Hey y’all. Instead of being apologetic about why I don’t post that often, I’m just going to write. I’ve never done this before, but people – you ask me so much about food that I think I’ve just got to do these once in a while. If you follow me on socials, you know #helloabellaeats is where you get the good stuff, but this annual roundup I think would be a great way to bring the year to a close and also let you know when + where to go!
Mind you, I’m doing this on the fly, so just bear with me if you think something’s missing. Leave a comment instead! Also, everyone’s taste is different, so if you don’t agree, just agree to disagree. x (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER… HERE WE GO, best restaurants in HK 2016!)
P.S. All photos MINE.
Best hot pot when you’re balling: Drunken Pot
Price: ~$500+ per head
Pros: Amazing settings, great selection of tipples (loved the sake), and the selection of hot pot food is really big, fresh, and some very original. You can also choose to do the popular steam seafood thing so you can be healthy and all. Apparently their new Causeway Bay outlet also has a killer view, so I definitely recommend this place for special occasions.
Cons: Skip the cocktails and expect to pay up. P.S. we had a birthday party there for ~20 people and it worked out to only be ~$400 pp! PRO TIP = go with more people.
Best new hot pot concept: Craft Hot Pot 101
Price: just under $300 pp
Pros: Giving a twist to the usual chicken hot pot, you finish the Taiwanese spicy chicken stew (三杯雞) before adding soup to continue your hot pot journey. Each person gets a serving of beef and fresh seafood, plus all you can eat sides and non-alcoholic drinks. It’s not those shitty frozen ingredients and the flavours are dynamic and heavy! THEIR SOY ROLLS ARE BOMB.COM
Cons: Again go with a big group as they give you far too much food! If you’ve not got the stomach for heavy flavours and large portions, I’d advise you to stay away as well.
Best bang-for-buck atas/high-class restaurant: Alto
Price: ~$500 pp
Pros: (sorry for the shitty photo…) The winter menu was creative, fun and full of contrasting flavours and textures. My favourite was the foie gras with pistachio ice cream, but I couldn’t forget about the gnocchi full of root veggies and winter feelings, or the steak on a salt slab either. Full disclosure, I went for a tasting, but cross my heart I really did enjoy it – especially it being a Dining Concept “design” place and all. I think for the price (starters ~$100, main ~＄1-300), it’s a great place for date night especially with that stunning harbour view and killer rooftop.
Cons: I’ve heard mixed reviews. But I quite enjoyed it. Also, gets bit dark so bring your flash and good camera.
Best eat in Central: Beef & Liberty
Price: ~$100-300 pp
Pros: Affordable. In the middle of LKF. Cute decor. MADE ME LIKE BREAD/BURGERS. Their lamb burger was so good… My girlfriend had the Beans and Liberty which she enjoyed but couldn’t finish. Their Notorious P.I.G. burger is also to die for. FD: I “won” an instagram contest for brunch, but for two people we didn’t even finish the $500 quota.
Cons: errr….. it’s fat for you. That’s it. Oh and the alcoholic shake was not my thing – too heavy!
Best eat in Sai Ying Pun: Okra
Price: ~$400 pp
Pros: Expect the unexpected with this hip Japanese eatery in SYP, complete with feet-thumping music, erotic wall art and unusual ingredients/taste palette. Sake selection on point. P.S. Don’t sleep on the fucking tofu – I’m serious.
Cons: Don’t go with a big party. Unless it’s so big you can occupy the entire downstairs (about ~15 people).
Best hidden cafe in Central: Sogno Cafe+
Price: ~$100 pp
Pros: Hidden in plain sight upstairs near Japan Home Center on Wellington, this place is a haven for midday coffee break and sweet treats. Savory options include pastas and other generic cafe dishes. I go for the cute cartoons and warm decor, but stay for the banoffee and coffee.
Cons: Can get crowded if you go during lunch/weekend prime hours.
Best lobster roll that doesn’t rip a hole in your wallet: Master Kama
Price: ~$200 pp
Pros: Comfy spacious seating area, no queuing or squeezing. $398 for lobster roll and fries and udon AND grilled lobster – enough for a couple to share. Major props for value.
Cons: … idk. I guess if you were a “foodie” who had something to say about everything you’ll prolly be like oh it’s just ~okay~.
Best hidden find EVER: Ebina Tsukemen
Price: ~$100 pp
Pros: YES to everything hidden and hard to find. Located off Sham Shui Po almost to Cheung Sha Wan, this is a sister store to the pork tsukemen hidden inside the Apple Mall of Dragon Centre. Famed for their prawn soup base tsukemen or dipping noodles, it’s especially worth the queue if you hit the jack pot with their uni/sea urchin tsukemen – with only a ridiculous number of bowls sold a day (something like 10…)
Cons: Queuing if you don’t like to queue. Small space so don’t bring a party.
Lobster Bobo for the best lobster noodles
Block 18 noodles (18座狗仔粉) which I crave for 24/7
Chuan Po Po (川婆婆) for fuckyeah Ma La Tang (麻辣燙)
華南粉麵茶餐廳有限公司 for some awesome cow innards/beef brisket noodles supper
Moonshine & the Po’Boys for seafood bucket holyshit that was good
12,000 Francs I really liked for the unconventional palette and exciting menu
Goobne for KFC that is BAKED (whaaaaaa)
HOME eat to live for that damn NOURISH shake and Clouded Leopard flatbread
Second Draft cuz everyone knows their Mapo Burrata be BOMB.com
All-star all time faves that are DEFINITELY ALWAYS good: Le Bistro Winebeast (!!!! srsly), The Optimist, La Vache
Bars that are 100%: 001, Ophelia, Iron Fairies, J.Boroski
Phew soooo… I think that’s all I can think of right now. If I can’t remember it, it probably wasn’t that good. To be honest many of my friends have been saying 2k16 hasn’t been that good of a year for the F&B industry but if you really pound the pavements, you can always find something hidden and amazing to try. But if you’re too lazy, there’s always openrice lulz.
Sorry again for the wavering quality of my photos, I don’t be like people who carry pro cameras out with me all day long. Hope you guys enjoyed the list though. And as always follow me on Instagram (#helloabellaeats) for the latest goss.
Extra extra cheeky bonus bit:
Not to step on any toes, but just wanted to give you guys a heads up on places I thought were just okay (meh)… Chi Chi Cham (Soho), YOKOZUNA Japanese Noodle Shop (Yau Ma Tei), Kuma Ramen (sheung wan), Mr & Mrs Fox, One Minden Kitchen, Papa Rich, Mad for Garlic, Artisan Garden Cafe (fucking expensive), 18 Grams Mongkok (for brunch, fucking slow service no good food), QMO, Tung Bo (overpriced), Seafood Room, Ancient Moon (DID NOT LIKE), Le Pho by Naked, Modos egg waffles (don’t get the hype)…
ok g2g before someone tries to assasinate me.
Comment below with YOUR fave high & low eats for the year!!
till next time,