By Joyce Yip
Ladies (and gentlemen), summer is over: we can let loose on the strict bikini diet and binge a bit. And what better way to loosen up our belts than the lure of thick, buttery, fragrant fromage. Ranging from upscale cheese cellars to vegan options to even street-side guilty pleasures, Foodie has got your gooey heaven covered. We present for you this week’s Top List: The Top 5 Spots for Cheese Lovers in Hong Kong!
1. Jeremy’s Cheese Platter at Upper Modern Bistro
Headed by the ex-restaurant manager of Four Seasons’Caprice and a farm-boy who needs yoghurt five times a day to function, Upper Modern Bistro by fromaggier Jeremy Evrard houses his personal cheese cellar with more than 30 different types of cheeses. Foodies can either try their luck with Jeremy’s Pick of five to six selections ($348) tailored to their liking —our favourites were the triple cream cheese and the four-year-old Gruyère de Comté (which is normally only aged for two years) served on the fromaggier’s personal cheese plates; or opt for the morbier cheese open sandwich with mushroom —a simple yet hearty snack for any afternoon.
6-14 Upper Station St, Sheung Wa; 2517 0977
2. Organic Cheese Platter at Maya Cafe
Though scoring less points in the aroma, texture and taste, the vegan cheeses at Maya Cafe deserve top marks in creativity, originality, and of course, health. Though requiring a bit of imagination, the platter ($158) offers cheddar cheese made of sunflower seeds while cashews and peppers turn into cream cheese; and cashews and rosemary make up goat cheese, for example. With textures ranging from a creamy mash potato to a nutty cheesecake, the platter tastes like a picnic trail-mix that is surprisingly filling.
G/F 5 Moon Street, Wan Chai; 2529 3319
3. Antipasto Misto at OperaHouse
While the bargain Antipasto dish at Opera House offers the best of Italian in cold —lobster, swordfish, parma ham, olives —the fresh Burrata cheese centrepiece with tomato and parmesan cheese alone is worth the money ($398).
Refreshingly light and aromatic by itself, it also does a good job at cleansing the palette between each savoury or fishy number on the antipasto plate.
109-111 Queens Road East, Wan Chai; 2520 6677
4. Pork Neck cheese instant noodles at Sun Kee
Tucked in a tiny back corner of the unassuming Champagne Court in Tsim Sha Tsui, Sun Kee offers all the imaginable cheesy pleasures: our favourite is definitely the restaurant’s signature pork neck instant noodle caked in a layer of scrumptious melted cheese. The thick cheese has seeped through every crevice of the crispy pork neck and through every chewy strand of MSG-glory, making every mouthful a stop in guilty-pleasure heaven (and only for $41!).
Unit 13-14, Lower Ground, Champagne Court, 16-20 Kimberley Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui; 2722 4555
5. The Tea Room by Antique Patisserie
What is a listing for the best cheese in town without dessert? In the mood for Halloween, Antique Patisserie debut a pumpkin cheese cake that is adorably topped with a chocolatey-eyed ghost in a refreshing lemon cream cheese ($45).
The buttery cheese cake centre teases with fresh pumpkin and the oreo-cookie base strikes the perfect chord to satisfy all sweet-tooth cravings ($45). A gastronomic parade in both textures and flavours, the cream cheese —cheesecake —oreo cookie sandwich will surely send away all the spooks on Hallow’s Eve. Yet, like all of the desserts at Antique Patisserie, nothing is ever too sweet that you can’t run off in a few laps (that’s what we like to tell ourselves) or leaves you guilt ridden!
Ground Floor Shop C, Mee Lun House. No. 2-4 Mee Lun Street. Central, Hong Kong; 2542 3960