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Sushi, stunning views, the best snails: where a Hong Kong-born Canadian likes to go for food and atmosphere in the city

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Hong Kong-born and Vancouver-raised Flora Ma is the co-founder of Only Beverages, the sugar-free, carb-free premium vodka soda brand produced in Hong Kong. She spoke to Andrew Sun.

I was born in Hong Kong and moved to Vancouver at a very young age, where I grew up enjoying traditional Chinese dishes at home. However, as I grew older, my taste expanded to include a wide variety of dishes from around the world, with a particular love for Japanese.

My favourite restaurants offer both a fantastic vibe and top-notch food. I love Zuma (Shop 501-503, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central. Tel: 3657 6388) for their brunch – and yashoku night brunch – with free-flow food and champagne.

Tokio Joe (16 Lan Kwai Fong, Central. Tel: 2525 1889) and Sushi Kuu (1/F, M88, Wellington Place, 2-8 Wellington Street, Central. Tel: 2971 0180) are other favourites for their relaxed environment, excellent sushi and lunch sets.

Marinated black cod from Zuma. Photo: Zuma
Spicy Tuna Crunchy at Tokio Joe in Central. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

Restaurants on heavy rotation for dinner include Carbone (9/F, Lan Kwai Fong Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central. Tel: 2593 2593), which I love for its charming decor and ambience, and its legendary whole branzino and spicy rigatoni vodka.

Yardbird (154-158 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan. Tel: 2547 9273) is known for its lively atmosphere and a menu that makes you want to order everything. My personal favourites are the furai-o fish and Korean fried cauliflower.

Korean fried cauliflower at Yardbird in Sheung Wan. Photo: SCMP
Carbone’s spicy rigatoni vodka. Photo: Instagram/@carbonehongkong

Don’t miss the tomatini at LPM Restaurant & Bar (Shop 1, UG, H Queen’s, 23-29 Stanley Street, Central. Tel: 2887 1113); it’s a must-try. Their escargots are also one of the city’s bests.

I’m so happy Nobu (2/F, The Regent Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2313 2313) finally reopened. Before it closed, my husband and I enjoyed celebrating our anniversaries there.

I recommend the omakase menu and adding other dishes on top like the crispy rice with spicy tuna.

Seared scallop in Pixian spicy soba noodles at Hutong.

When taking a new visitor out in Hong Kong, I like to offer them an experience that captures the essence of the city. For lunch, I’d recommend a visit to Hutong (18/F, H Zentre, 15 Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 3428 8342), with its modern Chinese cuisine and stunning Victoria Harbour views.

It’s an experience they won’t forget.

For dinner, instead of tourist hotspots, I like to take them to a restaurant I’d go to on a regular night out but with more of a local vibe like Ho Lee Fook (1-5 Elgin Street, SoHo. Tel: 2810 0860). It is an excellent choice with its funky decor, and creative and distinct Cantonese food.

A dish at Ho Lee Fook. Photo: Ho Lee Fook
A dining experience that holds a special place in my heart was when I celebrated my birthday at Amber (7/F, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen’s Road Central. Tel: 2132 0066) a couple of years ago. The restaurant is beautifully elegant and every single dish was delicious.

Outside Hong Kong, one of my favourite destinations for cuisine is Positano, Italy. During a stay at the Le Sirenuse hotel for my honeymoon, we dined at the enchanting La Sponda (Via Colombo 30, Positano. Tel: +39 089 875066) for breakfast and dinner, and its views make it one of the most memorable dining experiences.

Walking into the restaurant is like walking into a dream – the restaurant’s beautiful and romantic decor, overlooking the picturesque Amalfi Coast, creates a truly magical atmosphere.

The food was equally memorable, celebrating Mediterranean flavours with a strong focus on locally sourced ingredients. The pasta dishes were particularly delicious and unique, and we enjoyed our fair share of wine too.



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