GBA Lifestyle News
Food & Drink Section
By Adele Wong | July 16th, 2017
  • Bar, Restaurant
  • Central, HK Island
  • Address: UG/F, 52-56 Staunton Street, Central
  • Website:
  • Open Hours: Monday-Saturday, Dinner, Late Night
  • Open Since : March, 2017
  • Phone: 2816 2118
  • Rating: 4
  • Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
  • Ambience: Trendy

Mod Chinese FTW: Fresh off her win as Best Female Chef at Asia’s 50 Best 2017, May Chow has launched Happy Paradise on Staunton Street, serving contemporary Chinese dishes in a funky, colorful setting.

Look & Feel: Think neon signs and lights; tiled walls; quirky artwork on the walls.

Happy Paradise. Photo: Happy Paradise FB
Happy Paradise. Photo: Happy Paradise FB

On the Menu: The current dinner menu includes re-invented classics like slow-cooked chrysanthemum chicken; pork lard char siu rice; as well as bar-style snacks like “spring rolls” filled with mashed potatoes and Sichuan wings. The cocktails are just as colorful and creative, using ingredients like soy sauce and Shaoxing wine to change drinks up a bit.

Meet the Chef: This is a May Chow project (see our May Chow profile here), but executive chef John Javier runs the show behind the scenes.

Jeng: From the service to the presentation to the food itself, you can feel the heart and the soul of it all. We really appreciate the creativity in dishes like the scallop cheung fun (which tastes exactly as it sounds and is made from 100 percent scallop rather than rice noodle roll) and the oh-so-smooth steamed egg with apple vinegar and ginger. The gorgeous presentation of the sweet and sour pork (the most normal item on the menu) makes it worth the wait — be prepared that the cuts of meat are fattier than the norm. The drinks are also right on the money, thanks to a bar team that knows what they’re doing.

Not So Jeng: It seems that some dishes are a little heavy-handed with a stereotypical Chinese ingredient (for instance: sesame oil in the marinated celtuce; Shaoxing wine in the chrysanthemum chicken) and risk overwhelming a palate and over-simplifying an otherwise beautiful concept. There can be too much of a good thing!

Great For: Friday nights! Or whenever you need a place that serves both great food and drink.

FYI: May Chow started out with the popular Little Bao restaurant in Sheung Wan, which now has a branch in Bangkok. She’s also behind Second Draft in Tai Hang.

Check out Hong Kong’s newest restaurants here.

This writeup was based on a complimentary media tasting. The Loop HK doesn’t guarantee/sell restaurant review coverage. See our editorial policy here.

[Updated July 2017]