The Hong Kong-based chef behind irreverent modern Chinese kitchen Ho Lee Fook and, most recently, Canton Disco
in The Shanghai EDITION talks roast goose, the best restaurant in the world and leaving your preconceptions at the door.
Favourite Chinese dish?
I would say probably roast goose is my favourite. I easily eat that once a week, as part of a complete diet. That’s something that’s quite fortunate in Hong Kong. Out of the places you can have goose (England, Canada, Australia…), I think the best goose is from the Cantonese.
Photograph: courtesy The Shanghai EDITION
Go-to spot in Shanghai when you get out of your own kitchen?
I really like this place Guan Guan Ji (贯贯吉). It’s Xinjiang grill. It’s the most amazing restaurant in the world. It sort of changed my life in some ways. It’s just grilled meats with MSG and cumin. It’s so goddamn delicious. That’s it – it’s really straight-forward. It’s open late. You have families turning up at 2 o’clock in the morning, drunk people, students, taxi drivers. You sit down, pick a few skewers, they just grill it outside on the side of the street, put on loads of MSG, cumin, fennel. You down it with a big meaty soup. Man, what’s not to love about it? It’s a straight-forward concept, no frills. These are the kind of restaurants that I like.
Biggest customer pet peeve?
It’s not so much a pet peeve, but just keep an open mind, you know? Leave the preconceptions at the door. Come in with an appetite, hungry stomach and let us do the job. That’s it: just take the restaurant for what it is and have a good time.