We are starting off 2022 with lunch as the new dinner. With restaurants expanding their lunch menus and some offering all-day dining, here are some of the menus we have tried lately.
Having recently opened in December, Gassan transports guests into a theatrical fishing village, offering both omakase and kaiseki ryori in a dockside-themed environment. The ‘kaiseki culture’ is honoured through a multi-course banquet of artfully plated dishes popping with colour and flavour. The 9 to 11-course menu is a beautiful presentation of dishes cooked using various techniques, from stewed and grilled to fried and tartare. The wanmono “soup bowl” of zuwai snow crab and shirako is a warm start to the meal before moving on to the otoro, uni and amaebi sashimi, a blast of freshness. The Hiyama A5 wagyu, as expected, is a highlight—the highly esteemed cut melting away in your mouth at first bite. The Konomono dish—marinated Kyushu Hokkigai—is umami-rich, giving off a zesty bite amongst the crunch. The whole menu is paired with sake, the in-house sommelier offering the smoothest sake to complete the experience.
GASSAN, 19/F, H Queen's, 80 Queen's Road Central, Central; +852 3499 1427
WOO CHEONG TEA HOUSE
The century-old Woo Cheong Pawn Shop has gone through a revamp with the opening of Woo Cheong Tea House, serving high-end Cantonese cuisine in a setting honouring history and tradition while keeping up with the modern times. Splashes of gemtone-coloured velvet blend in with the beautiful flora and fauna-themed wallpaper, while the balcony area feels like a bridge between the peaceful oasis and bustling city. The bite-sized dishes are refined and exude a level of craftsmanship that merits notice. A true classic, the char siu comes from the pork shoulder blade, creating a perfect balance of lean and fatty mixed in with the chef’s special marinade. The sauteed prawn dish consists of tender wild kuruma shrimp in the shape of a flower, and the sweet and sour pork with pineapple brings an element of surprise when paired with the pop rock sugar, leaving that tingling feeling and a wave of nostalgia before dissolving in your mouth. For dessert, the chef creates a modern twist on the egg tart by mixing in some Bailey’s liqueur and transforming the traditional black sesame roll into a steamed sugarcane juice roll, a fragrant chewy finish to a delicious meal.
Woo Cheong Tea House, 62 Johnston Rd, Wan Chai, +852 2866 3444
Previously only serving noodles for lunch, Club Rangoon has now expanded its Burmese lunch offerings to include curries in addition to dessert. Coconut lovers will feast on the Ohn No Khout Swel noodle dish, the egg noodles bathing in an umami-rich spiced chicken coconut broth (vegetarian options are available) while curry lovers will satisfy their culinary dreams with the well-balanced Shwe Phayone Thee Hin (golden pumpkin curry), the turmeric and ginger elevating the pumpkin. The sago with coconut custard is the perfect not-too-sweet palate cleanser, softening the abundance of flavours left on the tongue from the mains.
Club Rangoon, Ground Floor, 33 Aberdeen St, Central; +852 2503 3077
NEW PUNJAB CLUB
The one-Michelin star Black Sheep restaurant dazzles again with its latest additions to the menu. The samosa chaat topped with pomegranate seeds could very well be some of the best samosa you’ve ever had in Hong Kong, though the delightful surprises just keep on coming with the murgh malai tikka chicken with juicy tandoori maitake mushrooms, impressively large tandoori red cardinal prawns with pistachio, mustard and finger lime caviar and tandoori venison with baby beets (we recommend a glass of red wine to pair with the venison's gamey flavour). The karashi gosht (goat curry) is a pure delight, and we cannot get enough of the saag (mustard greens and garlic with spinach and green amaranth curry) which is complemented by fresh-out-of-the oven and extremely flavourful corn flatbread.
