30 November, 2011
Christmas, Eat & Drink

Christmas Dinner in Hong Kong – Eating at Home

30 November, 2011

Don’t fancy going out for Christmas dinner? Well, with all the great food choices we’ve laid on for you here, we can’t say we blame you!

The Main Event – the turkey and all the trimmings!
Love it, hate it or make a shrug of pure indifference – there’s no denying that Christmas just doesn’t feel like Christmas without a turkey! Given that we often struggle to find roast chickens bigger than a small cuddly toy here, you might have figured out that whopping great turkeys aren’t exactly a Hong Kong speciality… but we’ve scoped out all the best places to find the ultimate centrepiece for your Christmas platter!

Remember: turkeys are generally only available to order, so don’t just swing by the night before hoping there’ll be some left! And don’t forget to check the last date to order depending on whether you’re having your food delivered or are picking it up in person.

The Hotels
Ordering a turkey from some of Hong Kong’s luxury hotels is probably your best bet for getting a good quality bird – and many mamas have tipped us off that these are probably the best turkeys about town!

  • The Mandarin Oriental is offering pre-cooked Roast Turkeys that you simply re-heat in the oven on the day, complete with stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, roast pumpkin and mashed potatoes for either $1688 (5-6kg) or $2288 (10kg). You can also order extra trimmings, plus joints of honey-glazed ham ($1688 for 7kg, $2288 for 10kg) too. The Mandarin Cake Shop, Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2825 4008.
  • The Island Shangri-La has Roast Vermont Turkeys for $600 (4kg) or $900 (6kg). Stuffing ($50 per 100g) and honey-glazed ham ($220 per 100g) are available to order separately. Island Shangri-La, Pacific Place, Supreme Court Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2820 8551.
  • The Peninsula has 5-6kg roast turkeys with or without stuffing for $240. They also have a great selection of other Christmas dinner goodies, including roast potatoes ($80 per 150g), herb and chestnut stuffing ($110), honey-glazed roasted or pineapple ham ($200-240) and near enough every sauce (gravy, cranberry, brandy butter, red wine, spiced honey… the list is endless, $30-78) to ladle on top! The Peninsula, Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2920 2888.
  • The Langham is doing a one-stop shop Christmas spread to takeaway, including a roast U.S. Tom turkey with stuffing, gravy and all the trimmings, roast pumpkin soup to start and festive desserts like Christmas pudding with brandy cream and maple-glazed pecan pie for afters. The Turkey-to-go Combo for 6-10 people costs $1488, whilst a gigantic set for 16-20 people costs $2188. You can also order extra trimmings or the roast turkey with stuffing and gravy separately (6kg $1188, 9-10kg $1488). 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2375 1133.
  • The InterContinental isn’t doing a specific take-away menu this year but will be happy to arrange items on request; simply call 2313 2323 to make your order. InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
  • Not exactly a hotel but we weren’t exactly sure where else to put it, Flame at Towngas Avenue offer a great party take-away menu for the festive season that includes a whole roasted turkey ($498, 10-12lbs), roasted smoked ham with honey pineapple sauce ($858, 14-16lbs) and a roast rack of lamb with rosemary sauce ($398, 7 pieces). They also do tonnes of delicious-sounding cold appetisers and a Christmas log cake dessert ($288)! Towngas Avenue, G/F, 59-65 Paterson Street, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay, 2367 271; Shop No.1, Promenade Level (PL/F), Tower 1, China Hong Kong City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2367 2713.

The Supermarkets
Most of the major supermarkets will be doing special orders for turkeys this season, whilst you can shop through the aisles for ready-made stuffing mixes, deli cold meats and other essential snacks for your festive feast!

