Eating and Shopping in Hong Kong

What a trip! We ate, we shopped (well, actually S shopped), and we ate some more. Truth be told, I took very, very few photographs. Right before we left for the airport, I decided to ditch my Nikon and only bring along my little pocket-sized Contax. S, ever-annoyed when I whip out a large professional-looking camera in civilized spaces, was pleased with the decision. (Pleasing one’s wife, of course, is the only proper way to begin a vacation together.) Which means that although we had great meal after great meal, I had only a couple of usable shots to post, and I’ve decided to just use two.

We landed in HK with just enough time to check into our hotel, quickly change into some respectable clothes and rush to meet some friends for lunch at JW’s California at the JW Marriott. S and I shared a couple of modern sushi rolls to start (roast duck and lobster tempura) while I had a lobster, corn and chorizo risotto for my main. While my risotto was good, S’s main course was great, a wonderfully cooked and beautifully marbled char-grilled wagyu steak. We spent the afternoon resting (well, okay, we also checked out the hotel’s ultra-swish spa and had a treatment each). That night, we had dinner at one of our favorite, must-eat places, Shui Hu Ju. Located at the top of an annoying steep cobblestone street in SoHo (South of Hollywood Road), this tiny, dimly lit restaurant serves up phenomenal Northern Chinese food. I’m totally addicted to their crispy mutton, which we ordered along with stewed pork hock, scallops in sweet and garlic sauce, some fried seasonal green vegetables (S insisted), and rice noodles with salted duck egg yolks.

Friday, we went shopping–well, actually, we went shopping everyday, but we started shopping in earnest on Friday. S made her annual pilgrimage to Manolo Blahnik, which, like the rest of HK’s shops, was (thankfully) on sale. After a bit of heavily discounted retail therapy in Central, we walked up to Yung Kee because I wanted S to try its amazing roast goose. Yung Kee–thanks to this goose (pictured above)–may just be HK’s most famous restaurant. We had the goose, an order of roast pork, some scrambled eggs with XO sauce (yum), and (of course) more green vegetables. After lunch, we shopped a bit more and then went to visit a friend, fashion designer Barney Cheng, at his atelier. Barney later joined us and 3 other friends for dinner that night at Xi Yan, a renowned “speakeasy” restaurant owned by one of Barney’s friends, an ex-ad-man turned chef named Jacky Yu. Xi Yan, hidden on the 3rd floor of a commercial building in Wan Chai, is tiny. To book a table, you need at least 6 people in your group. There’s also no menu. You eat whatever Jacky feels like cooking, which on the night we were there was an amazing 12 courses.

We had steamed lobster with lime sauce and chili sauce, silken tofu with sea urchin (pictured above), momotaro tomatoes with sesame sauce, cassia smoked duck eggs with abalone and ikura, braised beef with chili and preserved orange peel, “saliva chicken” (white cooked chicken with century egg, peanuts, dough sheets and a spicy sauce), crab with glutinous rice, salted guava and apples served with sour plum, deep-fried garoupa with pomelo and nashi, chicken soup with fresh ginseng and wolf berries, dragon beard vegetables with dried shrimp and chicken stock, and finally jasmine tea ice cream and kumquat honey. Suffice it to say that I almost died from over-eating, but boy was it good. We also found out that Jacky will be opening a branch in Singapore in October, and while I can’t wait, I hope he allows us to order either a la carte or offers options with fewer courses. I don’t know if I could eat another one of his 12 course extravaganzas for a while.

