‘Best noodle spot’ in Hong Kong, plus dim sum and roast goose favourites: where this Italian steakhouse chef likes to eat

a man cooking in a kitchen preparing food: Associazione Chianti’s Josh Stumbaugh knows just the places to go for noodles, goose and dim sum in Hong Kong, and names his favourite Manhattan restaurant which has “spectacular and refined” food. Associazione Chianti’s Josh Stumbaugh knows just the places to go for noodles, goose and dim sum in Hong Kong, and names his favourite Manhattan restaurant which has “spectacular and refined” food.

Josh Stumbaugh, chef of Italian steakhouse Associazione Chianti in Wan Chai, has come a long way from a small town outside Philadelphia, in the US state of Pennsylvania. Beginning as a dishwasher, he started cooking in Philadelphia's top restaurants before journeying to Australia then back to New York's famed Barbuto. He talks to Andrew Sun.

I love visiting Jean May (14 Gresson Street, Wan Chai, tel: 3590 6033) for some fantastic French food. The setting is quaint and feels like you're in a little bistro in the heart of France, with well-executed and flavourful dishes.

One of my all-time favourite restaurants is 22 Ships (22 Ship Street, Wan Chai, tel: 2555 0722), across the road from us at Associazione Chianti. I love Spanish food, especially tapas. It offers a much-needed escape to Spain while we cannot travel freely. My favourite dish is the roasted suckling pig.

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Since arriving in Hong Kong, I visit Hotal Colombo (31 Elgin Street, SoHo, tel: 2488 8863) whenever I am in the SoHo area. The Sri Lankan flavours and execution of the dishes by chef Gisela "Gizzy" Alesbrook are always first-class, and the restaurant's ambience is fantastic, not to mention the awesome playlist churning out '90s classics.

a bowl of food on a plate: Tapas dishes at 22 Ships. © Provided by South China Morning Post Tapas dishes at 22 Ships. a bowl of food on a plate: Idlis with sambar and podi at Hotal Colombo. Photo: Jonathan Wong © Provided by South China Morning Post Idlis with sambar and podi at Hotal Colombo. Photo: Jonathan Wong

A favourite for dim sum is Luk Yu Tea House (24 Stanley Street, Central, tel: 2523 5464). You can find all of the yum cha classics, from baked puff pastries stuffed with different meats and fillings to steamed dumplings, crispy deep-fried chicken, fried noodles with sliced beef, and sweet and sour pork.

Kau Kee (21 Gough Street, Central, tel: 2850 5967) is the best noodle spot in town, proven by the queue snaking out the door at all hours. I love the atmosphere of being tucked away while everyone is slurping aromatic bowls of beef noodles, hurrying to get that satisfying fix. I recommend the curried beef noodles and tendon.

At Yat Lok (34-38 Stanley Street, Central, tel: 2524 3882), you will find exceptionally well-cooked roast goose, one of the city's best. In pre-Covid-19 times, people would fly to Hong Kong just to visit Yat Lok, and I don't blame them.

a group of people walking down a street: Kau Kee in Central, Hong Kong. © Provided by South China Morning Post Kau Kee in Central, Hong Kong.

I also like Seventh Son (3/F, The Wharney Guang Dong Hotel, 57-73 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2892 2888) for classic Cantonese dishes. The signature is suckling pig - the textures and flavours of the smoky, crispy skin and the tender meat are out of this world.

As for bars, I enjoy Quinary (56-58 Hollywood Road, Central, tel: 2851 3223) which is pretty much a Hong Kong institution. Their Earl Grey martini is a must-try. I also like The Diplomat (LG/F, High Block, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, tel: 3619 0302) for classic cocktails reimagined, and Bar de Luxe (7/F, The Steps, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, tel: 3706 5716) for an inventive Japanese cocktail or two.

a plate of food with broccoli: Crispy chicken at Seventh Son. © Provided by South China Morning Post Crispy chicken at Seventh Son.

Overseas, my favourite downtown Manhattan restaurant is Estela (47 East Houston Street, New York, New York, tel: +1 212 219 7693) by chef Ignacio Mattos. His food is always spectacular and refined. The restaurant has a neighbourhood wine bar feel, paired with top-notch food. It is no surprise the restaurant has a Michelin star.

In California, Osteria Mozza (6602 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, tel: +1 323 297 0100) by Nancy Silverton is a classic. The food is the epitome of Italian-American farm-driven food. The team is always warm and welcoming. Visiting the restaurant is a real experience that is difficult to find elsewhere.

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‘Best noodle spot’ in Hong Kong, plus dim sum and roast goose favourites: where this Italian steakhouse chef likes to eat