Best new restaurants of 2017
Hong Kong has never really had a top quality Mexican restaurant. 11 Westside is the best stab at it yet. Although it’s hardly ‘authentic’, the venue is gorgeous – exposed concrete walls and leather banquettes that contrast nicely with chic chandeliers and a hip-hop soundtrack – and the food excellent, though some will balk at Mexican cuisine costing this much. Be sure to order the Pollo Asado – some of the best tacos we’ve ever had.
Another new arrival in Kennedy Town, Alvy’s is regularly heaving come the weekend, with punters spilling out on to Holland Street. And why not? There’s a great selection of craft beers and bourbon to choose from for your drinks and the food is top tier comfort grub. If you don’t think char siu belongs on a pizza, think again.
Hong Kong has upped its pho game significantly over the past couple of years. One of the best new arrivals is this spot on Kau U Fong. Opened by Brian Woo, the only apprentice to Nyguen Thi Thanh, Ho Chi Minh City’s famous Lunch Lady, its Hue style beef broth is addictively delicious.
No, Krua Walaiphan won’t stop you going to Kowloon City but it’s still a damn fine Thai restaurant. The portion sizes are generous, the spice level gets legit (at least if you request it) and there are some items on the menu that you can’t find everywhere else.
It’s not much more than a hole in the wall joint but so what. Le Petit Saigon serves the best best banh mi in town. The bread is custom made; the chillies sweet; the coriander, shallots, cucumbers and pickles all outstandingly fresh; and the fromage de tête is soft but still with some bite. They only make a limited number of banh mi each day, so get there early if you’re planning a visit.
A simple, casual and focused concept, Meats doesn’t win any points for the originality of its name but its recipe of good portions of good food for good prices in a great atmosphere is a definite winner. Yes, it’s not one for vegetarian friends but this is a place we’ve been sinking our teeth into again and again.
Hong Kong has a fantastic array of Indian restaurants, so if you’re going to enter this crowded fray, you better bring something new and it better be good. New Punjab Club ticks both of those boxes. Its focus on dishes from the Punjab region that straddles India and Pakistan is original – think tandoor oven-cooked dishes rather than thick curries – and the flavours never less than spot on.
TokyoLima opened on Lyndhurst Terrace early this year and it quickly became a favourite. Serving the Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine known as Nikkei, the restaurant brings together the punchy flavours of the South America with the more delicate elements of Japanese cuisine. The combination is as good as it sounds.
The latest award-winning ramen joint to land in Hong Kong, Tsuta has customers lining up round the block (though the opening of a second branch in Tsim Sha Tsui has helped alleviate things). Everything is spot on here: the broth is layered with umami and a stunning depth of flavour, the noodles are wonderfully al dente, the cha siu comes intricately marbled with fat, and the absence of MSG completes a very happy experience.
A spacious and Brazilian-Japanese restaurant, Uma Nota is inspired by the street vendors of Liberdade, its menu featuring unpretentious dishes with a street food bent rather than a focus on fusion fare. The flavours are fantastic, though with its meaty, heavy offerings, it’s not a place to head if you’re after a light bite.