All of the previous posts on ‘HK’s best’ are pretty cheap affairs.* They are the dirty dozen of Chinese and Cantonese cuisine and taste all the better for it. This is not to say Hong Kong doesn’t have fancy expensive Cantonese restaurants. It has lots of them. They come with carpets that look like Donald Trump personally designed them back in the 1970s and which haven’t been replaced since and are typically 49 sub-basements down in hotels or in a backroom of a shopping mall. Even those which try to be a bit more… well… ‘modern’ like Lung King Heen are fairly characterless.
This is why the Chairman is such a bloody relief. Not only is it stylish in a retro-Chinese kind of way but it also attempts to push Hong Kong’s food scene forward. All of those restaurants I described above are places to go and dump cash in a hole. The food is often good, sometimes spectacular, but they are as much about showing that the client is rich as the food is good (I am thinking of you Sun Tung Luk). And because of that they focus on shark’s fin, abalone etc..
The Chairman shouts that its approach is different as soon as you open the menu. The menu simply states that they have “refrained” from serving abalone and shark’s fin as they know you have tried them before. And then, nearly unheard of in Hong Kong, they talk about produce, specifically Chinese produce.
And it shows, the ginger they serve is some of the best you will eat in Hong Kong, the fish and crabs are resplendent and they also offer homemade unique dishes. And this rubs off on the staff. If you go outside lunch (when it can be a bit hectic) there is an evident pride in the staff at the food the kitchen is churning out. The staff will guide you through the courses and you will be rewarded.
And finally, above all, the Chairman is about the crab. To be specific the ‘steamed fresh flower crab with aged Shaoxing wine, fragrant chicken oil & flat rice noodles in a fatty chicken broth’. Wow. If you want to read a bit of a detail on the food at the Chairman, Mr Noodles’ post here is a good blow by blow description of one of my many meals there.
- Price – HK$500 to 700
- G/F, 18 Kau U Fong, Central (2555 2202)
*Well bar the Japanese restaurants of course.