Why not enjoy fine wines in your neighbourhood cooked food centre? ABC Kitchen provides a fun setting for a wine-pairing dinner. The restaurant offers a small selection of wines, but given that there is no corkage feel free to bring your own tipple to enjoy with the pan-fried foie gras and the signature roasted suckling pig. CF7, 1/F, Queen’s St Cooked Food Market, 38 Des Voeux Rd West, Sheung Wan, 9278 8227. $340.
The restaurant’s quality French fare has won it many praises and the cosy, laidback atmosphere makes it an easy favourite for a casual dinner parties. Dinner is set to a three- or four-course menu with a range of choices for starters, mains and desserts. The mille feuille of mango is a must-try. There is free corkage for wine and champagne. 6/F, The Pemberton, 22-26 Bonham Strand East, Sheung Wan, 2544 6333. $800.
Hidden away on the 21st floor of a commercial building, Chez Moi serves high quality French cuisine. The restaurant operates as a private kitchen, making it an ideal spot for a quiet, romantic dinner. Dinner is kept to a five-course set menu with several options for the different courses. 21/F, Bartlock Centre, 3 Yiu Wah St, Causeway Bay, 2881 1929. $800.
With more than 50 years of history, this traditional Chinese restaurant is a local favourite. Charging moderate prices, it provides authentic Cantonese dishes such as prawn toast and winter melon and crab meat soup. Some of the more famous dishes must be ordered at least one day in advance. The restaurant is great for large parties, especially because it doesn’t charge a corkage fee. 62-28 Java Rd, North Point, 2578 4898. $300.
This cosy restaurant does delicious and creative Japanese fare at very reasonable prices. Must-orders include the innovative maki rolls, towering pumpkin salad and the chilled udon with quail egg. They do have a corkage fee, but the staff will waive it for parties that spend more than $200 a head. 3/F, Hennessy Apartments, 48 Percival St, Causeway Bay, 2893 9697. $350.
This private kitchen serves up solid French cuisine in a beautiful Provençal-style dining room. Guests can choose from an extensive list of dishes that span over nine courses. The menu changes monthly but there are also a few regular mainstays, including the pan-fried foie gras with blackcurrant. There’s a minimum charge of $290 per person and no corkage fee for any BYO wines and champagnes. 6/F, 83 Wan Chai Rd, Wan Chai, 3428 5824. $700;www.blanc.com.hk.
Le Mieux Bistro
It used to be a trek to get to Ricky Cheung’s French restaurant in Chai Wan. Thankfully, he’s just moved Le Mieux to Wan Chai. The space is a little smaller than before but the food is just as well executed and exciting. Menus are prix fixe with four courses for lunch and six courses for dinner with no corkage fee.1/F, 83 Wan Chai Rd, Wan Chai, 2558 2877. $1,300.
Fish soup and crispy, deep-fried tofu in spicy salt are a delicious way to start. But the main attraction are the Hong Kong-style seafood dishes, made with the freshest catch from the market. Plump razor clams stir-fried with black bean sauce and scallops with minced garlic are local favourites. No corkage for bought-in wines. 49 See Cheung St, Sai Kung, 2792 9966. $450.
Sun Dau Kee
This family-style restaurant offers cheap and quick dishes. The signature roasted suckling pig comes with deliciously crackly skin while simpler dishes such as congee with fish or pork act as fortifying anchors to the meal. While Sun Dau Kee may not be the fanciest of places to dine, the crowded space and the boisterous atmosphere has its own charm. Their free corkage policy also makes it an economical gathering spot for a couple of close friends. 18 Cheung Lok St, Jordan, 2388 6020. $600.
Hotpot and alcohol go together like bacon and eggs. So it’s great to find a hotpot joint that waives corkage. There are more than a dozen soup bases to choose from with the cow offal broth and milk broth with fish maw being the two most popular. As the name suggests, cow is the specialty so order platters of hand-sliced beef and wash it down with plenty of booze. 36 Nam Kok Rd, Kowloon City, 2383 9863. $400.