HK Magazine - - DINING -

From Tokyo to Saigon

Can’t de­cide if you love udon or pho more? Have a taste of both in the up­com­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween chef Peter Cuong Franklin of Viet Kitchen (G/F, Nexxus Build­ing, 41 Con­naught Rd., Cen­tral, 2806-2068) and chef Nori­hisa Maeda of Shiki Zen (29/F, Mid­town Plaza II, Cause­way Bay, 2970-3218), avail­able from Mar 1-31. Five spe­cially cre­ated dishes will fuse the best of both coun­tries, high­light­ing the fresh herbs of Viet­nam and the stun­ning seafood of Ja­pan. Saigon-style beef udon ($168) and Hanoi-style chicken udon ($138) fea­ture Shiki Zen’s won­der­ful hand­made udon noo­dles in clas­sic chicken and beef pho broths, while wagyu beef carpac­cio ($168) and caramel miso black cod ($198) have Ja­panese roots with a Viet­namese-style twist on sea­son­ings—think fra­grant lemon­grass, kaf­fir limes and star anise. Dessert ties the meal to­gether with in­flu­ences from both coun­tries: banana Nutella gy­oza topped with peanuts, con­densed milk and straw­ber­ries ($68).

Su­per Bowl Mon­day

Whether you’re a Pan­thers or Broncos fan, the Su­per Bowl is al­ways a great ex­cuse to gorge on na­chos and wings (and brunch food to fuel the 7:30am start in Hong Kong). No need to call in sick this year—Su­per Bowl 50 falls on CNY so you can re­lax, put on your jer­sey and game face, and head to one of th­ese sports bars that do Su­per Bowl in style: Grappa’s Cel­lar (Jar­dine House, 1 Con­naught Place, Cen­tral, 2521-2322) fills up ev­ery year for the big game, of­fer­ing a hearty Amer­i­can breakfast buf­fet for $148. A packed house means you won’t be the only lone wolf cheer­ing, while plenty of screens al­low for de­cent views from any seat in the house. Al­ter­na­tively, head to Stone Nul­lah Tav­ern (49 El­gin St., Cen­tral, 2387-6338) which of­fers a spread of na­chos, chili con carne, scram­bled eggs, sausage, mini mac balls and chicken pop­pers for $228 per per­son. Grab free-flow beers, pros­ecco and mi­mosas for $108 extra. Let’s just hope it’s more of a fair fight than the last few Pan­thers games.

Plank­ing Around Town

Move over, truf­fles: There’s a new in­gre­di­ent in town that’s pack­ing an even big­ger umami punch. Isono Eatery & Bar (6/F Block B, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen St., Cen­tral, 2156-0688) has brought over an unusual yet sur­pris­ingly de­li­cious in­gre­di­ent: marine plank­ton. De­spite an un­sexy name, plank­ton has been gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity around the world for its in­tense oceanic fla­vor, im­part­ing the briny essence of the sea into any dish it touches. At Isono, chef Luca Marinelli uses it beau­ti­fully in three specials avail­able un­til the end of March: plank­ton seafood paella ($318), car­bonara di mare ($328) and ravi­oli with bur­rata, bot­targa and plank­ton emul­sion ($328). Far from your typ­i­cal car­bonara, the pasta was frankly one of the best we’ve had in awhile, with the creamy plank­ton sauce tast­ing straight of the sea. The paella is also a must­try, with a crispy burnt-rice soc­carat crust and fresh seafood dressed in a bright green plank­ton ali­oli.

Udon x pho at the Viet-Shiki col­lab­o­ra­tion

Go green with Isono’s plank­ton

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