My definition of “Western food” in Hong Kong is different than the typical Western food definition. Yes, there is Western food in Hong Kong, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t eat Western food that often in Hong Kong but more fusion food than anything else. A lot of “Hong Kong” food can be considered a fusion with Western food. Cha Chaan Teng, one of the most typical places that can be considered Hong Kong food, is really a combination of Western food and Chinese food (there will be more on this in the Cha Chaan Teng post).
Here, I have 3 places that are of course not must go places but just examples of some of the more “western” food in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is the land of high-end Western restaurants. Almost any restaurant that’s on the more expensive side (above 300 HKD) contains some Western influences.
First, let’s start with an appetizer – Bread and Butter Café – which definitely deserved a mention for their truffle and garlic French fries.
This cute little café located in QPM, serves up some of the most delicious fries I’ve had in Hong Kong. They are crunchy, fluffy and heavy on the salt and flavour. I would definitely give this a 8/10. – Yes, this more a snack than Western food. But what I found was strange was that, I found fries, on a lot of café menus in Hong Kong (which you will see later in my coffee shop in Hong Kong post). Fries, to me, reminded me that “Yes, I am in an Eastern country but also Yes, there is great Western influence here”.
Rating: 8/10 – some pretty decent fries
Now onto a Happy Hour experience that I had at – Fatty Crab – in the Sheung Wan district of Hong Kong. Happy Hour is definitely a relevant meal in Hong Kong. You see a lot of Westerners in this area having a happy time and indulging in well, Happy Hour.
They market this place definitely as a fusion place. It’s an East meets West place but more West than East. With an offering of raw oysters, scotch eggs, salads yet also Asian bao’s (with some Southeast influences).
This place is also on the pricier side of things, I mean even water cost me around 100 HKD and it wasn’t even sparkling.
Rating: 7/10 – other than the price, the food and flavours were actually not bad. My favourite was the bao but other than that everything else was just okay.
And finally a French place with a bit of an identity crisis? – La Cantoche
I had the pleasure to interview the chef himself for a class I was taking at HKU and he told us about his upraising in France and also how his mother influenced him (which is why there’s one Asian dish on the menu).
The chef says he tries to offer French food that normal French people would eat and not food that everyone pictures French food to be. It’s not always about the frills and mostly its about relaxing. It’s not always about the fancy meals but he tries to give an experience of everyday.
But of course, the price of the food was still quite pricey because of the ingredients utilized. I had the camembert with potato balls and also shared the wraps (which is the Asian dish on the menu).
Rating: 6.5/10 – I liked the idea of the camembert with potato balls – but I felt that the potato balls could have been better done. It felt quite sandy. The concept of the wraps sounded good but when actually consumed it was lacking in flavour. Other than sourness and a slightly chewy crunch, there was nothing else that was there. It felt quite empty. The dessert though was light and was a nice sweetness.
It’s also possible that some Western places have adopted to Hong Kong people’s palate in order to appeal to a larger audience. This definitely happens at some restaurants but at the same time, that’s just part of how Hong Kong is. Hong Kong food is really a melting pot of people and above all, flavours.