The Chairman Hongkong 大班樓 : Memories from the Best Cantonese Restaurant in Asia

Happy Easter to you and your family!!

With the four boys, we had one of our memorable food trips in Hong Kong last November 2017. The Chairman was highly recommended by chefs as a must visit place in Asia’s Cantonese food mecca. Best known for its freshness, Cantonese food is the most popular and most influential cuisine among the “eight culinary classical styles” of China.

We hesitated over whether to go or not go at first because we were not sure if we needed to dress up and if kids were welcome. We decided to go and here is our family’s The Chairman HK experience…

First Things First

The Chairman is the first Hong Kong venue to be named The Best Restaurant in Asia in 2021, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. Congratulations to Chef Kwok Keung Tung and owner Danny Yip!

Launched in 2009, The Chairman is renowned for its ingredient-driven Cantonese cuisine and single-minded commitment to authentic flavors. A regular in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list since the inaugural list in 2013, The Chairman first appeared in The World’s 50 Best Restaurant list in 2019, landing at No.41

We were not sure if we were in the right place because it looked like a shophouse in Binondo and it was located in a row of townhouses with just these three red Chinese characters—大班樓.

This post is dedicated to Aidan, Joshua, Raphael and Yugi who were 11, 8, 6 and 2 at the time. We had no teenagers yet then, and we were celebrating Joshua’s 9th birthday that Halloween November in Hong Kong.

It was a Sunday and most went in their Sunday best to eat on white linen-covered tables with servers waiting to serve. There were a lot of daters out to celebrate and foodie tourists getting their The Chairman fix during their trip.

It felt like eating at home and not as stiff as I expected because some were in casual attire, just enjoying the food. We ate on the second floor, and it was a bit awkward passing by the toilet to the main tables.

Best Cantonese Food

Braised Spare Ribs (6 pcs – 390 HKD min. of 4) with Preserved Plums in Caramelized Black Vinegar

I can remember we fought over each rib masterpiece with just the right sweetness and tenderness, the meat falling off the bones but still with a good bite. Best to eat with your hands and lick every drop of sauce off the bones and your fingers.

Szechuan Spicy New Zealand Crispy Lamb Belly (198 HKD)

I appreciate now how vegetable-forward this dish was, a good starter like a salad with chunks of lamb belly.

Steamed Kai Lan(128 HKD) with Pickled Chinese Vegetables

Our favorite Chinese vegetable dish, broccoli stem with oyster sauce topped with pickled Chinese vegetables that pairs well with the meat flavors and Cantonese fried rice.

Steamed Crab (820 HKD). Steamed Fresh Flowery Crab with Aged ShaoXing Wine,
Fragrant Chicken Oil & Flat Rice Noodles

Each table usually had an order of the signature Steamed Crab cooked in wine on a bed of flat white noodles.

Flavors were clean, and the noodles absorbed the flavors of the sauce. Whether you like the wine sauce or not is a matter of preference.

There was a lot of umami in the crab and the meat was fresh, easily falling off the shell. Ang sarap!

Fried Rice with Prawns Trio 188 HKD (2017) vs 220 HKD (2021), Fried Rice with Prawns Trio – Fresh Prawns, Sun-dried Prawns & Shrimp Paste

The Cantonese fried rice went well with most of the food, and the kids loved every bit of this prawn fried rice.

The Chairman’s Soy Sauce Chicken (330 HKD)

We had to order this for the kids who loved Soy Sauce Chicken, an easy dish to enjoy with the fried rice. The chicken was cooked with traditional Chinese ingredients more expensive than the chicken itself.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes you’ll wonder why the food at The Chairman is so good—nothing fancy, just the simple use of the freshest seasonally available ingredients in the local markets. They say NO to shark’s fin, sea cucumber, bird’s nest and even to MSG. This is one of the premium Cantonese restaurants you should save for and eat at during your trip to Hong Kong.

Our budget was 400 HKD/person at the time, add 20% for inflation and pandemic realities and you get 500 HKD/head. This already includes the Tea at 20 HKD/head plus the 10% gratuity.

I’m sure it would take a while before we can go back given the international travel restrictions and post-Covid world realities. Hoping to go back in 2025 with our four teenage boys so they could savor the best Cantonese cuisine in town.

Congratulations to The Chairman Hong Kong and its culinary team, a well-deserved win in Asia’s Top 50 Best!

No.18 Kau U Fong, Central, HK
Telephone: + 852 – 2555 2202
Reserve Table via WhatsApp: + 852 – 5501 5102
– Not applicable to same day booking
– Subject to The Chairman’s confirmation

Open Hours
: From Monday to Sunday
Lunch Time : 12:00 – 15:00
Dinner Time : 18:00 – 23:00

Live an Awesome Life with Christ,

Founder & Digital Creator, Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: Thanks to Nikkei Team for the experience. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.

P.S. I must admit we did not get very full during our lunch at The Chairman, so we lined up at the famed Kau Kee’s Beef Tendon Curry Noodle for dessert. 🙂 This was just around the corner from the resto, and the boys were very happy. 🙂

Beef Tendon (48 HKD) with flat noodle in curry

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