Reinvented traditional Chinese dishes at edgy new Chinese restaurant in Soho neighbourhood
September 21st, 2014
An exciting recent addition to the vibrant dining scene of Hong Kong’s popular SOHO neighbourhood, Ho Lee Fook introduces an edgy take on traditional Chinese cuisine, appropriately set within a dramatically conceived combination of basement dining space and street level open-kitchen. Taiwanese-born chef Jowett Yu has partnered with Hong Kong restaurant group Black Sheep Restaurants to launch the irreverently named restaurant (Ho Lee Fook translates as “good fortune for your mouth”) as a fun and innovative culinary experience for Hong Kong diners.
Yu’s adventurous reinterpretations of Chinese cuisine were honed in the kitchens he headed at progressive Sydney restaurants Ms. G’s and Mr. Wong – and inspired in part by the ground-breaking culinary trends created by world famous New York chef David Chang’s Momofuku restaurants. Taking a fun and unpretentious approach to classic Chinese cooking, Yu melds elements of Korean, Japanese, as well as American street foods, to the familiar Chinese dishes of Hong Kong’s popular cha chaan teng ( tea restaurants) to create delicious food at approachable prices.
Conveniently located at the corner of Hollywood Road and Elgin Street, Ho Lee Fook showcases its dynamic kitchen behind the glass fronted street level facade, with a concrete staircase leading down to the basement dining space. Taking design cues from traditional Hong Kong culture – juxtaposed with a contemporary street art aesthetic – the restaurant interior includes elements such as a mah-jong tiled kitchen, and the raw concrete walled, minimalist dining room replete with colourful back-lit streetscape artworks, black timber lattice screens of carved out calligraphy inspired by the works of renowned street artist the King of Kowloon. A rock n’ roll sound track suffuses the space with an energetic vibe to complete the offbeat, relaxed dining experience.
The inventive menu of revamped Chinese dishes created by Yu is assembled under headings such as To Start; Raw; Vegetables; Roast Meats; and Not A Small Plate. Dishes that exemplify his unconventional approach include Mom’s “mostly cabbage, a little bit of pork” dumplings, sacha soy dressing; DIY pork San Choi Bao, cucumber kimchi, chili bean paste, garlic stem, mixed herbs; and Steamed local black kingfish, fennel and radish salad, pickled chili, ginger white soy dressing. While at the bar, Asian inflected drinks are the specialty, created from ingredients like Oolong tea-infused vodka, shochu, and green tea.
Ho Lee Fook is open Tuesday to Sunday from 6 pm for dinner only – reservations are taken for groups of 5 or more.
Ho Lee Fook interior design
Ho Lee Fook cuisine
(Food images courtesy Ho Lee Fook)