  • City’super to the rescue yet again! They’re doing an amazing Roasted US Jumbo Turkey (around 5kg) with Foie Gras and Chestnut Stuffing; the set also comes with roast potatoes, braised sprouts, cranberry sauce and homemade gravy for $820. They also offer roast beef, honey-glazed ham, and loads of party platters, plus even bigger sets featuring numerous other entrees and side dishes that should be enough to feed the whole family! City’super, see all locations here, 2429 8588.
  • Oliver’s USA Roasted Turkey clocks in at 13lbs and costs $580, or $700 with cranberry sauce and gravy. They’re also offering some traditional (and hard to come by in HK) game meats for the festive season, including whole pheasant ($140), quail ($120), grouse ($800), wild duck ($200), partridge (but no pear tree, $110) and cuts of venison ($340-990 per kg), plus the more usual joints of roast beef, lamb and ham and luxurious seafood treats (including oysters, caviar and Boston Lobster). Oliver’s, Shop 201-205, 2/F Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central, 2810 7710.
  • Great Food Hall has probably the widest selection of turkeys this year, imported from farmers in America and France. Take your pick from Mary’s Free Range ($9.5 per 100g) or Free-Range Organic ($14.5/100g), Diestel Natural Free-Range ($17.5/100g), French Bresse ($39/100g) or Le Galouis Chilled ($23/100g) turkeys – plus geese ($33-45/100g), duck ($21-28/100g), cured ham ($17-18/100g) and other roast joints of meat. You can get near enough your entire Christmas menu here too, including stuffing, brussels sprouts with pancetta and chestnut, roasted parsnips and pumpkin, traditional bread stuffing, prime beef Wellington, roasted sea bass in puff pastry, poached lobster and canapés, deli meat, and cheese platters. You’ll be stuffed! Great Food Hall, Basement, Pacific Place, Queensway, 2918 1366.
  • Park N’ Shop offers frozen Butterball, Norbest or Mary turkeys imported from the States, either raw, pre-cooked or fully skinned and boned (but where’s the fun in that?!), in sizes ranging from 6-22lbs ($18.5-52.9 per lb). They’re also selling a variety of frozen raw stuffing from the UK ($46.9 per 400g pack) and a chilled smoked ham ($475). Your turkey will take between 10-14 hours to defrost, so don’t forget to put it in the fridge a few days before! Park N’ Shop, all locations here or order online.
  • It’s not really a supermarket but has been recommended by too many people for us not to mention it, Woo Hing Hong should take care of most of your meat needs this Christmas! The long queues should tell you how good (and reasonably priced!) this joint is, whilst their staff can chop stuff up for you and offer advice on cuts. You might need to check if they’re doing turkey this year, but we’ve heard their hams and bacons are to die for! You’ll find a whole host of condiments in store too. Woo Hing Hong Frozen Meats, 37 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, 2891 8215

The Internet
Check out these HK-based websites for those who want the convenience of ordering your bird with just a few clicks!

  • Porterhouse is famous for delivering top quality meat direct to your doorstep; their 12lb Norbest Tender-Timed Young Turkey ($380) has been basted throughout with natural turkey broth, and no added fats, oils, sugars or MSG. You can also pick up your wine here, plus some juicy sausages and gourmet bacon from their wide variety to do some delicious pigs-in-blankets! www.Porterhouse.com.hk, 2553 3765
  • Meatmarket has a range of chilled organic Australian turkeys, ranging from 2-7kg ($873-3056), plus a frozen 6kg basted US turkey ($875). New in stock for Christmas are some smoked ham joints – so new at the time of writing that they’ve not finalised prices yet! If it’s your first order, you can also quote MEATROOKIE at checkout to get 10% off your purchase. www.meatmarket.hk, 8135 1394
  • South Stream Seafoods have five sizes of frozen organic Eberley Turkey, free-range raised in Pennsylvanian family farms (10-22 lbs, $800-1527). You can also pick up some speciality spicy sausages, New Zealand smoked chicken, honey-baked wood-smoked ham, plus plenty of organic cuts of beef, lamb and pork as additional dishes for your Christmas feast! www.south-stream-seafoods.com, 2555 6200
  • We love Secret Ingredient, who take all the hard work out of cooking by delivering all the ingredients for one delicious meal, pre-washed, pre-weighed and pre-prepared with easy-to-follow instructions direct to your door. (Check out our full glowing review here). Huge cooking times aren’t what they’re all about, so no turkeys here… just one great main dish (owner Chris has promised us something ‘fun and festive and a little bit different’!), plus two seasonal sides of soups and a salad, and a scrummy dessert to finish things off, ($400-500 per person). www.secretingredient.com.hk, 2108 4000

Christmas indulgences – cakes, puddings, pies… and holiday hampers full of treats!
What would Christmas be without a little indulgence here and there… it’s our one foolproof excuse per year to pig out! So now’s the time to start stocking up on yule logs, Christmas cakes, mince pies, Christmas puddings and all those other sweet treats you’ve denied yourself the rest of the year!

Hampers are also a wonderful luxurious treat – either as a present for yourself or as a gift to others (especially if you’re headed to theirs for Xmas dinner). They usually have a bottle or two of something delicious involved, and nowadays there’s some amazing inventive themed baskets too; our heads tell us we should say we love the ideas of the gourmet tea-themed ones… but our hearts are gunning for pure chocolate heaven instead! They’re great for having round the house as you basically bag yourself a basket full of goodies without having to shop around individually and can feed lots of hungry mouths for weeks to come!

Here are a few pit stops for all these delicious delights!

The Mandarin Cake Shop is really pushing the boat (or should that be sleigh?!) out for Christmas, with a veritable cornucopia of sweet treats! Mince pies, Bûche de Noël (in double chocolate, hazelnut praline or blackcurrant chestnut flavours!), brandy butter, rose petal jam, stollen, cinnamon buns, chocolate trees and even Santa Claus bread ($35-358)… there’s almost too much to choose from!

