Known for her modern take on bao (steamed buns), Toronto-born chef May Chow is creating waves around the food world. Her restaurant Little Bao is one of Hong Kong’s hottest eateries, with an outpost in Bangkok, and Chow recently took home 2017’s Asia’s Best Female Chef award, from the prestigious Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Chow is currently gearing up for a trip down under, where she will be a guest chef at the Margaret River Gourmet Escape (November 16-19).
“I have never been to Western Australia before, only to Sydney and Melbourne,” says Chow. “Every time I’ve been to Australia, the produce has been some of the best in the world, so I am super excited to head to Western Australia and taste the produce in person for the first time. Hong Kong is so intense, so I’m also excited to kick back in Margaret River, relax on the beach, try local food and wine and enjoy the great company of fellow chefs and friends.”
Chow’s Chinese heritage and Western sensibility have been hugely influential upon her food journey, and ingredients from both cultures influence her creation of new dishes. “I use a lot of Chinese staples – soy sauce, bean sauces and Chinese wine and vinegars. I enjoy using dried seafood, too, as there is an abundance of seafood in Hong Kong. In terms of American ingredients, I love taking on the ideas of American comfort foods.”
But her favourite cuisine? For Chow, this is akin to picking a favourite child. “If I had to choose,” she muses, “I would say Chinese cuisine for its flavour profile, but I like American hospitality, their lifestyle and restaurant culture.”
Chef May Chow’s favourite places to eat in Hong Kong
A new Thai street food concept in Wan Chai (below), Chow says, “I love their amazing Thai boat noodles.”
A traditional style, wallet-friendly eatery (G/F, 34-38 Stanley St, Central), Chow keeps her advice simple. “Two words – roasted goose.”
Kin’s Kitchen & The Chairman
“These are my go-to places for refined Cantonese cooking in Hong Kong.”
A Parisian-style bistro in the heart of SoHo, Chow says, “This is the place to go for refined yet modern French bistro-inspired cooking.”
“Head here for great izakaya-inspired Japanese food by head chef Max Levy. Okra has a great personalised, worldly touch and I also love the secret cocktail bar and sushi bar upstairs.”
– TEXT BY LUCY CLEEVE
PHOTO: SUPPLIED, SAMSEN FACEBOOK
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.