Best Bites is a roundup of the outstanding dishes we had within the last week: Those which renewed our love for established venues, caught our attention at a new opening, or freshly impressed upon us 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’d recommend you make a special trip for.
The dish: Home-akase Set (HK$1600)
If you’re like me and miss going for Omakases, worry not — RŌNIN will satisfy your needs. Though the experience is not the same as sitting at the sushi bar, its home-akase set offers fresh daily selects that’ll leave you wanting more, all in the comfort of your home. A set curated for two people includes a selection of seasonal sashimi and sushi, flower crab, uni, fish maki roll, grilled and fried seasonal fish, vegetables, unagi chirashi and kinom. Each dish is fresh and it’s all packaged up nicely to help elevate the experience. — Austin Miao, Branded Content Manager
Order here — a set is only available for pick up and delivery, with an additional HK$100 delivery fee.
RŌNIN, Ground Floor, 8 On Wo Lane, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2547 5263
The dish: Leftover Bolognese Jaffle (HK$65)
When Becky from Shady Acres told me they were adding a jaffle to the menu, I only had one question: What the hell is a jaffle? You may be wondering the same, so, first, a quick history lesson. In 1949, an Aussie bloke from Bondi by the name of Smithers patented the “Jaffle Iron”, a long-handled device that smooshes two pieces of bread together over heat and seals the ingredients inside in a warm, gooey package — like a Hot Pocket, but better. In 2022, that gooey goodness has come to Peel Street. And with house bolognese sizzling between crispy, golden edges, good luck resisting seconds. Fortunately, they travel well, so I say make it one for Shady, and one more for the road. — Nathan Erickson, Editor-in-Chief
Shady Acres, Ground Floor, 46 Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong
Preface Coffee & Wine
The dish: Pork Burger (HK$88)
My turn for a burger bite this week! Don’t hate on the burger recs — they’re just so easy to have; I’ve indulged in endless Fish Fillets since this work from home thing began. But between that delicious bite of a fluffy bun and flaky fish, I enjoyed a simple burger from Preface Coffee & Wine one Thursday afternoon of classic ground meat. While on paper it had all the usual accoutrements for a well-thought-out, balanced bite — the brioche bun, the smashed (well-seasoned!) patty, the melty cheese and the fresh lettuce and tomatoes — this one actually wedges a homemade pork patty in-between. It’s seared with a nice, crackly crust and a mild savouriness that doesn’t make you instantly gulp down a glass of water after finishing up the last bite. And somehow, as though magic, the bun stayed toasty and the veg stayed crispy even after it endured the very long journey over to my Kowloon-side address. Like I said, magic! — Lorria Sahmet, Editor
Preface Coffee & Wine, various locations including G/F, 11 Sharp Street East, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
The Southside Pizza Co.
The dish: Lemon and Herb Couscous Salad (HK$84)
I am my mother’s child, which means I’m duty-bound (duty-bred) to find something vegetable-adjacent on any given menu. The Southside Pizza Co. has really, really excellent pizzas — their Pepperoni pie with extra sauce? Sublime. — but I’ve now ordered this Lemon and Herb Couscous Salad twice in the past week, and the portion size lasts me at least two meals, so I’ve had this salad for three, going on four, meals within the past seven days. And I’m still salivating for more.
The construction itself is simple. Grilled veggies (zucchini, eggplant, red onions, peppers, mainly), sun-dried tomatoes and chunks of goat cheese rest atop a bed of couscous, with a lemony vinaigrette all bright and acidic on the side for you to drizzle to your own taste. All together: magic. So many different textures and sizes to every single bite. Or, which is also very likely, I might just have a thing for couscous.
To top off the perfect pies and perfect sides, The Southside Pizza Co. was created mid-pandemic to employ furloughed and unemployed hospitality professionals and have since partnered with Impact Hong Kong to provide jobs for the homeless. So, please support, if you can. I heard they have good cheesecake, too. — Joey Wong, Editor
The Southside Pizza Co. is a delivery-only pizzeria and currently accepts online orders for the Wong Chuk Hang and South Horizons area on their website. Check to see if you’re in their Deliveroo and Foodpanda vicinity.
The dish: Spicy Chicken Burger (HK$108)
Despite the rare opportunity for me to have every item at a restaurant (because it’s all halal!), I always come back to the spicy chicken burger at Burger Circus — the only chicken burger offering on the menu. What can I say? It’s just a good flavourful chicken sandwich with that nice spicy kick: brined chicken breast with jack cheese, jalapeño, and chipotle ranch dressing. Pair it with a milkshake of your choice (powered by the gelato great Messina) and it’s a guaranteed comfort meal. Note: It’s a little squished in this photo due to being transported around, but still made for a good bite! — Sakina Abidi, Editorial Assistant
Burger Circus, 22 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2878 7787
The dish: Fresh Baked Madeleines (HK$120)
It is officially my birthday weekend and with this two per table restriction, birthday plans this year have gotten a little sad, to be frank. Thankfully, restaurants are still open and good food is my primary source of happiness. While a 4-inch cake is still a little too much for two people, I have gone to find birthday cake alternatives. This freshly baked madeleine is a cloud in dessert form. One bite in and it melts in your mouth. Such softness, lightness and the right amount of sweetness blend together in this warm pastry that instantly softens up your world. A pandemic birthday doesn’t seem too bad after all, as long as you’ve got a delicious treat. — Leanne Lam, Social Media Manager
Bâtard, Shop E, 165-166 Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 2318 1802