052017Jan

Korean Italian at Moyo

That’s right, imagine your favorite Korean dishes with an Italian influence. At MOYO, they are bringing people together within SoHo to enjoy these creations in an intimate environment on the streets of Aberdeen. Unlike its neighbors around the corner, this place was less about just getting sloshed and more about the quality eats… while you’re getting sloshed.  What can I say, they do have a good range of drinks here.

Inside this easily overlooked restaurant front, you’ll walk into the dining area with tables suitable for groups of two to four. There’s an area toward the back for larger groups, but for the most part this caters to smaller groups. There’s a bar, but again it’s not made for your company happy hour hangout. Not like that’s the atmosphere we wanted. We only wanted to eat.

Our server was great, taking our order and being attentive and all. But the awesome part was that, we were a group of three and it happens that the menu was made for binary groups. That was, things came in two. However, they decided to bring out dishes like the corn and the bruschetta in servings of three. How nice was that. Of course, pricing was adjusted accordingly, but it meant we didn’t have to double up on orders. That’s paying attention to your customers, right then and there.

Overall, it lives up to its reputation. There are times they’re taking big chances with the flavors that it’ll make you wonder if you are in fact eating at a Korean restaurant.

MOYO

36 Aberdeen St
Central, Hong Kong
+852 2858 2777
www.facebook.com/moyohongkong

Verdict: Interesting place to expand your Korean taste buds. If you’re looking for a change, give this place a try.

042017Jan

Kwan Kee Claypot

Walking along the streets of Sai Ting Pun, your eyes will be drawn to all the new buildings popping up. Some occupied by fancy restaurants others by Western hotel chains. If you happen to come by the glitzy Best Western, you might just notice people eating on the side street between the hotel and the neon lit McDonald’s. When you see that, you are in the presence of Kwan Kee Claypot Rice. An institution that’s been around for ages serving the classic claypot rice bowls.

What makes this place different from the ones over on Kowloon side of Hong Kong is the atmosphere. The people working here have a sense of humor. It’s not all about getting people in and out the fastest by streamlining the food prep. No, this place was sit down, joke with the host, order and wait for your food as it’s being prepared to order.

There was a wait for our claypots, but I didn’t mind at all after tasting the food. It was good! You can read about it more below.

Service wise, it’s typical local Hong Kong. That was, you’ll need to flag people down if you need anything. And don’t worry, they can speak English and have an English menu. They do get a fair number of tourists, but we did notice a good amount of locals. They’re the ones who make up most of the wait. Surprisingly not the tourists. I think it’s because Sai Ying Pun isn’t a tourist hot spot. Mainly a place to stay for most visitors, while Mong Kok attracts all the foreigners looking for that “local” vibe. Awesome. Stay over there while us local foodie explorers find gems like this.

Kwan Kee Claypot Rice

263 Queen’s Road West (entrance off Kwai Heung Street)
Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
+852 2803 7209

Verdict: Up for a little adventure into the local eating? This would be your introduction with its good food and foreigner friendly atmosphere.

022017Jan

Little Bao Lovin’

Thanks to Instagram I was drawn to Little Bao. At first it was for its desserts. These colorful bite sized ice cream sandwiches were all over my feed and people made them look so tempting. But once I looked further and did some reading, I had to check out their take on the gua bao, which looked more like a sandwich. But it still has that soft moist bun we all know and love. So this place warranted a visit.

You may get discouraged by the amount of people waiting to get in. Don’t be. It can move pretty fast. And if the wait is like an hour long, you can leave your number with the host and go get some drinks down the street. When seating comes available, they’ll call. In our case, they called us about thirty minutes earlier than they predicted. We still had more than half a beer left and needed to settle our bill before we could head over. I let them know it would be about five to ten minutes, and guess what, it was okay. They held our place until we arrived. Awesome!

Inside, it’s mainly counter seating. Don’t expect party sizes greater than four to be easy if at all possible. They don’t take reservations either. It’s first come first serve for seating and we got seated alongside the wall.