We’re rather excited by The Island Shangri-La’s special Christmas gingerbread houses ($280 medium, $350 large); they’ve also got a range of Christmas cakes ($150-350), including English fruitcake and a rather exotic pear and cranberry tiramisu yule log, plus chocolate-shaped Santas, reindeers and snowmen ($130-360), which are sure to go down a treat with little… and not so little… ones!

The Conrad Cake Shop has got a range of homemade delectable delicacies on offer, from the traditional (Christmas pudding and stollen) to the more unusual (mango yule log!). But the highlight has to be the colourful 3D Christmas Train Cake – essentially an edible, moving toy. Even better news?! It comes in a super chocolate-y version too! We’re licking our lips already. Conrad Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2521 3838, [email protected].

Near enough all the big hotels here will be offering super-luxe hampers busting at the seams with scrumptious treats – including all the ones mentioned above! Here’s a few more big name suggestions just for luck (and whose hampers look totally delish too!): The Ritz Carlton (2263 2263), The Four Seasons (3196 8888), The Langham (2375 1133), The Peninsula and the InterContinental Hong Kong (details listed earlier). Similarly, City’super, Great Food Hall and Oliver’s are all offering a range of fit-to-burst festive hampers too.

Great Food Hall’s bakery will be making mince pies from scratch for $15 each, three flavours of Bûche de Noël ($250, Black Forest, spiced chocolate orange or chestnut), dainty Christmas dessert canapés ($550 for 48 pieces), plus signature 12-inch gingerbread houses ($550) straight out of Hansel & Gretel. There’s also a Gingerbread Dacquoise ($150), a hazelnut and gingerbread buttercream meringue bordered with Christmassy-gingerbread cookies; two desserts in one is always a winner!

City’super has recruited leading Japanese confectioner Patisserie Yamakawa to handcraft a selection of stunning Christmas cakes ($320-420). We’ve got our eyes on the ultra-decadent Chocolate Magic (64% Valrhona chocolate and passion fruit mousse), Joy To The World (rum soaked sponge? chocolate truffle? Need we say more?!) and White Christmas (light fresh sponge, cream and juicy Japanese strawberries)!

Marks & Spencer continues to be one of our go-to Christmas shopping destinations and their own-brand food totally tickles our fancy! Ideal for homesick Brits or fervent Anglophiles, their mince pies and Christmas puddings taste great but without breaking the bank, and they also offer a few Christmas hampers too. However, our hearts have been most won over by their selection boxes (around $200-300) – great for nibbling your way through during the holiday season (with fights ensuing over your favourite biscuit!) and packaged in the most adorable colourful collector’s tins. See all locations here.

Classified Christmas Market has a selection of hampers ($550-2500) – including plenty of picks from Classified’s specialist subjects, cheese and wine! Their festive pop-up shop will also be selling Christmas fruitcakes, mince pies, stollen, European Lebkuchenherzen (heart-shaped gingerbread) and a sneaky tipple of mulled wine too! Shop B23, B/F, The Landmark, Central, 2522 3444.

Hullett House’s Christmas Market is based around a quintessential European Christmas market… with all the yummy goodies you’d expect from one of those! Stock your larders with sausages and smoked meats, mulled wine and eggnog, gourmet cheese, tea and chocolate, stollen, Christmas cakes, gingerbreads, jams and preserves – all of it hand-selected by Executive Chef Philippe Orrico and much of it made on-site. 9 December, 3-9pm; 10-11 December, 12-9pm. Hullett House, 1881 Heritage, No. 2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 3988 0000.

Homegrown Foods has become a firm HK favourite thanks to its dedication to providing locally-grown sustainable produce direct to our doorsteps, and they’ve created two great holiday hampers especially for the festive season. They include the freshest organic vegetables typically used for festive feasts, plus whole bean coffee and a bottle of premium sparkling wine ($888 regular, $1688 premium). Well, we do need some vitamins and minerals to go alongside all that protein and sugar! www.homegrownfoods.com.hk, 2671 2771.

If you fancy making a few sweet treats yourself, we highly recommend the Nigella Express cookbook. The recipes from everyone’s favourite domestic goddess are really easy (I can make them and the height of my culinary achievement is toast), super-quick, ridiculously rich and gloriously decadent – my family and friends always manage to finish her Pistachio Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Refrigerator Cake and Hokey Pokey minutes after a batch gets made!

Fancy handing over the reins to someone else instead? Look no further than Sassy fave, Gingers, who can prepare and cater your entire Christmas spread for you! The Christmas Dinner menu is $600 for 8 people (and yes, it includes turkey!), whilst they’re also offering a range of festive buffet and cocktail party options too. www.gingers.com.hk, 2964 9160

Wine – hic hic!
We’d rather spend less time talking about wine and more time for drinking it! Suffice to say, a splendid tipple would go down nicely at your festive feast… and you’re sure to find something that floats your boat (if you didn’t already at Oliver’s, City’super or Great!) at our top ten HK-based wine retailers! We’ll leave the choosing down to you!

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