TOP TABLES – AUTUMNAL BITES
There’s distinctly Italian flavour in this issue’s round-up of new top tables in Hong Kong.
Which one will be your new fave?
A NEW DIRECTION FOR THE PAWN
The Pawn officially closed its doors as a modern European concept and will re-open later in the year as a new Chinese restaurant and bar. Housed within an iconic four-story tenement dating back to 1888, The Pawn was once the living quarters of the Woo Cheong Pawn Shop. The Pawn’s owners, Classified Group, will pay homage to this unique piece of history by bringing forth a new concept that re-ignites the community’s love for Cantonese cuisine. Stay tuned for menu updates and the news at its website. thepawn.com.hk
Dish to try: the menu is yet to be confirmed, but we’re hopeful it will pay homage to good old Cantonese classics and do dim sum well.
SUSTAINABLE PATTIES AT BOY N BURGER
Packed with sustainably sourced, locally grown ingredients, Hong Kong has welcomed a new fast-casual burger experience, Boy n Burger, in Wan Chai. The brand’s menu of burgers features 20-day salt moss-aged grass and wild cereal grain-fed beef, which is antibiotic free. In a bid to make the fast-food model sustainable, not only are all its vegetables painstakingly sourced from local farms, but meat, seafood and dairy items are also entirely traceable. Serving up top quality between two buns, it serves British grass-fed beef burgers are alongside chicken, fish and vegetarian options. See page 102 to find out more. boynburger.com
Dish to try: The signature Bobby Burger; two hand-crafted beef patties and house sauce with pickles, onion, tomato and lettuce, all grown in Hong Kong.
A TASTE OF NAPOLI IN HONG KONG WITH CRUST SCIUSCIA
Tucked under the arches of iconic heritage building, the Woo Cheong Pawn Shop in Wanchai, Crust Sciuscia is the latest venture from southern Italian restaurant Crust Italian. Ok, we know it’s not strictly a restaurant, but this all-day takeaway counter offers an intriguing selection of traditional Neapolitan street food including spaguetto carbonara (eggs, pancetta & black pepper), fried baby sardines and pizza fritta (deep fried pizza), which are all rarely found outside of Italy.
Similar to the hole-in-the-wall eateries in the backstreets of Napoli, Crust Sciuscia serves its portable dishes casually wrapped in paper and is already proving a hit with those who don’t have time to pull up a stool for lunch. crustitalian.com.hk
Dish to try: It’s a toss-up between the pizza fritta and the fried baby sardines.
CROWNE PLAZA CAUSEWAY BAY OPENS GIACOMO
Crowne Plaza’s new Italian dining room, Giacomo, invites diners to embark on a Southern Italian gastronomic journey with dishes crafted and exquisitely plated by Michelin-star trained chef Keith Yam.
Standout dishes include marinated red prawn in Champagne tomato sauce with Oscietra caviar, and red prawn spaghetti chitarra with hand-made, square-shaped egg pasta. Similarly sublime is the Brittany blue lobster Sardinian gnocchi, and langoustine with matsutake mushroom and New Zealand langoustine. Meat signatures include Aveyron lamb saddle with winter black truffle sauce, while dessert specialties include peach sorbet and chocolate & hazelnut gelato topped with chocolate shortbread, tuille, custard, and hazelnut cremeux. cphongkong.com
Dish to try: Brittany Blue Lobster Sardinian Gnocchi twins the rare blue lobster of north-western France with traditional Sardinian gnocchi, made with seasonal sea urchin from Hokkaido.
A BRASSERIE MEETS A SPEAKEASY IN HONG KONG
If you love a good brasserie, then check out Margo, an intimate modern European dining concept by chef Mario Paecke, former chef de cuisine of SOMM and sous chef of two-Michelin-starred Amber in Hong Kong. Cocktail fans, meanwhile, should drop by Margo’s mezzanine level for a drink at American martini bar concept Kyle & Bain. Our mouth is literally watering reading the Margo menu: rainbow trout confit with German homestyle potato salad, and Ozaki rump steak frites, which features wagyu beef from a small farm in Japan’s Miyazaki prefecture. Signature cocktails at Kyle & Bain include the Spumoni, a blend of Campari, Grappa, Szechuan pepper, white balsamic, and Grecian grapefruit soda and the K&B Martini, created with the exact ingredients of 60ml Plymouth gin, 10ml Mancino Secco, 10ml Dolin Blanc, 10ml filtered water, a teaspoon of cider vinegar, and a squeeze of Amalfi lemon. margohk.com; kyleandbain.com
Dish to try: Gotta be the Ozaki rump steak frites, a solid rival to the many other steak frites options in the city.
TRANSFORMATIVE PLATES FROM RADICAL CHIC
In a city renowned for hosting the world’s most discerning palates, Italian fine dining venture Radical Chic is serving up some seriously progressive plates. Led by executive chef Andrea Tarini, the restaurant has an impressive location too, being situated on the 101/F of International Commerce Centre.
Radical Chic offers a six or eight-course degustation menu for dinner and a choice of four or five course lunch set every Tuesday-Sunday. It starts with Sicilia caponata, moving onto a raw fassona beef with grappa-infused pear and Piedmontese Toma cheese. Next up is frogs legs, which is followed by zucchini soup with squash flower, then risotto di mare or carbonara. Diners can then choose from Japanese Omi beef with BBQ sauce or grilled Japanese eel and wild celery before bowing out with a red cherry sorbet and tiramisu. With a limited capacity per evening, booking is reccommended. radicalchichk.com
Dish to try: The raw fassona beef is a dish you’re unlikely to find elsewhere in the city.