Your insider’s guide to Hong Kong

Five of Hong Kong’s finest cheat day meals

Put the calorie-counter away and treat yourself to these comforting eats

Words: Rachel Read

While Hong Kong’s health food scene has improved in leaps and bounds in recent years (as evidenced by our roundups of fantastic healthy lunches and vegetarian restaurants), sometimes a salad just doesn’t hit the spot. For those times when an indulgent spread is just what the doctor ordered, here are five of our favourite cheat day meals in the city.

Hot Dogs and Tater Tots at PDT Hong Kong
OK, we’ll admit to being a little biased with this one – but the food at PDT (Please Don’t Tell) goes above and beyond your average bar fare. Alongside its renowned cocktails, the Hong Kong outpost of New York’s legendary speakeasy serves up Chef Richard Ekkebus’ exciting take on American comfort food, including a creative range of hot dogs showcasing artisanal frankfurters made from sustainable beef, pork or chicken. Mouth-watering creations include the Honkie Dog (a fried pork dog with sakura shrimp, cabbage, scallions and XO mayo) and the Ole Dog (a chicken dog spiced up with chorizo, Manchego cheese and Espelette chilli mayo). Complete your meal in style with a side of piping hot, golden, crunchy homemade tater tots – or the Okonomiyaki-style version, topped with kewpie mayonnaise, takoyaki sauce, shredded nori, bonito shavings and scallions.

Mezzanine Level, Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, +852 2132 0110
www.mandarinoriental.com/hong-kong/the-landmark/fine-dining/bars/pdt

Pizza at Alvy’s
The days when you couldn’t get a good pizza in Hong Kong are long gone, and Alvy’s, a contemporary Kennedy Town pizzeria, is dishing up some of the best pies in town. The pizza bases here are made from a beer-based sourdough, which gives it a more complex flavour and distinctively chewy texture. If you can handle the heat, opt for the Ma-La-Di-Da, a fiery Sichuan take on salumi pizza that’s piled high with chillies; or for something gentler on the taste-buds, the A La Vodka is a New York City-style classic, featuring a creamy tangy vodka sauce and pecorino cheese. The easy-going, unpretentious vibe makes it ideal for lingering over that last slice.

8 Holland Street, Kennedy Town, +852 2312 2996
www.facebook.com/AlvysHK

Burgers at The Butchers Club Burgers
The secret behind any great burger is quality meat – and The Butchers Club team really know their beef. All their signature patties are made from Australian dry-aged Black Angus beef, which is marinated in their secret blend of seasonings before being minced and cooked to order for each diner. You can’t go wrong with The Classic, a luxurious cheeseburger sexed up with maple bacon, tomato, pickles and The Butchers Club’s moreish secret sauce, while the extra hungry should try the Double Happiness, which features double-stacked beef patties served between two grilled cheese sandwiches. Feeling more virtuous? The Beyond Classic is a vegan affair, starring Beyond Meat’s revolutionary plant-based “meat”; it’s every bit as juicy and delicious as the real thing, leaving even carnivores singing its praises.

– G/F, Rialto Building, 2 Landale Street, Wan Chai, +852 2528 2083
– 82 Stanley Street, Central, +852 2347 0777
– G/F, Westland Gardens, 12 Westland Gardens Road, Quarry Bay, +852 2388 9644
– Shop G34-35, G/F, K11, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, +852 2897 7522
www.thebutchers.club/burger-hk

Mac n’ Cheese at Stone Nullah Tavern
When carb cravings strike, nothing hits the mark quite like a hearty bowl of pasta – just like the mac n’ cheese at Stone Nullah Tavern. While this cosy Wan Chai eatery boasts a menu stuffed with all-American comfort food classics, it’s this simple-but-indulgent pasta dish that really stands out; equal parts rich, creamy and cheesy, it even comes topped with a ready-to-ooze organic egg yolk for extra unctuousness. For a touch more decadence, try the options with added pickled jalapeño, black truffle or homemade bacon… or even a combination of all of the above (we won’t judge).

G/F, 69 Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai, +852 3182 0128
www.stonenullahtavern.com

Fried Chicken and Fries at Second Draft
For delicious gastropub eats with a uniquely Asian twist, head to Second Draft, a relaxed restaurant and craft beer bar located in the trendy Tai Hang neighbourhood. Its menu was created by May Chow, aka Asia’s Best Female Chef 2017 – and her signature flair for putting new spins on old-school, Hong Kong flavours shines through. Who can resist deep-fried delights in the shape of the crispy fried chicken (made from fresh local three-yellow chicken with an all-too-addictive nam yu roasted garlic dip) or Tai Hang fries (doused in liberal scatterings of cumin dust, takana and dried chilli for a heady kick)? The difficulty here is stopping at just one serving…

98 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, +852 2656 0232
www.facebook.com/SecondDraftHK

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