typically reserved for haute cuisine. Admire the cuts being cured in the impressive meat lockers as you enter and take in the scent of the charcoal grill; just don’t forget to try the cold-smoked steak tartare ($218) or BBQ plate (starting from $248) of brisket, pork belly, and andouille sausage.
Henry, 5/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 3891 8732
Opened by the team behind Cupping Room and Doubleshot, this dinky little New Orleans-style smokehouse and barbecue restaurant on Graham Street has an open kitchen so you can watch your signature hot brisket bun ($118) and spice-rubbed brisket & ribs ($328) being prepared right before your eyes. Seating is limited to just 10 spots though, so it’s best to come early if you want to dine-in. Alternatively, you can order their fresh food—we like the pastrami & swiss sandwich ($128)—to go and grab an extra packet of house-smoked pastrami ($78) for the road.
Smoke & Barrels, Shop 3, LG/F, My Central, 23 Graham Street, Central | (+852) 9612 0988
Opened by the same team behind modern Australian restaurant Hue and French bistro District 8, this casual Cali-inspired neighbourhood eatery takes a different tack towards barbecue to most of the restaurants on this list. Instead of Texas-style fall-off-the-bone ribs, the hickory-smoked ribs ($250) here are prepared Memphis-style—meaning that they are dry-rubbed with spices and served with a light coating of tangy (not sweet) barbecue sauce. If you’re in the mood for poultry, there’s also the smoked half chicken ($240), which is brined for 12 hours to ensure that it’s still moist and juicy when served.
Big Sur, 22 Staunton Street, Central | (+852) 2529 3001