Generally when it comes to spice, you’d put yourself in the Baby Spice camp. You keep things nice and mild with the barest whisper of chili. Now and then though, you like to walk on the Scary Spice side, amping it up to a spice level that packs a serious punch.
When you next decide it’s a Scary day, we have the perfect spot to get your spice on – Sheung Wan’s Chachawan. Tucked away at the end of Hollywood Road, behind a giant pair of emerald green sliding doors, is Hong Kong’s hippest new Thai restaurant and home to the city’s most fiery, chili-spiked cooking.
As with everywhere new and cool in Hong Kong, Chachawan has a strict “no reservations” policy. Arrive early for the best chance of a table or stroll by later and prop the bar up while taking in the uber-cool interior, think a riot of beautiful Thai murals, vintage floor tiles and a giant poster of a dinosaur cleaning his teeth…
Don’t come here expecting Green Curry and Pad Thai, this isn’t your standard Thai fare. Hailing from the North-Eastern Isaan region of Thailand, the menu focuses on charcoal-grilled meats and seafood as well as plenty of colourful, fragrant salads. We loved the Flash Grilled Squid and Coriander Salad, the Whole Salt-crusted Sea Bass stuffed with lemongrass and lime leaves and the Char-grilled Tiger Prawns with dry red coconut curry. Whatever you go for, rest assured your meal is guaranteed to add fire to your belly – spice cowards beware!
As everyone knows, nothing quells a tingling tongue quicker than a shot of sugar, so be sure to finish up your meal with something sweet. Our top tip is the Kanom Dtom – palm sugar and coconut filled dumplings in salted-coconut cream – so good it’s best not to share to avoid deadly spoon fights over the last couple of scraps.
And fear not, when the bill arrives you’re not going to have to be Posh Spice to pay with prices hovering around the HK$150 a dish mark. Tongue-tingling Thai in a space cooler than Ginger Spice’s Union Jack Dress, suddenly there’s no excuse not to spice up your life.
G/F, 206 Hollywood Road
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
+852 2549 0020