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Favourite Hong Kong restaurants of Steve Leung, architect and restaurateur

I enjoy food very much and love to seek new experiences, not just a matter of taste but also a holistic dining experience. Eating is a delight of life and it’s part of my motto “enjoy life, enjoy design”.

I’d say I’m choosy and have a strong preference for Asian food, especially Chinese cuisine. Real local food. I had been doing architectural and interior design for decades, including hospitality projects, and I wanted to start some real lifestyle projects.

To this end, I founded 1957 Co in 2007 partnering with two friends, Paul Kwok and Tino Kwan. So far, we have 11 restaurants under six brands, namely Bella Vita, Sushi Ta-ke, Mango Tree, An Nam, Gonpachi and Modern Shanghai.

An Nam (4/F Lee Gardens One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, tel: 2787 3922) is my favourite. It offers a diverse menu with authentic Vietnamese cuisine in a welcoming atmosphere reminiscent of the Vietnamese colonial style. The minimalist, sophisticated interiors were executed with great attention to detail.

Some other favourites in town include Ser Wong Fun (30 Cochrane Street, Central, tel: 2543 1032) and Tsui Wah Restaurant (15-19 Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2525 6338). I really like these two restaurants in Central with local delicacies. Ser Wong Fun’s signature snake soup is commonly served in autumn and winter. I also recommend the Chinese sausages, fish fillets with corn sauce and sweet and sour pork. These are common, but really good dishes. Tsui Wah is famous for its wide range of local foods. I recommend the chicken curry with rice and iced milk tea.

I like to take visitors to Rainbow Seafood Restaurant (23-25 First Street, Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island, tel: 2982 8100). Lamma offers another face of Hong Kong, a laid-back community with an interesting mix of Western and Chinese culture, very different from the city’s hustle and bustle. Lamma is famous for seafood and the Rainbow, opened in 1984 is a family-run bistro. Try the fried lobster with butter sauce, fried crab with honey and pepper and “rainbow fish” made with star grouper.

Wing Kee Noodle (27A Sugar Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2808 2877) is one of my favourite cart noodle places in town. It offers a wide variety of toppings, noodles and soup. The toppings are very local, such as fish ball, Chinese radish, pig skin and chicken wing. I especially like pig intestine.

I am impressed by the decor at Felix (28/F The Peninsula, 22 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2696 6778). It is the brainchild of Philippe Starck and was done in 1994 but is still mesmerising today. Overlooking the breathtaking Victoria Harbour, it offers an interesting dining experience in a surreal setting.