We lived in a serviced apartment attached to Harbour City for the first six months we were in Hong Kong. In some ways, it made for a comfortable transition. We lived above a western supermarket, had walking access to a number of familiar restaurants (hello Din Tai Fung!), and found plenty of other excellent restaurants within walking distance.
It wasn't until I left that I realized what a unique dining destination Harbour City really was. Imagine a single (massive) mall that houses an insanely high concentration of many of Asia's best and most popular restaurants. That's what Harbour City feels like sometimes. This massive complex megaplex houses Japanese favorites such as Tsuta (truffle ramen!) and Sushi Tokami; European big names such as Joel Robuchon and Gordon Ramsey; Singapore darling Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao, and much, much more.
For me, I'm always particularly excited when a restaurant from Taiwan comes and open up a branch in Hong Kong. I love Du Hsiao Yueh (also in Harbour City), and of course Din Tai Fung is accessible via a connected indoor bridge.
So it wasn't a surprise that I was excited to try Quan Alley, a very popular hot pot restaurant from Taiwan that's famous for its gorgeous presentation of hot pot ingredients, high quality ingredients, and excellent broths.
Quan Alley has multiple locations worldwide, including Taiwan (where it started), Singapore, and more. Although it's most known for its hot pots (which I'll talk about below), I was actually very impressed with their fantastic Wagyu Beef Noodle Soup which we had for lunch the first time we came.
The unusual noodle soup comes with blocks of insanely melt-in-your-mouth soft Wagyu beef, cuttlefish cakes, a perfectly soft boiled egg, and a mala spicy flavorful broth. It was fantastic and easily one of my favorite beef noodle soups in the city.
Of course, the hot pot is the star of the show and it's what everyone photographs and writes about. Quan Alley is known for its artfully plated hot pot ingredients as well as its beautiful side dishes.
We didn't order side dishes this time, but we saw people around us order them, and they are indeed beautiful. Especially unique is the almond daisy, made from a shrimp or lobster ball core and petals made of sliced almonds. Each flower takes 5 minutes to assemble by hand. This particular dish was taken off the menu in Taiwan because it took too long to make, though it re-appeared on the opening Hong Kong location's menu.
For the hot pot, you can try their signature dish, a pork neck "rose". The minimum order is three roses, which is actually quite a lot of meat. It comes with a raw white onion "cup" filled with egg white.
The idea is that you coat the pork rose with egg white before placing the entire rose into the boiling water. The egg white was quite "slippery" and hard to handle, but the server was kind enough to help us and did most of the egg white coating for us.
Place entire rose into the pot!
It's easy to order two different broths, which is what we did. The spicy broth is delicious and full of mala numbling spiciness, but it's nice to have a more neutral broth to balance things out! We though the middle circular third section, which flows into the spicy section, was a unique addition. It houses most of the chili seeds and seems to hold some of the chili oil as well.
Everything is fresh and presented with art and class. It was touch coming with just two people. Their a la carte vegetable portions are not small, and we felt it was harder to enjoy a wider variety of ingredients.
Their "vegetable bouquet", a gorgeous assortment of leafy greens, mushrooms, corn, and other vegetables, was way to large of a portion for just two people. If I ever go back again with a larger crowd, I would definitely order that.
Quan Alley Hong Kong - General Thoughts
I have really enjoyed Quan Alley Hong Kong the few times I have visited. As a casual spot for lunch, I think it's excellent. I loved the flavorful Wagyu beef noodle soup. Do note that noodle slurpers won't get to sit at the tables facing Victoria Harbour, since that section of the restaurant is reserved for hot pot eaters. If you're just enjoying noodles, you'll sit at the inner portion of the restaurant.
I really enjoyed our hot pot too, despite the fact that the two of us couldn't order a huge variety of ingredients. The quality of the ingredients is great, the presentation is at another level of artistry, and the ambiance is pleasant. I can't wait to come back with a larger group!
Quan Alley Hong Kong 寬巷子
Shop OT G57, Ground Floor Ocean Terminal
Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui