Five Favourite Restaurants, featuring chef Neil Tomes of Wan Chai burger favourite, Beef & Liberty.
Beef & Liberty (71%) head chef Neil Tomes has had a fascinating career: working at such famed international names as The Fat Duck and M at the Fringe; opening restaurants in Shanghai and the British Virgin Islands; launching the city's gastropub obsession with Alfie's (73%).
And now, innovating ground-beef and bread at his hip Wan Chai burger joint. Here, he offers five Hong Kong places that inspire him, from Chinese fast-food and early-morning cha chaan tengs, to late-night upstairs spots and places that just do everything right.
Great value, very good char siu - most of the time. Char siu, by the way, is one of the most extraordinary contributions to world gastronomy. And I am not talking about the dried-up, purple ringed bits of packing material you get in the UK, but the luscious deep-red, sweet and savoury, honey, biscuity, lengths of juicy pork cooked in what can only be described as a furnace. Not to be tried at home!
Unusual as it may be, I don’t eat late at night, but there’s this little Nepalese gem. Good momo (dumplings with pork and spices, served with a spicy tomato dip), and a wicked little offal dish. Full on, not for the light hearted - pardon the pun.
If you are still gagging for a ham-and-egg sandwich or for that matter, a huge plate of mixed fried rice, just around the corner on St Francis Yard in Wan Chai, you can wash one down with sweet hot condensed milky tea. Very popular in Hong Kong!
The restaurants I admire the most. They’ve got the touch, they turn everything into gold - I mean, not the food! All the staff are passionate and interesting, they’re well-knowledgeable about the food. They are both little hives of social activity that fits in with the chillaxed style of great food and service. The only downside is when I go there I have to pretend to be cool.