Michelin-starred Hansik Goo goes from strength to strength with its elevated take on summertime Korean cuisine
Upscale Korean restaurant Hansik Goo by Chef Mingoo Kang is no stranger to Hong Kong diners, having received rave reviews and a slew of accolades since its opening in 2020, including a much-coveted Michelin star. We visited recently to try the restaurant’s seasonal tasting menu, which offers a contemporary, elevated, “fine-casual” take on summertime Korean cuisine.
The summer dishes are available on an eight-course dinner menu (HK$1,480/person Tuesday–Sunday) and six-course weekend lunch menu (HK$988/person Friday–Sunday). We went whole hog and tried the full dinner menu.
The menu opens with two variations on winter melon. First is a warm dong-gwa juk (Korean-style winter-melon congee), which is intended to warm the stomach and stimulate the appetite. Boiled with winter melon and scallop and topped with steamed scallop, conpoy and an egg-yolk ribbon, it’s subtle and balanced – an elegant opener.
Next up is the chilled dong-gwa mandu, where thinly sliced winter melon is skilfully used to mimic dumpling skin, enveloping prawn, aged kimchi, minari (Korean water parsley) and cucumber – a refreshing and layered bite.
The second course is mul-hweh – a cold seafood dish of hweh (Korean-style raw fish) with sliced Korean pear, cucumber and a spoonful of apple granita made with a hint of vinegar. Sweet, tangy and icy, the pear and granita are unexpected but successful complements to the red sea bream and prawn.
This is followed by pine-nut guksu, a polar opposite in terms of flavour profile that somehow manages to feel like a natural progression. Handmade tadpole-shaped noodles are covered in a pine-nut sauce with a generous topping of Australian black truffle, making for a creamy, earthy and comforting mix.
Moving towards the main event, the next dish is fish jorim, which features braised tilefish from Jeju Island in a hearty broth with minari, radish, spicy soy sauce and deep-fried prawn head. The tilefish was perfectly cooked, featuring delicate flesh that was firm yet tender. The broth is rich in flavour without being overpowering, and the sweet and spicy notes are skilfully balanced.
The fifth course is one of Hansik Goo’s signature dishes – Samgye Risotto 3.0 – which is inspired by both samgyetang (Korean ginseng chicken soup) and Korean fried chicken. As its name suggests, this is the third incarnation of the dish, which takes yet another step in paring back, reinventing and elevating the original.
A roulade of chicken breast and leg – slow-cooked, then fried to achieve a crispy crust – sits atop a glutinous rice risotto infused with samgyetang, topped with slow-cooked abalone and chicken jus. Pickled garlic shoots are served alongside in order to tamper the richness of the dish with a touch of acidity. It’s a creative masterstroke yet subtle flex, a unique combination of flavours and textures that’s carefully executed with a quiet finesse.
The main course is called Korean Feast and pays tribute to Korean BBQ – without the smoke, oil and mess that often accompanies a KBBQ experience. Slim slices of Hanwoo (Korean beef) rib-eye are grilled to perfection, while su-yuk (pork belly) is cooked sous vide to achieve a tender texture. The meats are accompanied by got-jeori (freshly made kimchi) and lettuce to wrap the meats ssam style. Delicious, hearty and familiar, this is a polished take on a Korean classic that’s a definite crowd-pleaser.
Keeping with Korean dining traditions, a rice dish completes the savoury portion of the menu. In this case, it’s a Hanwoo-jang bibimbap featuring grilled beef and Chinese yellow cucumber with glutinous rice.
To close the meal, we were served a cham-oe, or melon, palate cleanser of yellow melon sorbet, Sauvignon Blanc jelly and fennel pollen. Refreshing and light with just the right amount of sweetness, this hits all the right spots following the rich main course.
For dessert, diners can choose between corn bingsu and Jang Trio – a tough choice that I’m glad we did not have to make during our tasting! In the former, corn ice cream sits on a bed of “cheese snow”, which are melt-in-the-mouth crumbles of cheese sorbet, topped with Kristal caviar. The corn and cheese flavours are restrained and delicate, a delightful combination when rendered with Hansik Goo’s inimitable refinement.
Jang Trio is a signature dish from Chef Kang’s two-Michelin-starred Mingles in Seoul that features doenjang (fermented soybean paste) crème brûlée, pecans glazed with ganjang (soy sauce), dehydrated gochujang (fermented chilli paste), vanilla ice cream and crispy puffed rice. It’s an eclectic pairing of flavours and textures – sweet with a hint of umami – and undeniably delicious.
To finish, a seasonal selection of dagwa (traditional Korean tea snacks) and cup of Korean mulberry tea are served – a calming end to an elegant meal.
Hansik Goo enjoys a stellar reputation, and it’s easy to see why. Refined and contemporary without any unnecessary flashiness, it masterfully navigates tradition and creativity, delivering modern Korean cuisine with technical finesse. This Michelin-starred restaurant is definitely worth a visit!
Where: 1/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.