5 Dishes We Loved This Week From Ho Lee Fook, Rollie & More
Best Bites is a roundup of the exceptional dishes we had over the past week: those that renewed our love for established places; caught our attention during a new opening; or freshly impressed by the creativity and skill of Hong Kong’s talented chefs. From casual street snacks to meticulously prepared tasting menus, these are the best dishes to try in Hong Kong, and the plates we recommend you make a trip special for.
Here are the best dishes we’ve dined and savored this week:
The dish: Gwei roll (HK $ 78)
A recurring theme that a few dedicated readers of the Best Bites and Best Sips columns here have picked up on is that I, dear reader, am junk! As such, when it comes to seafood, the only thing more appealing than opening up a buttery, juicy crab leg is peeling off the plastic around a big spear of the fake stuff. Pollock, crab with a “k”, imitation crab, whatever you call it – I don’t know what it’s made of, I don’t know where it came from, and I love the origins of “tuna” in a subway sandwich, I’d probably better not know. Where was i? Oh yes. Snow crab udon – made with real stuff – made Wil Fang’s latest opening, Rollie, a quick favorite for the “Best Noodle” category at the MMM Awards. But I would also like to extend a round of applause to the Rollie rolls, namely the “Gwei Roll”, which unites the crab stick with crab meat, crab roe, avo, cuke and the egg. Yes, it’s a California roll, because only this “Far East meets West Coast” sushi bar could do it. And I’m so glad they did. – Nathan Erickson, Editor-in-Chief
Rollie, G / F, 32 Cochrane St, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2845 9244
Ho Lee Fook
The dish: Chicken three yolks with crispy skin, sand ginger, spring onion sauce (HK $ 288)
Among Cantonese cuisine chicken dishes, crispy chicken probably ranks high on the list of favorites. It’s different from its soy sauce or its poached (white cut) counterparts which can be either too sassy or too bland – an experience dependent on changing appetites. But the crispy chicken, I would say, is actually a delicious and ingenious mix of the two. It is fragrant by its crispy exterior and very soft inside.
Chef ArChan Chan’s interpretation of the renewed Ho Lee Fook is a reconciliation with the original. It takes the very authentic form of a light, extremely thin skin that creaks and cracks against the tender, silky meat underneath. And maybe the best part about this dish, a spring onion sauce that tastes fresher than usual, lighter than usual, and tastier than usual. Magic! Chef Chan reveals the secret to being an added serving of fresh sand ginger, carefully mixed with finely chopped spring onions for a delicious condiment that held up – I admit I ate spoonfuls of the onion sauce new. Anyone who has a hint of doubt about this simple dish, thinking of exchanging it for something more unique and “special”, should be dismissed immediately. It’s unlike anything you’ve tasted in your local siu mei paralyze. And you’ll easily finish a single plate on your own – it was gone in seconds on our table. – Lorria Sahmet, editor
Ho Lee Fook, G / F, 1-5 Elgin Street, SoHo, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2810 0860
Hot Pot 18f
The dish: Chicken Hot Pot (price from HK $ 248 per person for set C)
When the weather gets a little bit, well, not dreadful – we’re in Hong Kong, after all. But when our four-day window of relatively cool temperatures rolls around, it’s best to believe I’m diving headfirst into the warmest, fluffiest receptacle I can find.
And at an informal Wednesday night hangout this week (Hi InÃ©s! I love you!), My face met the Chicken Hot Pot at 18f Hot Pot – and what an intro that was. For the uninitiated, Chicken Hot Pot, unlike a regular hot pot without a prefix, begins with a chicken stew. It’s tasty and spicy, served steaming in the hot pot-pot (which you’ll use later in the second act of a Chicken Hot Pot experience: regular hot pot) accompanied by chili and red onion rings and, stars of the show, chicken with the skin on. It’s the kind of dish that warms from the inside; the kind you’d want to dig in and get deliciously dirty fingers (and palms and maybe parts of your face too). And once it’s all gone (which at our table took just five minutes), you toss in the pot of soup sitting nicely at the end of your table and begin the fondue experience. Get the Australian Wagyu and Honeycomb Tofu. – Joey Wong, editor
Hot Pot 18f, 18 / F, Chong Hing Square, 593-601 Nathan Road, Mong Kok, Hong Kong, +852 2390 5390
MAJO Tapas Paella Bar
The dish: FideuÃ (HK $ 160)
No, it’s not a paella, even if it looks like it. Literally translated as’ large quantity of noodles’, fideuÃ originates from the coast of Valencia and is traditionally a seafood dish. True to its heritage, this version of MAJO is cooked with the seafood of the day – today ‘ with mussels, shrimp, clams and scallops – and topped with a tangy and deliciously delicious tomato sauce. I’m currently limiting my carb intake, so I took a meager serving to start, but that resolution ended very quickly after my first bite. Full of flavor and totally greedy, I took two more servings before I could really think about my expanding waistline. So, so dangerous. So, so delicious. Beware of dieters. – Sandra Kwong, features editor
MAJO Tapas Paella Bar, 22 Staunton Street, Central, Hong Kong +852 2529 3001
Cali-Mex Bar & Grill
The dish: Nachos (HK $ 148)
If you’re in the mood for Mexican food, nachos are a classic dish you’ll probably choose. Carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, sauces and the most essential part – cheese! Nachos has it all!
The grilled chicken was stacked on top of yellow corn chips, which also contained spicy onions and jalapeÃ±os, and then drizzled with ranch dressing. There were also vegetarian toppings. Topped with cheese, beans, guacamole, and salsa, nachos might look messy, but they’re so tasty you can’t resist just one bite. When you’re hungry for the right snack, even for your weekday dinner, there’s nothing tastier than a bowl of crispy nachos. – Jingchuan Zhang, writing intern
Cali-Mex Bar & Grill, 26 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2680 9083