Header image courtesy of Big Birdy Hong Kong (via Facebook)
Hongkongers may all be self-confessed foodies, but when it comes to snacky, moreish, borderline unhealthy foods, no one can beat the Americans. Possibly no other dish is quite so evocative of this spirit than the classic chicken & waffles, which mashes up two of the best comfort foods: fried chicken and fluffy waffles. While this pinnacle of Southern soul food may not be too readily available outside of the States, there are a handful of places in Hong Kong which do serve a great chicken & waffle. Remember, don’t be shy with the syrup!
Little Birdy’s evolution Big Birdy is bigger, badder, and more scrumptious than ever, serving up flame-grilled peri-peri chicken as their signature dish. Before you get distracted by all the options, we’d like to direct your attention to the part of the menu labelled the Naughty Corner, where you will find their famed chicken & waffles ($150) from the Little Birdy days. The waffles are thick, the chicken is juicy and crispy, and it comes with peri-peri butter as well as maple syrup. Guilt has no place in a meal like this, so heap on both the condiments!
Big Birdy, Shop 11, 48–78 High Street, Sai Ying Pun | (+852) 2285 9396
Blue Supreme is one of our favourite neighbourhood bars at which to kick back for happy hour. The main point of this small, classy joint is their vast range of craft beers, with interesting flavours found nowhere else. Of course, this means you already have the perfect drink to go with the buttermilk chicken waffle ($148) on their brunch menu! Mouth-wateringly good, it comes with smoked bacon on top, maple barbecue sauce, and a thoughtful side of watermelon to cool down and refresh your palate. Come on now, if enough of us ask for it, they might graduate this dish from brunch and onto their regular menu.
Blue Supreme, 21 Tung Street, Sheung Wan | (+852) 5998 3088
There’s something very comforting about settling into one of Kinship’s sofas in their moodily lit, well-appointed space, which makes this the perfect spot for soul food, really. Their stand-out offering of fried chicken & waffles is part of their weekend brunch ($388), where you get to have this perfectly hot and sweet main dish with smashed avocado, sausage and beans, watermelon salad, and corned beef hash starters to share. You might not even be able to save space for the banana split or lemon meringue pie dessert for finishers!
Kinship, 3/F, LL Tower, 2 Shelley Street, Central | (+852) 2520 0899
This three-storey restaurant encompasses a different concept for every floor: Mrs Fox on the ground floor is for casual dining, lunches, and drinks; Mr Fox on the first floor is a reservation-only sit-down restaurant focusing on steak and seafood; and The Den at the top is a private dining room with a terrace. It is at Mrs Fox where you’ll be able to find chicken bites & waffles served as a specially curated bar snack. Do note that Mr & Mrs Fox is currently being renovated and will only reopen on January 6, 2021.
Mr & Mrs Fox, 23 Tong Chong Street, Quarry Bay | (+852) 2697 8500
As implied by its name, Bakehouse is well-known for their baked goods and top-notch sourdough bread, so it’s not surprising to assume that this is just a bakery if you’re simply walking past. The truth, however, is that they’ve got a great dine-in menu, which includes the Ma La chicken & waffles ($138), a distinctly Chinese take on the American classic, with Sichuanese fried chicken on top of sourdough waffles and a ginger scallion sauce on the side. Lovers of spicy food definitely will not be able to get enough, but you’ll need to beat the queues first.
Bakehouse, 14 Tai Wong Street East, Wan Chai
Thank goodness that Happy Paradise has reopened, and although their menu has been revamped and interiors are slightly toned down, chef May Chow has nevertheless decided to keep on some crowd-pleasers for those who love all things delicious. Among these is their fantastic chicken & waffle ($398) that comprises of Szechuan fried chicken on a sourdough eggette waffle, served with a bottarga whip and salmon roe dip. It is an indulgent and hopelessly addictive dish that we are in love with and will fight to keep Happy Paradise open for.
Happy Paradise, UG/F, 52–56 Staunton Street, Soho | (+852) 6794 8414
For a South Asian twist on the Southern classic, hit up Passepartout, a petite café in Causeway Bay that oozes Parisian bistro charm and presents internationally-inspired flavours. Tuck into the Calcutta ($118), a modern, Indian-influenced rendition that sees homemade masala waffles paired with a hefty slab of yoghurt-battered chicken that’s deep-fried to perfection. Topped with a handful of coriander slaw, this generous dish is best shared with a friend and completed by the Avo-gato ($60)—an affogato with homemade avocado ice cream!
Passepartout Brunch & Coffee, Shop 2, G/F, Chung Wai Commercial Building, 447–449 Lockhart Road
Disclaimer: This isn’t quite the usual chicken and waffle, nor is it even a funky Asian twist, but a riff on the Americana dish instead. Meet the Toasted Gai (starting from $48), The Ale Project’s version of a C&W-inspired sandwich. Crispy fried chicken comes served on thick-cut sourdough French toast with a dollop of kaya butter melting into the bread, followed by malted barley syrup drizzled on top. Sounds delicious? That’s because it absolutely is. Do note that this dish is not available in their Mong Kok location, only in The Mills.
The Ale Project, Unit 302, The Mills, 45 Pak Tin Par Street, Tsuen Wan | (+852) 2331 2621
Let us cheat a tiny bit further with our last entry, because how can we discuss chicken without mentioning The Chicken Bar, amirite? The neon-lit, semi-alfresco eatery is a Japanese fried chicken concept that happens to be one of our firm favourites. While their chicken buns and sandwiches are to die for, you can also opt for local yellow fried chicken with gravy (starting from $80) along with a side of waffle fries ($40). While we agree it’s not quite the same, at least this rendition of chicken and waffle (fries) will leave you slightly less full!
The Chicken Bar, Shop 3, G/F, H Code Building, 45 Pottinger Street, Central | (+852) 2569 9883