If it wasn’t apparent from ArChan Chan’s debut cookbook, Hong Kong Local, which was published in September 2020 and features more than 70 recipes centred on classic Hong Kong cuisine, that the chef has a deep appreciation for Cantonese cuisine, then her picks of the foods she misses and the restaurants she yearns to visit further emphasise the fact.
Based in Singapore, where she is executive chef at Level 33, Chan has lived outside her home of Hong Kong for more than a decade, first in Melbourne, where she worked at now-defunct Cantonese eatery Ricky and Pinky before moving to Singapore three years ago. While she doesn’t make it back to Hong Kong very often––even when there isn’t a global pandemic––there are many dishes she longs for. From milk tea to claypot rice, egg tarts and, of course, yum cha, she shares some of her favourites with Tatler Dining.
What do you miss most in terms of food and drink when you are away from Hong Kong or haven’t been back for a while?
Beef brisket noodles (牛腩麵) is one of dishes I miss most. You can find this dish in Australia and Singapore, but in Hong Kong there are so many options and the quality is so high; it’s a speciality in Hong Kong. I also miss yum cha, fresh seafood at Tuen Mun Sam Shing Hui Seafood Market (屯門三聖村海鮮檔), milk tea, and puff pastry egg tarts (酥皮蛋撻). I love bamboo steamed shrimp rice (籠仔蒸蝦飯), too. It’s rice steamed in bamboo with lotus leaf and served with prawns or crab meat, soy sauce and garlic. It’s something quite special that not a lot of people know about. I included a recipe for it in my cookbook. There are a lot of places in Tai Kok Tsui where you can find this classic dish. Hong Kong also has some really good traditional Korean barbecue restaurants.