5 dishes we loved this week, from Osteria Marzia and more
Best Bites is a roundup of the standout dishes we’ve had over the past week: those that renewed our love for established places, caught our eye during a new opening, or freshly impressed us with creativity. and skills of Hong Kong’s talented chefs. From casual street snacks to meticulously curated tasting menus, these are the best dishes to try in Hong Kong, and the plates we recommend taking a special trip for.
The best dishes we dined and savored this week:
The dish: Cheddar & Jalapeño hot dog (HK$75)
Lifestyle Asia’s editorial board briefly considered a “Best Hot Dogs” category for the 2021 MMMs Awards, but at the time only a few options cut the mustard, so to speak. But I’m happy to report that the availability and variety of quality dogs has increased dramatically in all three territories of Hong Kong over the past year, and the latest addition to the pack is Mendel’s, where all those that you follow on Instagram are gone. over the past week and change.
Mendel’s is a love letter to New York’s cafes and delis, with everything from bagels, “All Chicken Matzo Ballin'” soup, and black-and-white photos of celebrities like Larry David and Drake ( “None of these folks ever ate at Mendel’s,” reads the wall. Anyway, back to the dog. What more can I say? Look at it. Cheddar. Jalapeno. Sauerkraut. Taste. And the perfect bite-to-snap ratio. Simple pleasures. Go to Mendel. — Nathan Erickson, Editor
Mendel’s Delicatessen, 66 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
The dish: Crab benedict, buttermilk biscuit, spinach, hollandaise sauce (HK$248)
Creature of habit with a dark and bitter end, I can’t escape an order of Eggs Benedict on any brunch menu. I could browse and consider – Percy’s Caviar & Creme Fraîche Soft Scramble appeared as an option – but when the waitress turns her gaze on me, the words that come out of my mouth on a Saturday/Sunday afternoon will undoubtedly rhyme with Schmeggs Menedict . I like what I like!
Percy’s contestant Benedict is luxurious. He says “No thanks!” with Canadian bacon and, instead, opts for a hearty and utterly decadent serving of meaty crab cake. And if you were expecting an English muffin, you’d be surprised with buttermilk cookie holders instead. (The ooey-gooey egg that cracks open at the slightest touch, remains, so no worries there.) Overall, it’s a rich, dense bite – there’s a reason it’s an egg serving as opposed to Benedict’s typical two-egg presentation – which carries all the comforts of a Dutch-style smothered bite, with just a touch of sneaky crab. You will need a nap after that. —Joey Wong, Editor
Percy’s, 18-18A Shelley Street, Mid Levels, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2898 2699
The dish: Polpo (248 HKD)
Rather than listen to yet another tale of their (you know this person) amazing, wonderful, fabulous trip to the Mediterranean – oh, the Windy Coast sunshine and fresh seafood – try it for yourself at Hong Kong’s coastal Italian destination, Osteria Marzia , where chef Luca Marinelli cooks deliciously flavorful cuisine that turns the darkest days of the week into a vacation.
Among the authentic dishes of fresh homemade pasta that, while simple, are undoubtedly sweet – get yourself a serving of his Bronte pistachio spaghetti – are chef Luca’s seasonal dishes of seafood reinvented in new inspired flavors, like Polpo. A superb presentation of charred octopus resting on a bed of rich zucchini cream, the smoky caramelized chew is complemented by sweet pecorino and the umami sweetness of the octopus reduction. There, a tour to tell stories about the bright and fresh flavors of Italy. Also, count this as a reminder to book that vacation! You need it. — Lorria Sahmet, editor
Osteria MarziaG/F, The Fleming, 41 Fleming Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 3607 2253
The dish: Du Du Purple Potato (31 HKD)
Is it just me, or has The Peak completely transformed? Admittedly, it’s been ten years since I’ve been there, but still. All the stores I remember are gone, replaced by new chic ones – like Nayuki, a Japanese-style tea-bakery-coffee shop from China.
Located on the ground floor of the Peak Galleria, Nayuki is hard to miss and grabs your attention from the start. Although the restaurant was closed, long lines snaked around the store with people ordering its specialty teas and pastries to take away. Not to miss it, I joined the queue and picked up one of its iconic – and super photogenic – baked goods, the beautifully named Purple Potato Du Du.
Now, I don’t really know the meaning of the name Du Du, but what I To do know is that if you are looking for a piece of bread or pastry, then Nayuki is here for you. Judging by its appearance, I expected Purple Potato Du Du to taste explicitly sweet, but no – it was just right. Apparently, Nayuki’s products are low in oil, sugar and salt with no added additives, a bonus on top of their Instagrammable looks. But the real question is, do they taste good?
Well, my friends, I’m happy to report that yes, the Du Du was Well. And even though it cost me $31, well, it was worth every dollar. Coated in a thin layer of sugar, dig inside the dough and you’ll find fluffy mochi, encased in a layer of sweet potato, encased in a layer of anko (sweet adzuki bean paste). All in all, a very substantial snack that didn’t feel too heavy and didn’t leave me sluggish for the rest of the afternoon. — Charmaine Ng, Editor
Nayuki, Boutique G08, G/F, The Peak Galleria, 118 Peak Road, The Peak, Hong Kong, +852 2386 6468
The treat: Umeboshi Up Gummy Candy (HK$19.9)
On every level but physical, I’m a Japanese resident, which means walking the crowded aisles of DON DON DONKI is the closest thing to the authentic Tokyo experience I could cling to (delusional? Yes.) . I know, it’s the first weekend since dinner returned to us, but I’ve never stood in line that long for something to eat, considering how strong the flow of customers from the discount store was.
So what’s the deal with Umeboshi Up? It introduces the sour and salty undertone of Japanese preserved plum to the chewy, gelatin-rich texture of gummy candies – one of the best combos in my book – to make a delicious treat that isn’t too sweet and will make you will make you want more. #umeboshi4lyfe. — Michelle Chan, Editor-in-Chief
DON DON DONKI (various locations)
(Lead and featured image: Black Sheep Restaurants)