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.
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Hot and Spicy Eats
Get the tastebuds tingling with these hot plates
66 Chicken Pot
A fiery, hearty chicken dish eaten hot out of the pot, followed by broth for you to dunk all your favorite hotpot ingredients into: During the winter months, what could be better than a spicy chicken hot pot? 66 Chicken Pot serves its chicken pot with different levels of heat, so if you’re unwilling to sacrifice your taste buds, you have the option to choose a milder base. Their menu lists an extensive array of ingredients, ranging from seafood to cheese-filled fishballs to offal for more adventurous eaters. Perfect after a night of drinks as well: Drop in on those late nights as they’re open until two in the morning with two branches in Mong Kok.
Various locations including 33 Nelson St., Mong Kok, 2392-4966
Opened at the tail end of 2015, modern Indian kitchen Bindaas is colloquial Hindi for “chilled out.” The eatery serves traditional street foods and Indian tapas with a twist. Apart from curries and tikka masala, give the “Naanza”—a cross between naan bread and pizza using Makhani tomato gravy—a spin. Their cocktails (Happy Hour is 5-9pm) also take inspiration from classic Indian drinks, such as the lassi-based Desi Lass ($85). Head to Bindaas on Tuesday nights to have your dinner along with a live acoustic band. Reservations recommended.
LG/F, 33 Aberdeen St., Central, 2447-9998
Bombay Dreams is a stalwart for reliable, authentic, and classy Indian cuisine in the city. The restaurant serves a buffet lunch and a la carte dinner, or if you’re into the more chilled-out vibe, there is a Sunday brunch buffet during the weekend. Be sure to leave room for dessert!
4/F, 77 Wyndham St., Central, 2971-0001
Come Come Chongqing Chicken Pot
Come Come Chongqing Chicken Pot’s name may sound funny—it’s a direct translation of its Chinese name—but its spicy chicken pot is no joke. As one of the original chicken hotpot eateries that started the trend in Hong Kong, it has branches from Causeway Bay to Yuen Long. Diners can choose between a half or full portion of chicken, then they have the choice to add their favorite hotpot ingredients into the dish. And if you’re into unusual hotpot offerings, you can even try ostrich meat—only available at the Tai Wai branch.
Various locations including 11/F, Kyoto Plaza, 491-499 Lockhart Rd., Causeway Bay, 2891-9017
The Drunken Pot
Newly opened in Tsim Sha Tsui is The Drunken Pot, a hotpot resto that takes on a chic new approach to the age-old Chinese magic of communal feasting. In the hip, youthful surrounds, you’ll find creative and exotic raw ingredients ready to dunk in unconventional (and boozy, as the name suggests) broth bases. If you’re looking for something hot to impress your friends, we dare you to try the Sichuan Mala numbing spice broth—it’s guaranteed to spice you up in the cold February weather!
Shop 1, 2/F, 8 Observatory Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2321-9038
Korean Garden Restaurant
If you live or work around the Sheung Wan area but do not know of Korea Garden Restaurant, then shame on you. Tucked away on the first floor along Des Voeux Road, it’s one of the oldest traditional Korean restaurants that has remained in its spot since opening in Hong Kong. If you’re craving for a taste of home-style Korean cooking, Korean Garden is your spot: Expect your usual spicy banchan and hot soups. Spicy or not, there’s something for everyone.
1/F, Blissful Building, 247 Des Voeux Rd. Central, Sheung Wan, 2542-2339
Tou Yuen Delicacies (桃源美食)
If you’re a hotpot purist looking to spice it up, head over to Shek Tong Tsui Cooked Food Centre for a Sichuan feast at Tou Yuen Delicacies. The self-taught chef here won’t go easy on your taste buds and cut down on the fiery red chilis, so have a tall glass of soy milk (or we prefer ice-cold Tsingtao) ready by your side to cool down. Make sure to go in a big group and order a whole chili-oil fish brimming with spices and your choice of extra toppings.
3/F, Shek Tong Tsui Market, 470 Queen’s Rd. West, Shek Tong Tsui, 2540-0398
If your office is as cold as ours, you may be on the prowl for hot food to warm up during lunch time. Conveniently located on Wellington Street, Sichuan House is a popular go-to for Centralites especially during lunch hour. Classily decorated, the restaurant serves spicy Chengdu specialties. Don’t miss the mouth-watering chicken lollipops, the crispy cumin lamb shank, or if you’re brave enough, take on the extra hot prawns, cooked with a premium chili dry-rub.
7/F, M88, 2 Wellington St., Central, 2521-6699
If you’re looking for spicy food, you can’t go wrong with Spicy Andong serves exactly what it says on the tin. With two branches in Causeway Bay and Mong Kok, you’ll get trendy Korean eats along with the star of the show: Andong chicken, a type of stew made with chicken and vegetables and often glass noodles in a soy sauce based sauce. The half-chicken portion is enough to fill two to three people. Luckily, it comes in several levels but we’re warning you, even the “small spicy” option is bound to lift you off your feet.
Various locations including 7/F, Kyoto Plaza, 491-499 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay, 2328-8917
Yau Sum Private Kitchen
An upscale spin-off of the ubiquitous Yunnan-style “Sadness Sour Spicy Noodles” (because it’s so spicy you’ll be crying) shops around town, Yau Sum Private Kitchen is a perfect place to rest your feet after shopping in Causeway Bay. The restaurant serves reasonably priced Sichuan which are a step up above your average noodle bowls. Go for the fried prawns with Chongqing chilies to tickle your tastebuds, which come buried in a mountain of the dried red goodness. Bring tissues, you’ll need ‘em.
10/F, Jardine Center, 50 Jardine’s Bazaar, Causeway Bay, 2567-9808