New Punjab Club, World Wide Commercial Building, 34 Wyndham St, Central; +852 2368 1223
Helmed by head chef Maurizio Pace, H Queen’s LPM Restaurant & Bar continues to be one of the city’s most coveted tables for a cosy yet sophisticated French-Mediterranean affair thanks to its revolving seasonal dishes and provocative cocktail menu (also available at LPMs across the likes of London, Dubai, and Miami), which we’ve raved about, inspired by French bon vivant Jean Cocteau. We’re fans of the escargots de Bourgogne (a balanced yet heavenly pot of herby garlic butter goodness), the canard a l’orange (flavourful slow cooked duck legs with orange glaze) and the entrecote grillee (perfectly charred and juicy grilled rib eye steak). You will find plenty of classics on the business lunch menu as well.
From now until February, the restaurant is open until 3:30pm, perfect for a leisurely post-lunch linger complete with another cocktail (like the 1889 Americano with French Suze liqueur and the gimlet-style Pablo topped with three droplets of turquoise-hued oil) or two.
LPM, Shop 1, 1/F, 23-29 Stanley Street, H Queen's, Central; +852 2887 1113
Magnificent ambience evoking glamorous old Peking, faithful northern Chinese fare and a cocktail menu packed with surprises – all that make the new Hutong, relocated to atop Tsim Sha Tsui’s H Zentre late last year, one of the most exciting Chinese meals we had in recent memory. The beautifully presented soft-shell crab with Sichuan dried chilli, ma la chilli prawns, and signature flaming Peking duck all bring a kick, but equally impressive is the dim sum platter of har gaus and various dumplings made with the likes of steamed cod, peach gum, and charcoal yu xiang crispy pork, each as creative and artful as they are succulent. Wash that down with the signature chilli-rimmed Comfortably Numb cocktail with lychee liqueur, Sichuan pepper honey and ruby red grapefruit.
Don’t miss the new Feng Wei Brunch serving up unlimited dim sum and Sichuan chicken plus free-flow champagne, cocktails, wine, sake, and beer, and definitely return for dinner once restrictions lift to be swept away by the spellbinding night views of the Victoria Harbour skyline.
Hutong, H Zentre, 18/F, 15 Middle Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui; +852 3428 8342
There’s no shortage of izakaya spots in the city but Lan Kwai Fong’s Roji delights with a new lunch menu (also available for delivery) featuring light appetisers and hearty warm plates. Appetisers include an incredibly refreshing Mizuna salad with thin leek, seaweed, crispy sardines and apple vinegar dressing, while the chef’s creativity shines in their takes on mains like the Polmard beef tartar (oozing rare flavours of pickled rakkyo, yuzukoshu and other Japanese seasonings) and katsu sando using a spiced pork and beef mince blend. Fans of mentaiko (hands raised) shouldn’t miss the udon, bouncy and drenched in creamy pollock roe and tangy ginger-garlic dressing. From the all-day menu, the Hamachi kama (smoky and deliciously fatty yellowtail collar marinated in briny broth and finished with kombu butter) is another dish sure to satisfy.
Roji, G/F 20A D'Aguilar St, Lan Kwai Fong, Central
THE BAKER & THE BOTTLEMAN
Chef Simon Rogan’s latest venture led by executive chef Oli Marlow is the newest addition to Lee Tung Avenue in Wan Chai, and items are selling out fast! A modern bakery by day and natural wine bar by night (restrictions pending), The Baker & The Bottleman’s baked goods range from sweet offerings such as blueberry swirl, baked almond swirl and brownie to savoury delights such as caramelised onion and thyme tart, bacon and cheese scone and the acclaimed coronation chicken. We were particularly excited about the bread, as the Irish soda bread (we hope you’ve tried it at Roganic before) is on the menu alongside the house sourdough and rosemary potato loaf. The triple Valrhona chocolate cookie left an impression, not just because of its size (bigger than one’s palm) but also because of how thin, chewy and decadent the treat is. We can’t wait to return to see what the wine bar is all about.
The Baker & The Bottleman, Shop No. G14 and G15 (Minor Portion), G/F. and Shop No. F15A, 1/F Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen's Rd E, Wan Chai