On Saturday, I brought S to a restaurant I used to love when I lived in HK back in 1996-1997, Mozart Stubn, which (no surprise) specializes in Austrian food. After a relatively light lunch, we checked out the new IFC mall. I was especially impressed with the Lane Crawford there, not just because it had a great range of brands but because spread out throughout the store were some pretty amazing installations by various HK-based contemporary artists. It was really nice to see such support for visual artists. Later that evening, S and I met up with another friend for dinner at HK’s hottest new restaurant, Opia, located in the Jia Hotel. Created by Aussie celeb chef Teage Ezard, this modern Asian-Australian is, without exaggerating, awesome. We had what may be one of the best meals in recent memory that night. We started the night with oyster shooters. I had a gratin of potato gnocchi with sliced pear, walnuts and tallegio followed by a crispy skinned pork hock with a caramel chili sauce. S had a pork belly salad followed by lamb chops in sumac and raspberry sauce with goat cheese and dill. While I was too full for dessert, S devoured an order of honeycrunch ice cream.

Sunday, we had another treat. We accepted an extremely generous and kind offer to have lunch at Gaddi’s, the formal French restaurant at the Peninsula Hotel. Their newish (about 6 months now) chef, David Goodridge, has worked at La Maison Troisgros, Restaurant Pierre Gagnaire, La Cote D’or, and most recently at Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons in Oxford. So, as you can imagine, we were pretty excited. We had a fabulous 6 course lunch (which Chef David called, “light”). We started with an amuse-bouche of foie gras with mango chutney and toasted brioche; followed by marinated then slow-cooked Scottish salmon with horseradish sauce, cucumber, cucumber jelly and osetra caviar; pan-fried scallops, deep-fried frog’s legs with peas and a shallot cream; lamb loin with parmesan gnocchi and truffle mash; peach jelly and Champagne ice cream; and a trio of chocolate–white chocolate mousse, milk chocolate parfait, and dark chocolate tart. For me, the scallops and frog’s legs were the stand-outs in an all around impressive display of culinary artistry.

Sunday afternoon, we first went to Space, a Prada and Miu Miu outlet in Ap Lei Chau, and then spent the rest of the day walking around Causeway Bay. Dinner was a really good but casual meal at a lively joint packed with young people, just steps from the entrance of G.O.D., called Red Ant restaurant. We shared a baked rice with ox tongue and cheese cream sauce, a spaghetti with minced pork, sautéed eggplant and crab paste, and a roast duck and scallion pancake.

Phew! Like I said at the start, we ate, shopped, and ate some more. I think I need to go on a detox diet to recover from my trips to both Taipei and Hong Kong. (Of course, I’ll probably get over that thought by tomorrow.)

Shui Hu Ju, tel: +852 2869 6927
Yung Kee, tel: +852 2522 1624
Xi Yan, tel: +852 9020 9196
Opia, tel: +852 3196 9000
Gaddi’s, tel: +852 2315 3171

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his two kids!


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  1. lil 9 August 2005

    welcome back!

    hahaha… sounds a bit like my cousins, disapproving whenever i whipped out my camera and it’s only a baby one (ixus i previously, now ixus 700) when we’re out eating…

    you’re definitely making me very hungry right now and it’s another 3 hours before dinner! still at work so guess i’ll just munch on choccie bar for now as poor substitute…

  2. keiko 10 August 2005

    I’m so jealous you go everywhere… look at the piled up Uni!

  3. S 10 August 2005

    CH forgot to mention my other favourite must-stop: Citysuper. The variety of gastronomic goodies at this supermarket always leaves me feeling a little light-headed. Picked up our in-flight snack of goose rillete, pave d’Affinois, bread and Japanese apple juice here. Check it out at Times Square and IFC.

  4. Anonymous 10 August 2005

    CH: You appear to eat a lot of unhealthy dishes, indeed. Though they do look delectable. Is your cholesterol level OK?

  5. Cindy Fredericka 10 August 2005

    Glad U guys had a great time. Oh…yes the ever so famous Yung Kee’s roast goose, which some people even pack it & hand-carry back to S’pore.
    Gee…CH, U indeed haf a love for Meat indeed. Ha! No wonder S, had to insist on ‘Greens’. I love the greens in HK.De veg is so fresh & sweet unlike those we get in S’pore.
    Thks 4 all de recommendations.I’ll ask my fren to check out de food when she goes on 26 Aug 05.

