The chef at Celebrity Cuisine, Cheng Kam-Fu, has more than 40 years’ worth of culinary experience in Hong Kong and, reflecting this, the restaurant has earned two Michelin stars. Despite the achievements, though, Cheng is still all hands-on, handpicking ingredients and ordering them daily for his outstanding dishes. The sweet and sour pork here is a winner. Coated with a perfect balance of the mouthwateringly tangy sauce, each piece of meat is crispy on the outside but supremely juicy on the inside. Drool-worthy cuisine! $240. 1/F, Lan Kwai Fong Hotel, 3 Kau U Fong, Central, 3650 0066; lankwaifonghotel.com.hk.
Hong Kong University Alumni Association
Exclusively reserved for HKU’s alumni, as well as their guests, this restaurant is a hidden gem for exquisite Cantonese cuisine. The sweet and sour pork is a chef speciality. Coated in a light batter, the fresh and tender pieces are deep-fried to perfection, resulting in a semi-crunchy texture. Made with dried hawthorn and fresh sour plum sauce, the jewels are infused with fruity aromas that are sure to have you coming back for more. Don’t worry if you don’t have membership. Just get a friend who is an HKU alum to book a spot for you. $110. Room 101, Yip Fung Bldg, 2 D’Aguilar St, Central, 2522 7968; hkuaa.org.hk.
Taking a slight deviation from the classic dish, Mott 32 knocks up a must-try sweet ‘n’ sour version. Using aged black vinegar, the sauce is perfectly balanced, giving off a zingy-but-pleasant aftertaste. Also differing from the usual pineapple pieces, dragon fruit is used instead. Each piece of pork is lightly battered in a crispy texture that’s anything but oily. On top of all this, the amazing surrounds and atmosphere at Mott 32 make for an awesome dining experience. $180. B/F, Standard Chartered Bank Bldg, 4-4a Des Voeux Rd C, Central, 2885 8688; mott32.com.
Rainbow Seafood Restaurant
If you ever catch the ferry to Lamma Island, remember to head to the village of Sok Kwu Wan and check out Rainbow Seafood Restaurant. Despite being best known for its fresh fruits of the oceans, the restaurant also cooks up an impressive sweet and sour pork dish that’s won many plaudits over the past decade or so. The mouth-watering pieces are meaty and deep-fried to the perfect crunch. The restaurant has a complimentary charter that picks up customers from the Central Ferry Piers and takes them to the eatery. Ask about boat times when making reservations. $188. 23-25 First St, Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island, 2982 8100; rainbowrest.com.hk.
You know it’s worth trying when it’s a neighbourhood favourite! Setting themselves apart from the competition, the chefs here use a trio combo of hawthorn fruits for the dish. Hawthorn flakes and sticks are used alongside fresh pieces of the fruit, creating a wonderful array of natural flavours. And they use pork belly instead of shoulder, adding an extra aromatic punch. A fabulous take on this classic Chinese dish. $90. 25 Hong Keung St, San Po Kong, 2320 7020; facebook.com/tak.lung.hk.
Located in Hung Hom, Michelin-starred Yu Lei serves up the grandest rendition of good ol’ sweet and sour pork. Cooked using three types of vinegar, each delicate piece of meat is sure to give you a gastronomical climax. Lightly battered, the juicy and tender pork pieces give off a gentle-yet-satisfying crunch. The best of the best bright red and yellow capsicums are also chosen to garnish the dish. Yu Lei definitely steps up the sweet and sour pork game with aplomb. $190. 5/F, Harbourfront Landmark, 11 Wan Hoi St, Hung Hom, 3746 2788; kodining.com.