In the center of Lan Kwai Fong, floors above the sweaty, beer-swilling crowds, is Fang Fang: A sleek, contemporary pan-Asian restaurant that’s clearly positioned (in location and in branding) to attract a young, trend-centric type of diner.
The restaurant recently got some new blood — executive chef Wong Tai Po, who now oversees the kitchen and its menu. As for the latter, the chef has changed it up entirely, creating a new selection that now includes some pretty unconventional dishes: a miso soup cappuccino and mushroom truffle dim sum-style dumplings, for starters.
Most of the menu items come in pairs, which of course, is meant to encourage sharing, particularly for couples.
We started our evening off with a cocktail — the South Easterian (HK$120), a pleasantly sour gin-based cocktail served in a shell and lemongrass straw. It’s made with Gin Mare gin, seaweed-infused blue curaçao, kumquat and pineapple puree, plus cardamon and lemongrass syrup. There’s also a hint of goat cheese. Yes, goat cheese. Really had that molecular-gastronomy-meets-mixology thing going for it, and it actually worked pretty well.
Then, we had that miso soup cappuccino (HK$55) that we mentioned earlier. The hearty miso soup broth wasn’t too salty, and had a frothy soy milk foam on top to balance out the savory and the light, with nice chunks of tofu and mushrooms, and a hint of coriander.
Next, we had the Hokkaido scallop ceviche (HK$140), served with watermelon pickles, red onion, radish, lime, cherry tomatoes, and watermelon foam. Refreshing, with a slight sharpness provided by the red onion that didn’t overpower the sweetness of the watermelon juice — it would make for an ideal starter for any hot day.
One of our favorite dishes of the night was the wasabi prawns (HK$98): Large tender prawns coated in a light batter, and a not-too-spicy wasabi, horseradish, and Japanese mayo sauce mix.
Moving on to the dishes that come in twos: truffle dumplings, pork belly, and grilled eggplant.
Dim sum traditionalists might scoff at this first offering — those truffle dumplings (HK$38), that is. We get it. We, too, would happily have a normal steamed mushroom dumpling any day. But you know what, we’re dining in LKF, and this place is fancy. Given the setting and context, we’ll admit that that addition of truffle was a nice added component, though after one dumpling, it could be a bit of an overpowering flavor. We’ll still take that usual mushroom dumpling over this any day, but still, this was a nice one-off treat.
Next up, the kuromitsu buta kakuni (HK$128), a melt-in-your-mouth braised pork belly served on a lettuce leaf with black vinegar, and rice puff. Very tender, rich but not too salty, and those rice puffs added a nice bit of crunch to round out this spot-on, single-bite dish.
The grilled eggplant (HK$65), however, was one of those knock-out dishes. Served with ginger garlic miso and spring onion, it was salty and had the full-bodied, savory flavor profile of grilled eggplant, enhanced by the intensely satisfying, slightly sweet glaze of the garlicky miso. It wasn’t too greasy, either. In one word: perfect.
If you’re someone who likes a bit of spice in your food, we’d recommend the salt and pepper tofu (HK$68), and Fang Fang’s spicy popcorn chicken (HK$168).
The tofu came in bite-sized pieces, each one with a thin, crispy outer shell and dusted with a chili powder, which was balanced out by the soft and mild tofu within. That’s served with a side of garlic chili sauce, which had more of a ‘bite’ to it than your conventional sweet chili sauce.
The spicy popcorn chicken is a dish that really packs a punch on the spice front, and it goes surprisingly well with Fang Fang’s house-made sweet caramel popcorn.
Served with Szechuan pepper and fresh red chilis, this dish definitely is definitely more pleasantly spicy as opposed to painfully spicy, and is a fun dish for sharing with friends.
The dessert, an adorable-looking set of carrot custard dumplings (HK$42), was — well, perhaps this is due to personal preference, but we found it to be a not-too-pleasant gelatinous texture that distracted a bit from the actual flavors of the dish.
This entire meal, minus the drinks, totals up to HK$802. For two people, that would be HK$401 per person. Depending on the kind of diner you are, this could be a) par the course for an evening out in this part of the city, especially if you’re here with a client or a date, or b) eye-wateringly expensive.
Overall, we do find that Fang Fang is that rare restaurant that does contemporary Asian fusion food right, and one we would certainly return to for the right occasion.
Fang Fang is at 8/F, LKF Towers, 33 Wyndham Street, Central
+852 2983 9083
MTR: Central, approx. 5 minute walk