  6. gwenda 10 August 2005

    man, reading yr posts always make me hungry, and veryvery envious. you’re so blessed to be able to travel and eat so well!

  7. cin 10 August 2005

    I only got to spend one night and one day (with lots of eating) in HK on the way through, but now I definitely want to go back…right now. Thanks for the tips!

  8. pseudo chef 11 August 2005

    This entry makes me want to visit HK again.

  9. Chubby Hubby 11 August 2005

    lil: Thanks. Yah, I’ve learnt to really only use the D-SLR when shooting at home.

    keiko: The uni was fabulous… super-fresh and one of the first times I’ve really loved it.

    anon: Nope, it’s pretty normal, thanks to all the fruit juice and veggies that S forces me to consume 😉

    cindy: Sadly, the Yung Kee take-away shop in the airport is no longer there (or at least I couldn’t find it). Hope your friend has a great trip.

    gwenda: Hey, I’d love to be in Sydney!

    cin: You must stay for longer. One other thing that HK is great for, and few tourists do, is hiking. Go during the cooler months. Eat, shop, and hike!

    psuedo: Cheers!

  10. joone! 11 August 2005

    *scribbles notes* I’ll probably be going to HK soon! Sounds like a fantastic trip!

  11. cour marly 12 August 2005

    Oooh, I love CitySuper. So many things to buy. I’ll be heading to Hong Kong in a month and can’t wait to indulge. HKG brings out the glutton and the shopaholic in me.

    As for Yung Kee’s roast goose – you can buy it from the outlet itself, prepacked in a box and carrier all nice a pretty for the plane. It’s called the Flying Roast Goose – 360HKD.

  12. beAr 12 August 2005

    i have a question:

    how much should one expect to spend at opia? i’m leaving for hk/shanghai in a week’s time, and am hoping to indulge in some quality nosh =)

    will definitely stop by citysuper as well; it sounds like a glutton’s dream!

  13. Chubby Hubby 12 August 2005

    Joone: Was a great trip. Hope you have a good one as well.

    Marly: Yah, thanks. Bit of a pain though to go to Central, pick it up and then rush to the airport express. I did, however, see a couple of fellow passengers carrying them.

    bear: I have to admit my friend hosted us for dinner, but the average dinner is probably around Hk$500 a head.

  14. HK Foodie 12 August 2005

    Yes, the crispy mutton at Shui Hu Ju is definitely the best dish (and I don’t even like lamb!)…however I find the food generally on the pricey side for what you are getting…although the branch at One Peking Road (called Hutong) is worth going just for the view.

  15. Chubby Hubby 12 August 2005

    hk foodie: I totally agree. Very pricey. Dinner for the two of us was around HK$900. Hutong is beautiful but we kind of like the intimacy of Shui Hu Ju. 🙂

  16. beAr 13 August 2005

    thanks for the heads up!

  17. mong29 30 August 2005

    I enjoyed reading your entry on HK’s food.. must say you really have done well on all the places. Imagine me staying here for 2 yrs and still have not tried many of the places you mentioned.

  18. boon 25 September 2005

    stumbled upon your web site while searching for xi yan’s singapore telephone. Would you know the number? 🙂

    And your photos look so delicious.. i just had lunch but feeling hungry already..

  19. S 16 November 2005

    Hi Boon,

    The address and phone number of the Singapore branch of Xi Yan:
    38A Craig Road, 6220-3546

  20. Jenni Eade 11 July 2007

    hi there,
    i was just wondering about the manolo blahniks shops in hong kong. im planing a trip to Hong Kong and would appreciate info on shopping. regards jenni

  21. S 12 July 2007

    Dear Jenni

    The big one is at The Landmark and there’s another one at The Peninsula

  22. Fatt Weng 12 November 2008

    Hey Aun, been a long time since I visited Chubbyhubby, now I am addicted! Won’t travel anywhere without surfing by

  23. ambien 20 August 2009

    aye you ate damn a lot leh…i feel full already hehe…i cant wait to go HK!

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