Even if Sheung Wan occasionally feels it is disappearing under a wave of new coffee bars and rotisserie chicken joints, there are still plenty of old school places to eat. Up there amongst them is Ho Hak Shandong, a dumpling specialist hidden away on Burd Street.
The small room is heaving on a Saturday lunchtime. After lunch there, I can see why. I can’t remember seeing fish dumplings on a menu before but they’re a big favourite here, not that you could tell from the photo. Deceptively light and thin skin encase generous flaky fish with herbs and some sort of greens. Dunked in their home made chilli sauce with a splash of vinegar. Oh yes. In fact Shandong (the region) was responsible for introducing brewing vinegar to Chinese tables. Their beef and celery dumpling is a big winner too.
Fried onion cake (Another Shandong regional favourite, where onions play a big role) is a brilliant heart attack on a plate with its great mix of textures, hot and crunchy, just as you know you want it.
The three of us hungry lunchers – following a cracking historical walking tour of Central by Adrian from Hong Kong explorer – also hit up a very passable beef with fried noodles and pungent leeks:
While it is impossible and probably illegal not to order mapo dofu if it’s on the menu:
There’s a whole world of Shandong or ‘Lu’ cuisine to discover. At just over $300 for three hungry people for lunch – including additional dishes that I was too busy eating to photograph – I’ll be back sooner rather than later.
Ho Hak Shandong 好客山東 – 17 Burd Street, Sheung Wan
+852 2562 0185