KARL WOODBURY took a hit for the team when he recently sampled glorious grilled steaks and robust roasts in some of the finest steakhouses in Hong Kong. Here are his five picks for meat lovers searching for quality steak restaurants.
Morton’s – world-renowned grilled steak
This Chicago institution is the ideal place for a wonderful celebration. The elegant, softly lit dining room is so welcoming, as are Simon Graham and his efficient team. We took in the harbour view with cocktails; a stunning Vodka Martini with blue cheese-filled olives, and the citrus whisky delight that is their Old Fashioned.
Crusty warm homemade onion bread accompanied our starters. The Iceberg Wedge with blue cheese dressing is unctuous and decadent. The Baked Five Onion soup takes the French classic to new heights with outstanding depth of flavour from all five different onions.
From Morton’s vast range of grilled steaks and chops, the 7oz wagyu fillet came grilled to perfection and was incredibly tender. However, the 16oz whisky infused wagyu ribeye is the real showstopper. Served on the bone, this exquisite medium-rare joy has a welcome hint of sweetness and smokiness from the whisky.
We also loved the array of sides: firm and vibrant sautéed broccolini, delightful sautéed spinach with button mushrooms, crispy Lyonnaise potatoes studded with caramelised shallots, and a decadent gratin with mac and cheese notes.
After this feast, we didn’t have room for Morton’s desserts, but of course all the favourites are there, with a few other interesting additions. We did manage to fit in an espresso cocktail, the perfect last taste of an outstanding night. There’s an extensive wine list that does great justice to the dishes, too.
Morton’s is world renowned as a Grade A steakhouse and we’re so lucky there’s a steakhouse in Hong Kong. For a special holiday treat this year, head to the Sheraton and press “4” in the lift!
4/F, Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers, 20 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Associazione Chianti – an Italian steakhouse in Hong Kong
Wan Chai has a serious side-street steakhouse in the form of Associazione Chianti. This soulful Tuscan trattoria showcases USDA Super Prime cuts from young Black Angus cattle and gives them a Florentine flourish. Dry-aged for 12 to 14 days in-house, these stunning steaks are then seasoned with a dry rub of Chianti aromatics.
Chef Josh Stumbaugh’s passion shines through at this steak restaurant in Hong Kong. There’s a real buzz as he switches from his custom-made Tuscan broiler to the carving station in the centre of the dining room. As he slices the steaks, the reaction of excited diners is a sight to behold. We can’t wait to get in on the action.
First, though, comes Pecorino Al Fieno – aged Pecorino with fresh pear and thyme-infused honey, it’s a delicate contrast from much of the menu. Crostini Fegato di Pollo is the most sublime chicken liver pate on charred crostini. This dish is too often masked with unnecessary chutneys and jams – bravo, Chef Josh, for letting the liver speak for itself! Pappardelle comes next, with a rich beef and pork ragu that leaves us wanting more. Just as well, as we can see our almighty Bistecca alla Fiorentina on the carving table; it’s a 1kg T-bone for sharing, with champion charring and bursting with beefy brilliance; the roasted shallot sauce is a triumph too.
On the side is Spinaci – spinach braised in olive oil, garlic and lemon, a perfect match for the steak. Fagioli are beautifully braised cannellini beans but a good splash of that amazing shallot sauce makes them even better. Chianti’s Tiramisu is the best in Hong Kong – heavenly creamy with well-balanced bitter and sweet notes. After commenting on its boozy beauty, we are then informed that it’s booze-free!
Associazione Chianti has amazing beef for sure, but more than that, a very clever chef. We will be associating again very soon!
15 Ship Street, Wan Chai
Macelle – wood-fired steak restaurant
Macelle is on a mission to bring exceptional steak dining to everyone, without breaking the bank. Neatly tucked away to one side of the escalator, the steak restaurant in Hong Kong has a green façade and green gingham interior that are as welcoming as their mission. Friendly staff greeted us with beaming smiles and encouraged us to go up to the butcher’s counter, where Chef Jo and the team were more than happy to chat about the humane farming methods and full traceability. The free-range chicken, seabass and Iberico pork all looked tempting but the superb steaks were hard to skip.