There are dishes for sharing which I do recommend doing. They explicitly state on the menu “no bao cutting” which is understandable. I’ll give you a bite, but no way am I sharing any more than that. =) You’ll know what I mean when you try them. And of course, you can always order more. Just make sure you leave room for dessert. We ordered a plate for sharing, a couple baos, and their lovely ice cream bao’s. The server timed everything well and made sure we were stuffed and done before handing us our bill. There was no rush, even with the hordes of people outside waiting to get a taste.

I should also add that I loved the vibe here. You can’t go wrong with old school hip hop setting the tone. And they were good smooth tracks that make me wonder if you can even call this a hipster hang out. I mean you got an old guy like me enjoying this place. Just sayin.

Little Bao

66 Staunton St
Central, Hong Kong
+852 2194 0202
little-bao.com

Verdict: This place is worth the wait. If not only for the food, but for its music.

032015Dec

Sushi Hiro

A friend once told me her favorite solo outing was going out and having sushi. I happen to agree. On my last day full day of Hong Kong I was alone. And while most think that’s unfortunate, I think it’s advantageous for securing a walk in seating at high demand sushi restaurants. Most of the time you’ll need a reservation. But as a party of one, all you need to do was to look for bar space. And that was the case at Sushi Hiro, a place upstairs from where we had lunch earlier in the week. One thing that I should mention was that it wasn’t easy finding a place with the party of one method. Although I started very early, at 5pm, I went to about 3 other places before deciding. And sure, I could have called, but I wanted to see the place, see the fish, and feel the ambiance.

Sushi Hiro’s sushi bar was very inviting. Two sushi chefs with a couple helpers stood behind the counter and the staff was attentive the whole time. Although the restaurant felt dark, I realized most of the lighting was illuminating the sushi bar while giving the private tables more intimacy. Of course, I took the bar and greeted the chef.

I took a deep breath and ordered the omakase set at $2800HKD.

Yes, this was expensive and I knew the price beforehand. But I wanted to experience and test what the locals say. “If you want good sushi, you might as well buy a ticket to Japan.” And sure, at these prices you might as well. Though it’s more than just finding the right fish. It’s about coming up with a good meal. Sushi Hiro does so with a huge selection of seafood sourced from Hokkaido. And by the end of the meal, I had sampled all of it and had to graciously turn down the chef for any more food. There were several memorable courses and I am happy to say, it was worth it. And that’s coming from a guy who frequents all the wonderful sushi places here in California. Sure, it’s a different style, but let’s focus on creativity over purists.

Sushi Hiro
42 Yun Ping Rd
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
+852 2882 8752
www.sushihiro.com.hk

Verdict: If you can overlook the price tag, try their omakase.

012015Dec

Hing Kee Claypot

For those not willing to wait in long lines, there’s Hing Kee. A place that will gladly take the impatient who wants to try the popular Temple Street claypot rice. Located right across the street from the obviously number one spot for claypot rice, it almost felt as though Hing Kee didn’t mind being second pick. With three of their restaurants located at the same corner, I don’t think they minded at all. Each place was filled and the street hosts were busy finding people seats. We were led up a narrow stairwell and seated in a noisy cramped corner. How befitting of a place to show our friend how locals eat along Temple Street.

It’s become a tourist attraction for people to experience. And that’s exactly what we did.

We had a Hong Kong friend order. So sorry for the lack of descriptions and prices. She ordered a lot. A sampling of the popular dishes and several sides. The food came out pretty quick and that’s because there’s more cooking that’s needed for the claypots. Something our friend showed had to show us before we jumped in to eat. This was not a good place when you’re starving. You’ll have to wait a little longer for the pots to cook. Thank goodness we brought some scotch.

Mix and match pots if you can. Don’t get too experimental on your first visit. This type of eating isn’t for everyone and there’s plenty more to eat around the area. So leave room in your stomach and make this more of a place to check out rather then a dinner, dinner place.

Hing Kee Claypot
15-19 Temple Street
Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong

Verdict: I can’t say the food was all that great, but it’s the experience that counts. One that requires at least a small group.

Scroll Up
 Previous  All works Next