Gourmet hot dog resto Pop-It established their first shop in Tai Hang, and they’ve recently opened a second location in Wan Chai. It’s here that I satisfied a craving for a mustard and relish dog I didn’t know I had.
Back in the States, hot dogs are everywhere. From barbecues to beaches, from the street to the strip malls, it’s available as one of the American staples. Here in the SAR, though, it’s rare that a local would actively seek out a proper hot dog. Proper buns are basically nonexistent, and a “hot dog bun” is a small salty sausage wrapped and baked in a Hong Kong bakery roll. Meh.
When Pop-It opened a mere five-minute walk from home, I had to try it.
What caught my attention first was the music. It’s urban American music. Hip-hop, both underground and mainstream, plays here, along with some rock songs. And the environment is a pretty common one with casual western eateries in Hong Kong: a metallic, industrial feel, oozing with the “laid-back but no-nonsense” aura that’s so hip these days. They have a wide selection of hot sauces and a free jug of lemon water to help yourself with.
I wasn’t feeling particularly adventurous, so I opted for the American Classic Dog, a kosher beef frank with diced onions, sweet relish, ketchup, and mustard all in (and on) a toasted buttered roll.
Yep, hot dog buns are hard to find.
Though it wasn’t a proper bun, Pop-It still managed to do a damn good job. The bread was light and the buttered bits had a nice crunch. There were a lot of onions, but they weren’t overpowering at all, as everything had flavor. They actually gave a nice juicy, crunchy texture to the dog and really complemented the mustard.
The presentation of the hot dog looked damn good too – it was almost too perfect to eat. But since it’s a hot dog, it’s meant to be eaten with your hands… and having ketchup and mustard on the bun made it difficult for me to start. I ate my first couple bites with a fork and knife.
Every dog also comes with a serving of fresh cut fries. I was particularly pleased to see the skins still on them. I definitely enjoyed the fries, but I did find them a wee bit salty – if your fries have skins, you don’t need as much salt because the skin provides a fair amount of flavor.
The biggest gripe I had with the place was that they left their door wide open, but their seats were metal. It’s too cold in the winter to do that! It didn’t help that people sitting outside were smoking cigarettes, so their second-hand filth was wafting in.
I’ll be back next time, but probably not when it’s dark and cold out. I’m looking forward to trying their other dog recipes!
|American Classic Dog||4/5|
|Menu Cost ($)||3/5|
Choice of kosher beef frank or natural chicken brat available.
Naked dog (dog and bun) $62
Standard dogs $68
Specialty dogs $86-88
Lobster rolls $198-288
Alcoholic drinks $45-108
Floats $30, Shakes $48
Deliveroo delivery available
Pop-it Landale St.
Shop 2, G/F
2 Landale Street
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
+852 2162 5299
Mon-Sat 12:00 – 22:15
Happy Hour 16:00 – 19:00