Comfort food is all the rage in Hong Kong right now. And yes, while desserts have long been the popular go-to for a sneaky bit of comforting indulgence, there’s something to be said about going down the savoury path, too. There’s no finer way to do it than barbecue style – finger licking proteins grilled to order, with that perfect balance of smoky, sweet and juicy and that’s before we even start talking about sauces.
Mouth watering yet? Here’s where to go for Hong Kong’s best barbecue:
Steak Frites by The Butchers Club
Like every good barbecue platter, this one comes with its own creation story. Steak Frites head chef Hayden Smith whipped up a few slow-cooked platters one day for a staff lunch and, thankfully for the rest of us, the very clever Butchers Club crew insisted it be shared with the very hungry masses. Tuesday is barbecue night at the Soho dining spot, and it’s a beauty – a generous plank (a steal at HK$250) packed to the edges with Dingley Dell pulled pork, grilled back ribs and juicy chicken wings, all basted in house-made spicy barbecue sauce. There’s also a large hunk of grilled corn on there cob, coleslaw, chicken salt fries and a piece of bread to mop it all up – and believe us, you’re going to want to do that.
Add: Steak Frites by The Butchers Club, UG/F, 52-56 Staunton Street, Central, Hong Kong
Contact: 00852 2858 9800
Stone Nullah Tavern
Chef Vinny Lauria is one busy man – in between a menu revamp at his Elgin Street flagship Posto Pubblico and the recent launch of his Linguni Fini brand in Hanoi, he’s also managed to grill up a weekend special at Stone Nullah Tavern. The Wan Chai spot is the place to be on the weekend for the all-American barbecue (HK$298) – we’re talking a huge seafood platter to start, followed by as many trips as you like to the make-your-own nacho bar, followed by mains like southern fried chicken, maple-glazed barbecued ribs, backyard bacon cheeseburger and Hebrew national hot dogs. The best part? After you pick your main, it’s unlimited. Wash it down with free-flow margaritas or PBR (HK$98), because when in Rome, right?
Add: Stone Nullah Tavern, G/F, 69 Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai, Hong Kong,
Contact: 00852 3182 0128
If you’re a real barbecue lover, you’d already know about 85 South. If you don’t, rectify this shocking oversight immediately. One of the many things we love about this hole-in-the-wall is that the menu is a deliberately abbreviated one – they know what they’re about and they know how to go about it. And what they’re about is classic Carolina-style barbecue – stringy and tasty pulled pork, fall-off-the-bone barbecue ribs, and seriously lip-smackin’ smoked barbecue chicken.
Sample it all with an 85 South Trifecta (HK$180), which gets you all three on a disposable tray, with red slaw and your choice of drink (we recommend the Arnold Palmer). If you’re not on The Zone, go for one of the barbecue sandwiches – the smoked chicken salad sandwich (HK$100, with fries – and these are some of the best fries in town – and a drink) makes you feel just a little less guilty about the whole affair.
Add: 85 South, 6-10 Kau U Fong, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Contact: 00852 2337 2078
Artisanal smokehouse CRFT_PIT is one of the newer spots to add to the list of super cool places to see, be seen and eat down south. The expansive Ap Lei Chau restaurant and butcher – helmed by the very talented Danielle Yuen (formerly of Tai Ping Shan’s NOSH) – offers a finger licking selection of dried, cured and smoked meats, seafoods, and even sells condiments and produce to make your own at home. You’re going to want to keep it in house though, to take full advantage of the breezy terrace.
CRFT_PIT, Unit 2, 3/F, Harbour Industrial Centre, 10 Lee Hing Street, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong
Contact: 00852 2476 2800
You probably know this Wyndham Street spot more for its awesome Caribbean-inspired cocktails and even better party vibes, but they do a mean plate of food, too – dishes like the jerk chicken with macaroni pie, slaw and tamarind aioli, and sticky, Duroc baby back ribs with a Caribbean barbecue glaze hit all the right spots.
Add: Rummin’ Tings, G/F, 28 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
Contact: 00852 2521 2033
Moonshine & The Po’Boys
This brand new Wan Chai spot has been gaining a cult following thanks to their pop-up appearances, but they’re just about to open in the uber hip Star Street precinct. They’ll be serving up their delicious southern comfort food, like sweet ribs with home-made Cajun rub, crispy deep fried chicken, huge seafood buckets and, of course, an excellent range of signature po’boys.
Add: Moonshine & The Po Boys, 4 Sun Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Brazil is a country which takes it meats very seriously – and this is only a good thing. Braza brings the fine traditions of the Portuguese outpost to very hungry (and very large) LKF crowds, with up to 14 different types of all-you-can-eat meat, chicken and seafood presented continuously, and carved straight on to your plate for as long as you like. What’s not to love?
Add: Braza, 3/F, Grand Progress Building, 15 Lan Kwai Fong
Contact: 00852 2890 9268
The original is still one of the best. If you’re not feeling one of Blue Butcher’s famed in-house dry aged prime cuts of steak, there’s a really interesting selection of other charred proteins here to get your fix.Try the rare breed US Kurobata pork belly and cheek with lentils and Granny Smith apple slaw, barbecued free range French chicken with baby carrots and pearl onions and the Australian salt bush lamb rack with crushed minted peas, parsnip purée, brown butter and jus.
Add: Blue Butcher, 108 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
00852 2613 9286
While the focus at this Soho spot is on the very impressive selection of craft beer (with up to 25 varieties of brew on offer), there’s a more than handy food selection as well. Choose between beef brisket, pulled pork or homemade sausages by the pound, pork ribs as a half or full rack (all smoked with nine-month past oak for up to 12 hours), or the showstopping beef short rib (limited daily), in which US prime rib is smoked for six mouthwatering hours.
Add: The Roundhouse, 62 Elgin Street, Soho, Central, Hong Kong
Contact: 00852 2366 4880
As should come as no surprise at all, the Grand Hyatt takes barbecue to the next level with their offer. The Grill will make even those most sceptical of buffets reconsider, with a mouthwatering selection of just about any protein (and vegetables, too) you can think of barbecued to order. There’s also a more than adequate selection of seafood, cured meats and salads to start. Almost as good as the food is the setting, the alfresco vibes of the 11th floor, poolside bar and restaurant with sweeping views of nothing but the harbour meaning the only big smoke you’ll be thinking about is from the grill itself.
Add: The Grill, 11/F, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Contact: 00852 2584 7722