We ordered a selection of sausages to start, including Irish pork and very tasty lamb. Next was leek and mushroom arancini, crispy crumbed balls with risotto filling that came alive with sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil. There are plenty of lighter choices too but we’re here for the steak.
Our tenderloin arrived perfectly medium rare and full of flavour, and the ribeye well-seasoned and succulent; both cuts are given some Macelle magic in the intense heat of their woodfired oven. They’re nicely charred with a touch of smokiness, and a melt-in-the-mouth texture. The red wine jus deserves a special mention, too – and, speaking of red wine, the house Chianti proved an excellent pairing.
From the array of sides, we went old school with fresh salad and fabulous french fries. This time around, the Chocolate Lava Cake, Apple Crumble Cheesecake and Frozen Custard were all just a bridge too far.
Macelle is an extremely welcome concept, with dishes that are flawlessly executed. The ever-changing menu offers steak, fries and salad for just under $200 – which for the heart of Soho is amazing.
LG/F, Shama Soho, 9-11 Staunton Street, Central
La Vache – French steakhouse in Hong Kong
You could write out the entire La Vache menu on the back of a postage stamp. Well, very nearly. It reads, “Today: Trimmed entrecôte steak ‘La Vache!’ with special house sauce, french fries and green salad with walnuts. $398 per guest.”
It’s a gutsy call to only offer one dish, every day. However, it shows amazing confidence and unwavering belief that they have truly mastered that dish. La Vache completely nails it, which is why it’s been so popular for many years. The night we went, there were at least a dozen different birthday parties going on.
The green salad is simple with a light vinaigrette and toasted walnuts that pack plenty of punch. The trimmed entrecôte or ribeye is spectacular. Served on an oval platter for two, it’s carnivorous heaven. The flavour and texture are perfect, and the house sauce works well. Oh, and you can eat as many crispy salty French fries as you desire.
And that’s it! Well, there was some nice crusty baguette and butter earlier, and the dessert trolley is laden, but it’s all about the steak. Sometimes there’s only one dish you’re in the mood for. If that happens to be steak frites, make a mad dash for La Vache.
12 Hart Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui (also at Pacific Place)
Braza – a Brazilian steak restaurant
It’s always party time in Lan Kwai Fong and that’s certainly true of Braza. This vibrant Churrascaria is where to let your hair down and have a few Caipirinhas over the festive period. The all-you-can-eat experience celebrating Brazilian barbecue is very popular and with good reason.
The salad buffet is a good place to start, with colourful crunchy goodness, but there’s also garlic rice, rustic mash and, the star of the table, feijoada. This sumptuous black bean stew is so laden with porky treats, you’ll keep getting up for more.
Enthusiastic waiters come charging out of the kitchen with swords laden with barbecue magic. Our first one had a dozen or so chicken thighs piled high; the waiter loosened the lowest, allowing us to nip in with our tongs and snaffle them. Chicken wings, pork belly and ribs soon followed.
Leg of lamb also came out followed by vast sides of beef – signature rump, sirloin and ribeye to be exact. Everything is expertly barbecued and the wonderful staff are rightly proud of what they serve up. Grilled pineapple comes out too and is a welcome palate cleanser so you’re ready for more meaty morsels.
There’s a coin on the table which you can turn over to indicate you’re having a rest or if indeed you’re finished. Otherwise the feast and festive fun never stops at Braza!
3/F, Grand Progress Building, 15 Lan Kwai Fong, Central
Enjoyed reading about these steak restaurants in Hong Kong? Find more in our Wine & Dine section!
This article on steakhouses in Hong Kong first appeared in the Winter 2023/2024 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.