‘Food I can’t find overseas’: where a Hong Kong native eats authentic Chiu Chow food, dim sum and more when he’s back home

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Ed Ng is a co-founder of international luxury and hospitality design firm AB Concept, started in Hong Kong in 1999. He spoke to Andrew Sun.

I am a Hong Kong native, but now I live part of the year in Japan. Every time I come back, I can’t wait to have dim sum or Cantonese food.

You can find good Chinese banquet restaurants overseas but for the Hong Kong kind of soup and al dente noodles, it’s hard to find them outside the city.

Usually, the first thing I do when I get off a plane is get a bowl of wonton noodles, usually at Mak’s Noodle (various locations including 77 Wellington Street, Central. Tel: 2854 3810) or Ho Hung Kee (Shop 1204-1205, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2577 6060).

Ed Ng is a co-founding principal of international luxury and hospitality design firm AB Concepts. Photo: Ed Ng
Signature shrimp wonton noodles at Mak’s Noodle. Photo: Mak’s Noodle

I’ve also been to Tasty Congee & Noodle (Shop 3016-3018, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central. Tel: 2295 0101).

I stay around Central for work and friends often want to see the places we’ve designed. For a unique look at colonial-style Hong Kong, I take them to The Chinese Library (1/F, Block 1, Tai Kwun, 19 Hollywood Road, Central. Tel: 2848 3088). The history and the building are interesting, and the food quality is equally good.
Braised crab and zucchini served in shrimp and sea urchin jus at The Chinese Library. Photo: The Chinese Library

Noi (5/F, Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance Street, Central. Tel: 3196 8768) is good for a bit of Western cuisine, followed by a nightcap at Argo (Lobby, Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance Street, Central. Tel: 3196 8882).

This is my usual routine when entertaining friends visiting from overseas.

For more local dining, if I can get a table at The Chairman (3/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central. Tel: 2555 2202) I will also go there. It is very good.
Chawanmushi Japanese-style steamed egg custard at Noi. Photo: Noi
Smoked camphor goose at The Chairman. Photo: The Chairman

Similarly, in Wan Chai, Seventh Son (3/F, The Wharney Hotel, 57-73 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai. Tel: 2892 2888) is another place I like for dim sum and classic Cantonese food I can’t find overseas.

One of the most difficult Chinese cuisines to find outside this region is Chiu Chow. You can never find authentic Chiu Chow-style dishes in Japan.

That’s why I like to go to Pak Loh Chiu Chow (various locations including Shop 1002, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2577 1163) for the classic marinated goose and cold crab.

Braised snake soup with chrysanthemum at Seventh Son.
My place in Japan is in Karuizawa, in Nagano prefecture, which is just over an hour from Tokyo via high-speed bullet train.

A restaurant there I really like is Hermitage de Tamura (820-98, Nagakura, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District. Tel: +81 267 44 1611).

It is a French restaurant nestled among green surroundings. You can enjoy dishes made with abundant ingredients from the area that stimulate your eyes, nose and tongue.

Sandaimekoko (2380-8, Nagakura, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District. Tel: +81 267 45 5020) is a very local shop that only serves ramen during the day. In the evening, it has some home-cooked seasonal omakase specialities. It’s run by a mum and son. Locals love this place.

Lastly, Katsura No Chaya (2115-888, 3255, Tsurudamari, Nagakura Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District. Tel: +81 3 6273 2179) is a very discreet place hidden up in the mountains. People have a hard time finding it even with Google.

You have to climb up a staircase and suddenly you’ll find a Kyoto-style house in the middle of a wild forest.

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