Meet the Chairman

Amy Ma 23 January 2010 1 comment

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

The Chairman has something to say, and if I were you, I’d listen. In this newly opened Cantonese restaurant, the food speaks for itself. And if you listen closely, every course is a lesson on how things are done right.

The rumored back story to The Chairman – the restaurant – is that there is also indeed “The Chairman” – the man. Said to be a renown restaurateur in Hong Kong during the 90’s who left the industry following the Asian financial crisis, he’s returned to the scene to reconnoiter his love of food. This time around, he means business.

There’s an odd mix of grandeur and humility at work here. A bleak alley; a brightly light restaurant. A huge entrance with automated glass doors; yet only three tables once you enter the dining area. At the moment, it is one of Hong Kong’s hardest to score reservations for one reason alone: a good restaurant need only muster a cluster of well prepared dishes, and at The Chairman, the vast majority of items are standouts. Here are just a few:

courtesy of

courtesy of

  • Deep fried yellow croaker fish with balsamic dipping sauce: Marinated overnight with Chinese olives that draw out the moister, the bait-sized fish have a sweet and flaky flesh that can be consumed head, bones, tail, and all. Spoon over a douse of their homemade balsamic vinegar marinated with scallions to an acidic edge.
  • Marinated pork chin with honeycomb tofu: The “pork chin” is really the neck or joust of the pig, sourced with the help of Hong Kong’s famed ex-pig farmer, Tam Keung (who used to rear his pigs on pineapples and ginseng).
  • Longjing and chrysanthemum tea smoked pigeon: The light musk of the tea penetrates deeply into the meat and offsets the gaminess of the pigeon.
  • Flower crab with Chinese wine and chicken fat: Think a sherry-like sauce with the consistency of velvet. Rice flour sheets are dumped into the dish to soak up the remnant juices.
  • Pork ribs with homemade BBQ plum sauce: If there were a perfect take on sweet and sour pork, this would be it.
  • Shrimp casserole with homemade sha cha sauce: Sa Cha is a type of satay sauce made from a blend of ginger, garlic, and curried spices. The tedious recipe is hardly ever made from scratch anymore in lieu of more convenient store bought alternatives. Except, of course, when you’re here at The Chairman.
  • “The Chairman” 18-flavored chicken: Simply put – some of the best poached chicken you’ll ever taste.
courtesy of

courtesy of

It’s a pleasure to be schooled here at The Chairman, where true blue Cantonese will attest to the authenticity of the dishes. And in case you’re not from around here – a visit to this restaurant makes you fool proof. You’ve tasted the real stuff; you know better; you ain’t ever going back. General Tsao and his stupid chicken have no place here.

G/F, 16-18 Kau U Fong West, Central, tel: (852) 2555 2202

Amy Ma

Amy Ma

To predict what you’d become when you grew up, the Chinese have a fortune-telling game where a baby selects three things from a spread of items. She had chosen: a toy oven, a notepad, and a plastic Medieval-looking sword. Ignoring that last item (which suggest she’d grow up to be a knight of some sort), the rest were surprisingly accurate predictions of Amy’s life as a food writer. Nowadays, Amy is a regular contributor to the South China Morning Post and Wall Street Journal amongst other publications. She’s lived abroad in 4 countries, speaks a wide variety of languages and dialects, and has zero food allergies. On her last stop before hitting Hong Kong, Amy lived in New York, where she graduated from Columbia University and trained as a Pastry Chef. She cooks often…really. For more on Amy, check out her weekly column at:

One Comment For This Post

  1. Monsicha Hoonsuwan Monsicha Hoonsuwan Says:

    Another yummy blog from Amy Ma. I wish I had read this before visiting Hong Kong. Now I have a reason to revisit the place again ^_^

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