Cover Otium is one of chef May Chow's picks this month (Photo: @otium/ Instagram)

Chefs May Chow, Stephanie Wong and Ricardo Chaneton share where they’re excited to dine at in July

Welcome back to Tatler’s monthly series where we ask chefs to spotlight the restaurants they’re excited to eat each month. 

For July, we spoke with chef May Chow of Little Bao and Happy Paradise and learnt all about under-the-radar Chinese restaurants and where to find special dining experiences in town; chef Stephanie Wong of Roots Eatery shared where to get the best Michelin-rated Italian pastas; while Mono’s Ricardo Chaneton gave us his favourite fine-dining recommendations. 

See also: Hong Kong Restaurant News: Summer Omakase At Whisk, Little Bao's Taco Jam, And More

May Chow, Chef-Founder of Little Bao and Happy Paradise

Sun Hon Kee 

Sun Hon Kee was a restaurant introduced to me by Lau Kin Wai and Agnes Chee many years ago. I have been a total of three times and it continues to be one of my favourite Chinese restaurants. It’s quite a trek due to its location and the service isn’t the best but it’s all about the food. I once took 24 pax here for a Chinese New Year meal years ago—it wasn’t easy to convince a group of Central people to take an Uber to Fan Ling. 

From the use of local chicken; pork lard fried cuttlefish cake; to the sweetest red onions stir-fried with baby squid and pork lard (cooked until the black squid bursts to create an instant squid ink glaze)—can you spot the reoccurring pork lard theme? There is always seasonal specials and some new ingredient finds by the chef. 

Sun Hon Kee, Shop G01, G/F, Commune Modern, 28 Wo Fung Street, Luen Wo Hui, Fan Ling, Hong Kong, +852 2683 0000

Sow Vegan

I had the pleasure to meet Pamela Poon, the founder of Sow Vegan at an incubator program. Passionate, entrepreneurial and talented, I look forward to trying her private dining vegan tasting menu experience. With such glowing reviews, sometimes cooking from the heart can really jump off the page. 

Sow Vegan, Room 1102,11/F, Hung Tat Industrial Building,43 Hung To Road, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong, +852 9029 3009; sowvegan.com

See also: New York’s Eleven Madison Park Goes Completely Meatless—But Not Vegan

Otium

I am excited to finally visit Otium, an experimental private dining experience run by founders Alison Tan and Amit Oz. Their passion for arts, food, music and culture are integrated into this special fine-dining supper club. I wish to be inspired by Tan and Oz’s forward-thinking approach to a dining experience that’s definitely beyond the plate.

Secret location in Chai Wan disclosed upon booking. otiumhk.com

Wendy’s Wok World 

Sam Lui’s alter ego, Wendy’s Wok World is as if DJ Peggy Gou happened to have a family that owned a soy sauce factory. Instead of pursuing fine arts or music, Lui decided to take on the wok. 

Don’t be fooled by the get-up. The Columbia graduate is hyper-focused to master the wok in a way that is beyond the wok. I have yet to experience her food but I look forward to it and believe that her skills will get better by the day. 

Discover Wendy’s Wok World on Instagram

See also: The Rising Stars Of Hong Kong's Dining Scene And What They're Doing Now

Wing

Chef Vicky Cheng spends every waking moment loving his job as a chef. I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to the most elaborate late-night dinners at the old space of Wing as a friend and peer before Wing’s opening. 

From clay pot rice to Shanghainese inspired steamed croaker fish, Vicky was always boldly sharing his exploration of the Chinese cuisine, vulnerably putting his experimental stages for trial, sharing and feedback. He constantly strives to learn from the best, followed by nonstop research and recipe development. I look forward to dining at Wing soon.

Wing, 29F, The Wellington 198 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2711 0063; wingrestaurant.hk

See also: VEA’s Vicky Cheng Opens Wing, A New Fine Chinese Restaurant In Central

Stephanie Wong, Chef-founder of Roots Eatery

Whey

I’ve been a huge fan of Beet from the start and was so excited when it finally made a comeback as Whey this year. Whey has everything you love about Beet—all its clean, refined but down to earth fine dining flavours and now kicking it up a notch with a bold Singaporean flare that has you wanting to go back over and over.  

Whey, UG/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2693 3198; whey.hk

See also: First Look: Whey, Chef Barry Quek’s New Central Restaurant Dedicated To The Flavours Of Singapore

Locanda Dell Angelo

My Italian friends have been telling me about Locanda Dell' Angelo for years but I only finally recently went and understood instantly why they raved about this place. All the handmade pasta were divine with a particular mention of their morels fregola pasta with chicken skin that was so intense and memorable. 

Locanda Dell Angelo, 10-12 Yuen Yuen Street Happy Valley, Hong Kong, +852 5131 7013; facebook.com/angelo.com.hk

Kin’s Kitchen 

Classical and well-executed Cantonese cuisine with twists and turns to its classics. The smoked chicken is a must order and their signature, but personally, my favourite is their squid ink steamed meat patty with salted egg yolk. The squid ink and dried squid embedded into the meat patty intensifies the flavour and elevates this humble family dish. 

Kin’s Kitchen, 5/F, W Square, 314-324 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2571 0913

Ricardo Chaneton, Chef-Founder of Mono

Andō

I always look forward to eating at Andō. The menu is constantly evolving, so every visit feels fresh and exciting. The restaurant has a special place in my heart because Chef Agustin Balbi was one of the first friends I made when I first moved to Hong Kong. I have so many beautiful memories at Andō, many of which centred around the signature dish Arroz Caldoso, one of my all-time favourites. I always recommend the restaurant to friends, and it will always be a restaurant that I look forward to returning to. 

Ando, 1/F, Somptueux Central, 52 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 9161 8697; andohk.com

See also: Why Chinese Plums Are Ando's Pastry Chef Joanna Yuen's Favourite Local Ingredient

Louise

Louise is a one-of-a-kind restaurant in Hong Kong, and their brunch is a standout. Visiting Louise almost feels like you have taken a holiday to France, from the food to the interior design and the atmosphere. The food is authentic and simple yet so well executed and wonderfully intricate. I have had the pleasure of knowing Chef Franckelie Laloum for many years from when we met in Shanghai and Chef Julien Royer is one of my closest friends, so visiting the restaurant makes me feel like I am with family. 

Louise, G/F, JPC, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2866 0300; louise.hk

Ta Vie

Ta Vie is a beautiful restaurant not only for special occasions but also for inspiration and to train your palate. Visiting the restaurant is an exquisite experience. I feel very open-minded and learn a lot about Japanese cuisine when I dine at Ta Vie.

Ta Vie, 2/F, The Pottinger Hong Kong, 74 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2668 6488; tavie.com.hk

See also: A Taste Of Home: Restaurateur Mina Park On The Hong Kong Dishes and Dining Spots She Longs To Revisit