Acclaimed Chef Son Pham pays homage to an array of classic Cantonese roast meats and some of Hong Kong’s most famous dishes at Wan Chai’s latest culinary hotspot
The latest addition to Wan Chai’s exciting and invigorating quality casual dining scene, Madame Ching, playfully named after the formidable 19th century female pirate, pays tribute to classic Cantonese roast meats while imparting a creative and contemporary slant on some of Hong Kong’s favourite dishes.
Situated on Star Street, the kitchen is helmed by Chef Son Pham, who, with Vietnamese roots, an American upbringing and experience in kitchens from New York to Tokyo, is already well-known in the city’s culinary circles for his former role at The Ocean in Repulse Bay where he carved out a reputation for enchanting cuisine.
Drawn in by Hong Kong’s dynamic energy and melting pot of cuisines, whilst there Son went on to further his understanding of Cantonese cooking and traditions, studying under award-winning celebrity Cantonese Chef Susur Lee. The results pay homage to the vibrant city, meaning Son’s Madame Ching dishes smack of nostalgia but aim to tell a story for the millennial age with flavours of familiarity and comfort plated up with a creative and imaginative twist.
The restaurant was designed by Charlie & Rose, who took the concept of a traditional Cantonese roast house and gave it a make-over. The pale walls are accented by old photographs and hanging antiques, while the Chinese-style armchairs, rattan windows and dark wood contrast with the marble countertop and light walls to create a dining space that bursts with energy throughout the day and into the evening. There’s also a simple street-side terrace designed to make the most of Hong Kong’s hot sultry summer nights.
The menu Chef Son has created features plenty of authentic roast meats, but there are other equally enticing dishes too. With an eye to sharing, the concept is perfect for lunch groups or dinner gatherings, when diners can order a selection of dishes and graze or better still choose from the extensive Banquet Menu.
The Banquet Menu is fixed price and offers a selection of Son’s favourite dishes, including crispy snacks like General Son’s chicken, crispy marinated pigeon cooked in aromatic broth and sesame toast. From the seasonal section expect dishes like coriander and green radish salad and typhoon shelter, a dish of fried tofu with garlic, chilli and scallions, along with dishes like the Cantonese Cuban – Son’s intriguing take on the Cuban sandwich.
The Banquet Menu continues with suckling pig, stuffed butter fish, Hamachi collar cooked in an orange and fennel broth. There’s pork belly, lamb neck and baby back ribs served with pickles, along with an assortment of rice and noodle bowls. Stepping away from the heavily Cantonese Banquet Menu diners can discover dishes inspired by Japanese and Sichuan cuisines, with offerings like the Sticky Canto Onigiri, a Japanese rice ball stuffed with pork floss, white sesame and five spices.
Backed by a substantial drinks menu, including a smattering of excellent cocktails like the wonderfully named Sleepy Dragon, Madame Ching might not dominate the China Sea like its namesake, but looks extremely well placed to make a considerable splash.
5 Star Street, Wan Chai