‘It’s Mexico on a plate’: where a Mexican entrepreneur in Hong Kong goes for tacos, salsa, mescal and guacamole that make her ‘remember home’

Originally from Mexico, Yamilette Cano is an entrepreneur, author, founder of women-led business summit Louder Connect, a former professional ballerina, and president of the Mexican Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. She spoke to Andrew Sun.

I was exposed to all types of foods growing up, and, funnily, my favorite food was always Asian cuisine, especially Japanese food.

I love light flavors, fresh products, and lots of veggies and seafood. For a kick, I am obsessed with spicy food that tingles my palate.

When it comes to restaurants, I go for the overall experience of food, ambiance, and good service. For example, my go-to place for lunch is Moxie (Shop 203, Alexandra House, 16-20 Chater Road, Central. Tel: 2718 8211). The way it implements fresh ingredients creatively is mind-blowing.

Cano says she pays attention to the ambiance, not just the food, when dining at a restaurant. Photo: Yamilette Cano

Water bamboo salad at Moxie, in Hong Kong’s Central neighborhood. Photo: Jonathan Wong

For a casual dinner, I go to Little Bao (Shop H1, Fashion Walk, 9 Kingston Street, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2555 0600). Chef May Chow has nailed the East-meets-West comfort food, and her contagious energy makes every visit memorable.


Another place I like to visit is Tokyo Joe (16 Lan Kwai Fong, Central. Tel: 2525 1889), where you are sure to have a fun time and a delicious meal.

I applaud the newly opened Mexican restaurant El Taquero (Shop B/F, G/F 119 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai. Tel: 2811 1998), where I can take a trip down memory lane. It is great for the aguachile, tacos de nopal, and the mescal selection. It’s Mexico on a plate with all the tacos, micheladas, and ceviches.

Other top places for me to remember home and feel the Mexican warmth are Chicano (15 Gough Street, Sheung Wan. Tel: 5595 3334), which is great for its octopus ceviche tostada, tacos de lengua, and Cafe de Olla.

Also, Te Quiero Mucho (G/F, 1/F, Ovolo, 286 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan. Tel: 3423 3290) has wonderful guacamole, salsas and antojitos.

Depending on their spice tolerance, I take friends visiting Hong Kong to Chongqing Szechuan (18 Elgin Street, Central. Tel: 2810 8868) for dinner, where they can experience complex Sichuan cuisine with the best company – the owner, Brenda, and her dog, Momo.

For celebrations, I love to go where the magic with my husband started: Arcane (3/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central. Tel: 2728 0178) by chef Shane Osborn. The place is perfect, the food is delightful, and its service makes it deserving of its Michelin star.

A seasonal main course featuring green asparagus and morels with Spanish sea bass at Arcane. Photo: Instagram

I can never get enough of the combination and balanced flavors that Chef Shane creates. A favorite is the Japanese fruit tomato with seared langoustine, smoked stracciatella, and truffle dressing. Finish the magical celebration with Shine Muscat and Kyoho grapes, yogurt mousse with cassis, and cider ice cream.

Japan is one of my top places to dine. Ingredients are incredibly fresh, and the cuisine is complex yet simple, thoughtful, creative, and traditional.

In Kyoto, I stumbled upon a tiny restaurant called Yokohama Tenkadori (418 Akuojicho Karsumadori Goko Agaru, Shimogyo-ku. Tel: +81 75 354 9100).

Cano says Japan is one of her favorite dining destinations. 

My cousin and I went in, not knowing what to expect. It was one of our best experiences. We had grilled veggies, seafood, yakitori sticks, and, for the first time, we ate a grilled onion that tasted like heaven.

The staff was amiable, and the chef even gifted us a wooden sake shot glass as a souvenir. The night became a memory we will cherish forever.


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