Where chef Dan Hong goes for hotpot (and more)!

Chef Dan Hong heads up some of Sydney's coolest kitchens but here he reveals where he likes to eat when he's not doing the cooking.

Top chef Dan Hong shares his most cherished venues.
  • Larissa Dubecki
  • May 2019

Executive chef of Ms G’s and Mr Wong opens in new window, the name behind El Loco opens in new window and a judge on TV series The Chefs’ Line, Dan Hong is a well known face in Australia's restaurant scene. If you want to know where to find the best Asian cuisine, add his personal favourites to your must-try list (sorry, his mum's cooking not counted).

Is there a dish that transformed your life?

I’m very fortunate that I get to eat my mum’s Vietnamese food every Monday night. And her dishes, whether it’s her roll-your-own rice paper rolls with some form of grilled meat or her noodle soups, they always continue to surprise and inspire me.

What is your favourite restaurant in Australia?

The Dolar Shop opens in new window, a Chinese hotpot restaurant in Haymarket, Sydney. Hot pot restaurants are the biggest craze at the moment in Sydney, but it stands out. They only use the most premium ingredients – from kurobuta pork to several different cuts of Australian and Japanese wagyu, live seafood from the tank and their home-made fish pastes and prawn mousse. The service is also a notch above other restaurants. If you order the pork bone marrow soup as a base, they will offer you a pair of gloves and a straw to suck out the bone marrow.

And in the world?

Flower Drum opens in new window. Whenever I am in Melbourne I have to go. I really feel that it has the absolute best service in Australia, if not the world, and their food is always of the highest execution and standard.


What’s your favourite ingredient to see on a menu?

Caviar, sweetbreads and pigeon.

What would be your desert island meal?

My mother’s bun bo hue [Vietnamese beef soup].

Where do you go for your coffee fix?

I don’t drink coffee but I’m a big fan of bubble tea. My go-tos are Coco opens in new window and Gong Cha opens in new window.

Can you tell us about a hidden gem in your neighbourhood that no one knows about?

It’s not a big secret anymore but Happy Chef opens in new window in the Sussex Centre food court is where I go for my noodle soup fix. I like number one, which is the Cambodian style noodle soup with blood jelly, pig intestines and meat… oh, and a prawn.