Cover Get your pasta fix at one of chef Thomas's favourite restaurants (Photo: @posto_pubblico/ Instagram)

Chefs Sean Mell, Jaime Young and Thomas Brimble shares their restaurant picks for September

This month, chef Sean Mell of Katsumoto Sando Bar shares his favourite neighbourhood yakitori spot, while chef Jaime Young of Hatch talks about the best place to find fresh seafood in town. Finally, chef Thomas Brimble of Boy n Burger shares his favourite fine-dining and vegan restaurants in Hong Kong.

See also: What To Eat & Drink At The Revitalised Central Market

Sean Mell, chef of Katsumoto Sando Bar

Brut

Brut is such a unique and diverse restaurant. The menu showcases the skills of everyone on the team, I love that the entire team has contributed to the curation of the menu and it really shows in the food. There are so many creative flavour combinations and textures. Textures in food are a must for me. Not only is the food on point but the extensive and beautiful natural wine list is definitely worth indulging in. Camille Glass and her team are crushing it there.

Chef Sean’s go-to dishes:

  • Beef Tartare, pickled mustard, oat crisp. Love the flavours and textures in this dish. Love the presentation—simple but refined.
  • Pickled Tomato and Halloumi, Ginger. Very refreshing dish and I love Halloumi cheese so it is always a winner in my book.
  • Szechuan Wings. Also a crowd-pleaser, the yuzu dressing combined with the Szechuan is a killer combo that goes well with the chargrilled wings.

Brut, Shop C, G/F, Tung Cheung Building. 1, 11 Second St, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 3460 5863, brut.com.hk

BBQ Seafood Skewer Store

BBQ Sai Ying Pun is my go-to local style yakitori/ izakaya and barbecue spot. This is hands down my favourite little restaurant on the island side. I stumbled upon this place after moving from Soho to Sai Ying Pun. Great local seafood, great energy, and a huge selection of awesome bites, cheap beer and sake. This place is a hidden gem, and won’t break the bank.

Chef Sean’s go-to dishes:

  • BBQ King Prawn. Such a simple item—Barbecue skewer salt and pepper. I love the dipping sauces they give you as well: Thai green chilli sauce and a satay sauce.
  • BBQ scallop in the shell with mushroom, basically scallop butter yaki, again another simple item. Done just right.
  • And again, Wings. I love wings, grilled and properly seasoned with a little honey glaze.

BBQ Sai Ying Pun, Shop B, G/F, 129-133 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 2548 9880

Five Guys

Five Guys for me is more than just the burger. I tend to go there when I am missing home since growing up, my mom and I used to go together for quick lunch dates. Now, Five Guys gives me a nostalgic feeling that reminds me of my mom and home.

Recreate chef Sean’s mother-son lunch dates:

  • Cheese Burger with relish, grilled onion, ketchup, and mustard.
  • Chocolate milkshake
  • Cajun Fries

Locations across Hong Kong, fiveguys.com.hk

Jaime Alexander Young, executive chef at Hatch

Chuen Kee

When I’m craving seafood and an escape from the hustle and grind of Hong Kong, I go straight to Sai Kung.  Although there are a lot of spots on the waterfront, my favourite is Chuen Kee. I love picking my meal from a selection of the freshest live seafood around. It’s almost like visiting the market and they cook for you right there! 

Chef James’s go-to dishes:

I love the geoduck sashimi, salt and pepper pissing prawns and the piece de resistance cheesy lobster noodles.

Chuen Kee, 87-89 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, +852 2791 1195

Gustaci

I’ve got to say I’m pizza crazy and my favourite new spot is Gustaci.  It’s in PMQ and its close proximity to Hatch has nothing to do with it. As a born and raised New Yorker, I feel the need to eat pizza at least once a week to avoid withdrawal symptoms—Gustaci is my latest fix.

Chef Jaime’s go-to dishes:

I always go for the classic Margherita, Parmigiana di Melanzane and Capricciosa with olives, ham and mushrooms.

Gustaci, Shop HG01-05, G/F, Block B Hollywood, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2981 1418, gustacipizzalounge.com

See also: Where To Find The Best Pizzas In Hong Kong 2021

Saeb-e-hlee Lub Ped

One of my favourite things to do here is to explore different neighbourhoods and after searching high and low, I realized Kowloon City has it all!  I was fortunate to live nearby for years. Although there are so many hits, one of my favourites is the Thai restaurant, Saeb-e-hlee.  The all-female staff is always entertaining and fun and the food is delicious. It’s just a short walk from the Islam restaurant which I usually hit up on the same night. 

Chef Jaime’s go-to dishes:

Some of the star dishes are sour Thai sausage, oyster omelette, larb and salt-baked fish.

Saeb-e-hlee, 27-29 Nam Kok Road, Kowloon City, Hong Kong, +852 2716 2938

Thomas Brimble, chef at Boy n Burger

Ando

I love Ando. The dinner menu is outstanding. This is a really special restaurant, run by people who really understand hospitality. The culinary team lead by chef founder Agustin Balbi is all exceptionally talented. The menu has small seasonal changes so it's new and engaging every time, whilst keeping its well-crafted structure.

I know how hard these people work to achieve this level of cuisine. I’m in awe of every single one of them. You should go.

Chef Thomas’s go-to dishes:

An exceptional dish that deserves a mention is SIN LOLA, a humble dish elevated to culinary bliss. But this isn’t even the best thing about it! My favourite pastry chef Joanna Yuen delivers an outstanding and ever-developing dessert offer.

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

Mum’s Not Home

My wife introduced me to Mums Not Home when we were dating!  A super chill independent café with great cakes, desserts, tea and art, it’s a bit hard to find, but well worth it. I go here to chill on my breaks.

The chefs are always on Shanghai Street after lunch service, replacing something that broke or something you inevitably need for dinner service that night. Hang around long enough and you will meet a chef popping in for a slice of cake and tea before rushing back for service. 

Mum’s Not Home, 1/F, 302 Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong, +852 9770 5760

Posto Pubblico

Posto Pubblico is just a really good neighbourhood restaurant in Soho. I don’t go here often enough, it's Italian-American comfort food at its best. The food is always good, the chefs are on point, and the tunes are excellent. I love everything by Red Sauce Hospitality which includes Finis and Franks, both great restaurants with really good flavours.

Chef Thomas’s go-to dishes:

Great meatballs, seasonal pasta, real cheese and lots of lovely roast vegetables. 

Posto Pubblico, G/F, 28 Elgin Street, Soho, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2577 7160, postopubblico.com

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