Daily Archives: February 3, 2012

Sai Kung Restaurants

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Since my previous post on Sheung Wan restaurants seems to have been well-received, I figure a similar post on dining spots in Sai Kung is in order.  If you don’t live in the area, you might think that Sai Kung is only those waterfront seafood restaurants but actually OpenRice lists 299 restaurants in the Sai Kung district.  Most are in Sai Kung Town, but not all.  This is just a rundown of the ones I’ve eaten in.  Note that I have not eaten in some of Sai Kung’s more famous restaurants, such as Loaf On and Anthony’s Kitchen and One Thirty-One.  One of these days …

Honeymoon Dessert – Yes, they’re all over town but if I’m not mistaken, this is their original location.  Every bit as good as you’ve heard, when the weather’s nice people are still lined up on the street waiting for a table at midnight!

Anthony’s Ranch - Anthony knows food (and I know Anthony, so take this with as many grains of salt as you wish).  Some of the best baby back ribs in HK, really good steaks, and what I’m sure are the best huevos rancheros to be found in Hong Kong (only on the breakfast menu but they’ll sometimes make them for other meals on request).  A bit on the expensive side for some items.

May’s Sawaddee Thailand – A bit confusing because there are three places in town with this name and at least one claims to have no relationship to the others.  Popular and reasonably okay Thai food.

Paisano’s – This is the original branch of what is in my opinion the best pizza in Hong Kong.  The owner, a former golf pro, is an Italian-American whose parents have pizza places back in the US.  He makes his dough and pasta fresh daily.

Pepperoni’s – I’ve been here several times but it’s been years since I’ve gone back.  It’s very Hong Kong-style pizza (wrong kind of dough, sauce too sweet), the other dishes are okay.  The owners of Pepperoni’s also own Jaspa’s, Wagyu and several other chains around town.

Jaspa’s – With branches in Soho and TST (and Saigon!), this is the first place that fills up in town on weekends and with good reason.  I’ve been coming here for 10 years and never had a bad meal.  Whatever you order comes with a huge amount of fresh greens.  And last time I was there, Moreton Bay Bugs were back on the menu!

Chuen Kee – I think there’s been some consolidation of ownership among the waterfront seafood restaurants.  For all I know, they might all be owned by just one or two people now.  If memory serves, this is the one that is listed in the Michelin guide.  Stay away from larger fish, lobster and more exotic choices and the price can be quite reasonable.  Beer is super cheap here and a great place to sit at night stuffing your face and watching the crowds stroll by. I’ve probably eaten at all the waterfront seafood places at one time or another, I’ll just list this one.

A.J.’s Sri Lankan Cuisine – I believe this is the only Sri Lankan place in Hong Kong.  R.J., the owner and chef, is really from Sri Lanka (the place is named for his son) and the food is consistently delicious.

Sawaddee Thailand – Okay, I see they’ve removed the “May’s” from the name of this location.  It’s a back alley place, cheap folding tables and plastic stools.  I think they’ve got the most authentic Thai in town.

Mr. Froyo – Nothing that really sets this apart from the other frozen yogurt shops in town except this is the only one in Sai Kung town and it’s quite nice. (Oops, there are two now.  This is the only one I’ve tried.)

Ali-Oli – If this isn’t the best bakery in Hong Kong, it certainly has to be in the top ten.  Aside from the cakes and fabulous breads, they set up tables outside now for sandwiches, salads, or just a cup of decent coffee with a croissant.

Hebe One O One – In a village house in Pak Sha Wan.  Readers of Sai Kung Magazine voted this their favorite Sai Kung restaurant last year.  Another consistent spot, it’s what I think of as Australian style.  Great grilled stuff and my gf swears by their apple crumble.  The ground floor bar area is filled with overstuffed old leather sofas and steamer trunks for tables, first floor a more traditional looking restaurant, rooftop bar.

Colour Brown – Yeah, we do have a Starbucks in town but why go there when we also have this gem?  Serious coffee, good sandwiches and cakes, a small place that’s impossible to get into on weekends but worth the wait.

Anthony’s Catch – Same owner as Anthony’s Ranch, this is mostly Italian-style seafood and they make their own pasta.  Expensive but quality stuff.

Fiesta Fiesta – An odd little place in the old part of town, they have some western dishes and some Filipino food.  And it’s the Filipino food that we go there for.

Ristorante Firenze – An Italian restaurant that appears to be owned and run by Indians.  Quite good.

Sauce – I think I’ve been here twice in 10 years.  It’s not bad, it’s just not as good as Jaspa’s in my opinion.

Steamer’s – A longtime Sai Kung favorite, a bar with half a dozen outdoor tables and some British and Indian style pub food.  Nothing exceptional but cheap & cheerful.

Classified – The Sai Kung branch of the popular HK chain has me on the fence.  Sometimes when I go here I really love it, other times it hasn’t quite lived up to my expectations.  On the whole though, I’m glad they’re here.

Sawaddee Thailand – This is the branch next to McDonald’s.  A couple of outdoor tables and usually busy.  My opinion is that the food is fairly average HK-style Thai.

Village Malaysian and Indian – I’ve been here twice and wanted to like it a whole lot more than I do.  Ground floor of a village house, they grow their own spices in their backyard, yet the two or three times I’ve been here it’s been less than inspiring.

Juicy J’s – Big British-style breakfast served all day in a tiny place, they also specialize in hot dogs with Japanese toppings.  Definitely different and the one time we were there it was quite okay.

Bacco – The upstairs portion of this bar is a branch of HK Indian favorite JoJo’s.  The one time I ate here, the biryani had what was obviously frozen vegetables in it, something I think is inexcusable in HK.

Agua Plus – It was Aqua Plus when they first opened, then it changed for some reason.  This was a hard luck location with two previous places not catching on here, but they’ve made a run of it.  Booze and outdoor seating, mostly, but the British pub grub and Indian curries are quite okay.

Occo – The Pepperoni’s/Jaspa’s folks shut down Cru, which I loved, and re-opened as Rocco, but then had to drop the R because there’s already a Rocco someplace else in town.  Been here once, it’s good, I miss Cru and don’t know why they felt impelled to change.

Ten Ku – See if you can follow this.  The sign outside says “Shushi”.  The listing on OpenRice calls them “Shsui”.  Whatever it is, I came here twice and doubt I’ll go back for a third try.

Wing Wo – There are actually two listings for this place in town (they have two shops, directly across from each other).  One listing says closed, the other says closed for renovation.  Either way, incredibly friendly staff, cheap prices but some of the worst dim sum I’ve ever had in Hong Kong.

Thai Ho – Actually I’ve never been here but each time I walk by I tell myself I need to try this place.  Maybe by listing it here I’ll remember next time!

There was a great small and cheap Vietnamese place in town that recently closed that we miss.  A couple of years back Dia, which I thought had the best Indian in town, got replaced by a Japanese “fusion” joint that I still haven’t tried.

For many, the center of food in Sai Kung is not the water front or the Man Yee Square, it’s the alley that runs between Fuk Man (yes, I know) Road and King Man Street.  There must be at least 20 different hole in the wall joints here, mostly HK style noodle joints, some little Thai places, all of them extremely cheap. most of them foreigner friendly, most of them quite good.

So there you go, 27 out of 299, obviously I still have quite a few places to try!

What places have I missed?  What are your favorite spots?

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