Note: I worked at HK Magazine from December 2015 to April 2016 as an editorial writer. This article was published in the February 2016 issue of The List.
Click here for large size
Take Five: Eclectic Cuisines
Aiming to introduce Ethiopian to Hong Kong, founder and cook Helina Tesega of Eat Ethio does not have a permanent restaurant, but only bounces from pop-ups to supper clubs around town. Look out for Ethiopian signatures such as the wot: a thick, hearty stew which usually comes with injera—a sourdough flatbread made from the teff grain. For religious reasons, many Ethiopians fast for weeks at a time and lean on vegan-friendly foods, so you’ll find lots of lentils, legumes and collard greens. The main seasoning? Berbere, a chili-pepper spice blend made up of 10 ingredients. Round off the meal with a freshly roasted coffee, served part of a ceremony.
Ba Yi Restaurant
This modest Xinjiang eatery near the University of Hong Kong is popular with students and locals alike during lunch. Though struggling a little after appearing in the Michelin guide, we’re thankful that Ba Yi Restaurant is still up and running today. Be sure to come in a large group of lamb eaters—this is no place for vegetarians—and order the set menu to have a taste of everything from roasted lamb leg, minced lamb in a stew, lamb dumplings and more. Finish off with yoghurt drinks and you’re guaranteed to leave with happy tummies.
G/F, 43 Water St., Sai Ying Pun, 2484-9981
We so wish it was summer time right now, but you can still hit the beaches and enjoy South African cuisine in Sai Kung. The Stoep is located on a beautiful stretch of white sand and offers all day dining during the weekends. It’s definitely a different experience with the barbecue food warming you up on a breezy day rather than adding to your sweat in Hong Kong’s summer humidity. Start your meal off with homemade bread, served with a variety of exotic dips, then dive into the grilled meat platters and enjoy the sunset while you’re at it.
32 Lower Cheung Sha Village, Lantau Island, 2980-2699
Keep a lookout for this Russian restaurant on the second floor of Hotel Pennington if you don’t want any of the typical East Asian fare found in Causeway Bay. Nestled in a simple and cozy environment, Wheatfield Kitchen offers classics such as borscht (not the Hong Kong-style red soup, may we add) and shashlik skewers. Be sure to drop by if you’re on the prowl for hearty stews and smoked meat.
2/F, Hotel Pennington, 13-15 Pennington St., Causeway Bay, 3422-8803
Embodying Peru’s culinary tradition of being a brew of Asian and South American influences, Hong Kong’s first Nikkei (Peruvian Japanese) concept El Mercado opened in 2015. Founder Bart Szyniec explains that the fusion of flavors is exactly what you’d find in most popular eateries in Peru. The menu is small but certainly intriguing, consisting heavily of items such as ceviches and tacu tacu made with unfamiliar ingredients and also offers an innovative nigiri section. Mix up the quirky dishes and the casual chic environment and you’ll definitely find yourself a fun night out.
21/F, 239 Hennessy Rd., Wan Chai, 2388-8009