HO LEE FOOK
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.