Cover The Chairman is one of chef Palash Mitra's picks for this month (Photo: @chirispooh/ Tatler Asia)

Chefs Natalie Eng, Palash Mitra and Alessandro Angelini share where they’re excited to visit in October

Welcome back to our monthly series where we ask chefs and restaurateurs about where they’re excited to eat each month.

This month, Batard’s new patisserie chef, Natalie Eng shares her favourite local eat spots in town, while New Punjab Club’s head chef Palash Mitra shares his favourite restaurant to visit when he wants to feel as though he’s transported out of Hong Kong. Finally, Alessandro Angelini, chef and owner of Sai Ying Pun’s Lucale Tasting Italy talks about his go-to dumpling spot in town. 

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Natalie Eng, patisserie chef at Batard

江仔記粉麵專家 

I can’t find the name in English but a good Chiu Chow style fishball noodle is always my go-to comfort food at any time. It hits the spot and it’s just something I have always eaten while growing up in Singapore. When I found this place after moving to Hong Kong, it felt like a hug in a bowl for me. I frequent it almost every week so often that the uncle knows my order now.

江仔記粉麵專家, G/F, 2 Canal Road East, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2893 5617

Hansik Goo

I’ve been meaning to try chef Mingoo Kang's Hansik Goo—I had a really tight schedule last time I was in Seoul, so I didn’t manage to make it down to Mingles. When I learnt the chef was opening another restaurant in Hong Kong, I was really excited so I really hope to make it there soon! I really love Korean flavours, especially ginseng so I’m really keen on trying their ginseng risotto or the ice cream—I believe they had that on their menu for a brief period of time! 

Hansik Goo, 1/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2798 8768, hansikgoo.hk

Deng G

A friend introduced Deng G to me when I was looking for good Sichuan food and I haven’t looked elsewhere since. I love all their appetisers, especially the okra and sliced pork with garlic and chilli! Their braised fish with pickled mustard greens is so good too.

Deng G, 2/F, Weswick Commercial Building, 147-149 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2609 2328, elite-concepts.com

榮記(東成)飯店 

Love this one for local Hong Kong zi char. It’s a little bit of a hole in the wall but their deep-fried chicken is delicious as well as their steamed baby razor clams with garlic and rice noodle.

榮記(東成)飯店, Shop CF4, Bowrington Road Cooked Food Centre, 1/F, Bowrington Road Market, 21 Bowrington Road, Wan Chai, +852 2574 3870

Palash Mitra, head chef at New Punjab Club

The Chairman

The Chairman is one of those restaurants that lives up to its reputation. I am a big fan and admirer of the diligent nose-to-tail approach to cooking that the kitchen uses. Everything is made with the same deep respect paid to traditional Cantonese cooking methods and techniques, but with a touch of creativity and innovation. I feel lucky to be able to visit whenever I am craving their steamed flower crab or crispy lamb belly.

The Chairman, G/F, 18 Kau U Fong, Central, Hong Kong, +852 ​​2555 2202, thechairmangroup.com

See also: Danny Yip's The Chairman Takes 1st Place In Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021

Osteria Marzia 

When I need to escape Hong Kong or just need to relax after a hectic day in the kitchen, I head to Osteria Marzia for beautifully cooked Italian dishes from Chef Luca and the whole team. Chef Luca is a wizard at conjuring the coastal cuisine of the region and has introduced me to many traditional Italian recipes I had never had the chance to try.

One of the things I look forward to most is the seasonal dishes, ones that are crafted not only with traditional, seasonal ingredients from southern Italy in mind but also use the best of the fresh-caught local seafood. The new autumn menu just started this month and I cannot wait to try these new dishes.

Osteria Marzia, G/F, The Fleming, 41 Fleming Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 3607 2253, osteriamarzia.com.hk

Lobster Bar and Grill at Island Shangri-La

 It is a bit of a surprise that I have not made it here yet, because I’m a big fan of the work Cary does, but Lobster Bar and Grill has been on my list for months now. I had a fabulous time last time I ate his food at Gough's On Gough, so if my previous meal is anything to go by I am sure Cary is doing amazing work here. He is one of my favourite chefs and someone whose food I’m really looking forward to experiencing again. I know I’m missing out, so I have decided this has to happen in October!

Lobster Bar and Grill, 6/F, Island Shangri-La Hong Kong, Two Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, +852 2820 8560, shangri-la.com

Sedique Halal Mess  

One of my favourite places for comfort food, and a place you will find me almost all the time, is Sedique Halal Mess. Hidden inside Chungking Mansions, Sedique is a nostalgic taste of home for me. I actually spent an afternoon in the kitchen with the team and they are incredibly humble. Straightforward, honest, traditional dishes are served in a no-fuss manner that reminds me of traditional mess halls where everyone and anyone can come together over a good meal.

Sedique Halal Mess, Block A-3, 6/F, Chung King Mansion, 36-44 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2367 4445

Alessandro Angelini, chef-owner of Lucale Tasting Italy

Zoku Restaurant & Terrace

I am a big fan of Zoku at the Hari Hotel in Wan Chai. The design of the restaurant is unique and offers a cosy home-style feel with modern fittings. They also have a relaxing terrace area where my wife and I like to spend time. I like their Japanese-inspired cocktails. One of my favourites is called ‘Courage, one of the seven virtues of the Samurai’—the ingredients are Samurai no mon shochu, tequila, mezcal, yuzu juice, honey, Tabasco.

Every time I go there I order the uni and caviar temaki rolls, Wagyu beef skewers, the hamachi yuzu sashimi platter, and the yellowtail sashimi with pickled radish, yuzu soy, and serrano peppers.

Zoku Restaurant & Terrace, 2/F, The Hari, 330 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2129 0338, thehari.com

Din Tai Fung

Another restaurant that I really enjoy is Taiwanese chain Din Tai Fung, which offers the best xiao long baos in Hong Kong. I typically visit the restaurant and order about four basket’s of these dumplings, plus a local Chinese vegetable like jade vegetable or kai lan. I love the no-frills approach of ordering the tasty dumplings and they always arrive piping hot. To me, the dumplings are the perfect texture.

Locations across Hong Kong, dintaifung.com.hk

Roganic

I love Roganic's contemporary approach to seasonality and its commitment to local and sustainable ingredients. Roganic represents a truly unique take on farm-to-table cooking, particularly in a buzzing city like Hong Kong. Being Italian, I really enjoy sustainable artisanal food with a highlight on local and seasonal ingredients as this is at the heart of Italian cuisine. As they say, 'what grows together, goes together'. I usually order the chef’s or degustation menu as I like to be surprised.  Their sea urchin custard with caviar is a star item. Another item that I just love is the soda bread with brown cultured English butter. Being Italian, bread is a staple for me, and Roganic's is very well crafted.

Roganic, Shop 8, UG/F, Sino Plaza, 255 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 28178 383, roganic.com.hk

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