HO LEE FOOK

T.Dining by Hong Kong Tatler - - Creative Chinese -

Like its tongue-in-cheek name, Ho Lee Fook—which means

“good for­tune for your mouth” in Can­tonese—is an ir­rev­er­ent mash-up be­tween a Chi­nese restau­rant and a grungy un­der­ground club. Tai­wan-born head chef Jowett Yu was raised in Van­cou­ver and trained in

Syd­ney, and brings a mul­ti­cul­tural moder­nity to his Hong Kong cha chaan teng-in­spired menu. But the food stops short of veer­ing into the fu­sion-or-con­fu­sion grey zone. Mom’s “mostly cab­bage, a lit­tle bit of pork” dumplings is homely and com­fort­ing, and the flavours of the Can­tonese siu mei (roast meats) that Yu found fame for in his Syd­ney restau­rant Mr Wong are left unadul­ter­ated. The young wait staff talk through the menu like they wrote it, and their con­fi­dence sways you to quaff pre­mium sake out of wine glasses be­cause, why not? Con­ver­sa­tions in the base­ment din­ing room can get pretty shouty, as the playlist of 70s rock and hiphop is as loud as its dé­cor—think golden Lucky Cats and mahjong tiles, dreamt up by equally ir­rev­er­ent Hong Kong life­style and de­sign com­pany G.O.D. Putting a mod­ern spin on well-loved clas­sics is of­ten a di­vi­sive en­deav­our, but Ho Lee Fook proves that if you get the ba­sics right, you might just be able to get away with tak­ing a few cheeky risks.

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