11 Best Steak Tartares In Hong Kong
The steak tartare is brilliant in its simplicity. Consisting of nothing more than delicately-handled raw beef, diced and seasoned, more often than not crowned with a glorious golden egg yolk, this infinitely malleable format has made the dish a willing canvas for chefs looking to add their own personal touch to it through the ages. In Hong Kong, the oft-cited melting pot of cultures brings the steak tartare to another level thanks to a kaleidoscope of culinary influences. Here are some of our favourite picks.
We begin with one of Hong Kong's arguably most unconventional version of steak tartare from the kitchen of chef Olivier Elzer at L'Envol. Served in a water-filled vessel, this multi-layered construction starts with a base of ground Fassona beef tenderloin topped by bottarga foam, and garnished with bottarga flakes and edible flowers. Though virtually unrecognisable as a beef tartare, it retains—nay, amplifies—the creaminess indicative of a successful rendition, buoyed by the saltiness of the bottarga and subtle bitterness from the flowers.
2/11 Hansik Goo
Hansik Goo has won widespread acclaim for its inventive updating of traditional Korean cuisine. Among the star dishes is the yukhoe, or Korean-style beef tartare, which combines Australian wagyu beef with Korean pear, Jerusalem artichoke chips and quail egg yolk, then marinated in a house soy sauce blend for a satisfying and refreshing, yet unconventional addition to the steak tartare compendium.
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3/11 Jean May
Beautifully presented with a glossy egg yolk sitting atop the creamy, rough cut steak, this generously-sized version (more than enough for two to three people) at Jean May features ample capers in the mix, providing the sharp piquancy needed for any good tartare. The egg yolk bolsters the marinade for a sweet and creamy mouthfeel, while a balanced spice mix helps to eliminate any unpleasant raw flavours while upping the umami of the beef.
At Rosewood Hong Kong's resident steakhouse, chef Nate Green's take on the classic involves cold-smoked beef cut by hand into relatively larger chunks for a more present texture, then topped with a dollop of egg yolk purée in place of the traditional whole egg yolk. Imbued with a faint smoky flavour and much chewier than your average steak tartare, the dish comes with the option of a dash (or three) of green pepper Tabasco sauce for a hit of mouthwatering heat. Full-sized slices of toast allow for the mopping up of any residual juices on the plate.
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At established member's club Cipriani, the beef tartare is a draw for regular visitors. What it lacks in an eye-catching egg yolk ornament, it makes up for in the fine consistency of the raw beef, ground to a smoother texture than any other tartare featured in this list. The result is a dish that maintains a certain level of creamy mouthfeel without the addition of the yolk, for those who might have an aversion to eggs.
Cipriani, 12/F, Bank of China Building, 2A Des Voeux Road Central, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2501 0222
Punchy and exotic, Indochinese eatery Xuân's take on beef tartare is sure to be memorable. The Bo Tai Chanh tartare sees a disc of ground prime beef seasoned with Vietnamese coriander oil, then dusted with salted egg yolk crumbs and a quail egg served in its shell. Lemony, peppery and moreish, it's presented with Vietnamese rice crackers for an imaginative interpretation that stays true to the spirit of the delicacy while hewing towards authentic Vietnamese flavours.
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Kinship's new head chef Nelson Gonzales has a penchant for culture-hopping cuisine that is best expressed in his steak tartare, with its standout addition of Sichuan peppercorn. The mala numbing sensation of the spice underpins this rendition, while umami is offered by the addition of crispy eggplant. Aptly named 'everything' crackers make for the perfect canvas to deliver these moreish bites of beef.
Shane Osborn's modern Soho bistro stays true to the Australian chef's thoughtful culinary style with a steak tartare rendition that bucks tradition in elegant fashion. In addition to the usual mix of shallots, mustard and herbs, the beef incorporates celeriac and watercress with parmesan for a balance between refreshing and indulgent. The dish is topped with slices of black truffle that lends visual appeal while lending extra depth to the flavours of the tartare.
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The ever-popular Somm at Landmark Mandarin Oriental has many aces up its sleeve, chief among which is the grass-fed beef tartare. The quality of the Polmard heritage beef is evident from the melt-in-your-mouth sensation, while the crisped Jerusalem artichokes and four grams of seasonal truffle shavings it is served with help to add a counterpoint in texture and depth, making this a truly memorable rendition.
Chef Agustin Balbi's cerebral approach towards his style of Japanese-Argentinian fusion is apparent in Ando's version of beef tartare. The base is a disc of 21-day dry-aged Argentinian Angus beef, uplifted by a citrus medley of lemon, lime and yuzu kosho. It's then topped with Kristal caviar, clam dashi and chive oil for a culinary creation that is bound to delight all the senses.
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Cantonese comfort food meets French cooking in the beef tartare at Roots. Chef Stephanie Wong combines grass-fed, hand-cut Australian beef with the famed local Yu Kwan Yick chilli sauce and a touch of XO sauce, then tops it with a beautiful golden yolk to create a bijou starter that is bursting with bold Hong Kong flavours. A perfect example of the city's penchant for melding disparate influences into something that is more than the sum of its parts.