Hong Kong is one of the world’s most exciting culinary capitals, where good food is more than abundant. In that light, we’ve put together a few of our tastiest tidbits and most memorable morsels that are worth tracking down to try.
Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau 2020 Gala Dinner
December was a big month for fine dining, especially with the announcement of Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau 2020 in the same month. This year, the Gala Dinner featured a glorious meal and offered a seven-course menu centred around “Sustainability Through Motion”. It shone a light on sustainability, fair-trade food and other eco-friendly measures. The evening kicked off with a dish created by none other than Alain Ducasse, who served Chilled blue lobster, rich nage and gold caviar, a dish from two Michelin starred Alain Ducasse at Morpheus. Not only was the dish rich and sumptuous, but the blue lobster was also sustainably sourced from Brittany, while the caviar was from a Chinese producer — allowing us to enjoy the dish on a sustainable level, too.
Alain Ducasse at Morpheus, Level 3, Morpheus City of Dreams, Macau; +853 8868 3432
New Japanese restaurant Zuicho offers refined kappo cuisine. For those not yet familiar with kappo, it means to cut and cook with fire, and is presented as a multi-course meal that is left up to the chef. Located in the former Sushi Shikon space (which has now moved to the Landmark Mandarin Oriental), Zuicho is helmed by Head Chef Fumio Suzuki who spent his years honing his skills in Japanese haute cuisine, or kaiseki, and it’s evident in his presentation. The Pen shell clam with chrysanthemum, mitsuba seaweed sauce and shiso flower dish was a sight for sore eyes; simply elegant but with incredible flavour too. Smokiness from grilling the seafood comes through slightly, while the sauce releases umami accented by the aromatic shiso flowers.
Zuicho, The Mercer Central, G/F 29 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan; +852 2156 1883
Black Sheep Restaurants group does it again with one of its new restaurants: Associazione Chianti. Located in Wan Chai’s already happening Ship Street, guests who enter the Tuscan trattoria will notice the butchery at the front, which sets a rustic and relaxed tone throughout the restaurant. During our first visit, we sampled a fair few premium steaks, along with hearty pastas and of course Chianti, but what stood out the most was the Bistecca alla Fiorentina. Dry aged in-house and seasoned with a dry rub of Chianti aromatics, it’s cut thickly and perfect for sharing. The result is a tender, flavourful meat that will satisfy all carnivorous cravings. It also goes very well with the rich salsa di manzo, made with Chianti and peppercorn sauce.
Associazione Chianti, 15 Ship Street, Wan Chai; +852 3619 3360
Located in the recently renovated Hong Kong Museum of Art in Tsim Sha Tsui, modern Australian restaurant Hue is a refreshing addition to our city’s concentrated dining scene. Firstly, it’s huge. The 5,000 sq. ft. restaurant is on the museum’s first floor and offers a stellar panoramic view of Victoria Harbour. Secondly, the menu is brief, but bodes well as one assumes that dishes will receive more focus and thus executed to a higher quality. Thankfully, this is absolutely true here, and the Carabinero prawns with smoked herring butter sauce is a great example of this. The fresh umami-packed prawn pairs fantastically with the savoury and buttery sauce, while its whiskers are battered and deep fried for texture.
Hue, 1/F Hong Kong Museum of Art, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; + 852 3500 5888
The Landmark Mandarin Oriental transformed their seventh floor with a fair few restaurant openings this year and during the last couple of months of 2019, this included Sushi Shikon’s sister restaurant Kappo Rin. Another kappo to join Hong Kong’s roster, this 8-seat restaurant is opened in collaboration with Master Chef Yoshitake of Ginza’s three Michelin starred Sushi Yoshitake and offers beautifully presented traditional and seasonal Japanese dishes. During our visit, this included a rice dish that will remain in our food memories for a long time — Rice with golden eye snapper and salmon caviar. The fish was softly cooked and the salmon roe added incredible flavour to the rice. Karasumi, or salted mullet roe, was also grated on top to add an extra touch of umami and luxury.
Kappo Rin, 7/F The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central; +852 2643 6800
Awarded two Michelin stars for the twelfth year in a row, it’s safe to say that Amber continues to hit the mark in the world of fine dining. However, this year saw chef Richard Ekkebus take Amber to a new level of progressive cuisine, and thus the two Michelin stars do well in affirming his direction and creativity. Since the revamp, we’ve enjoyed many items on the new menu. One such dish is dessert; the Bitter chocolate, with smokey bourbon barrel, Michter’s and crispy buckwheat puffs. Contrary to expectations, the dessert was not overly rich or potent. In fact, it was flawlessly balanced in flavour. A small spray of whisky beforehand lends an exquisite aroma and gloss, while textural plays make the dish fun to eat. A wonderful ending to the meal that I would enjoy again, and again.
Amber, 7/F The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central; +852 2132 0066
Modern Japanese restaurant Honjo has fast become a popular haunt for dinner thanks to its fun, eclectic and tasty cuisine. Now, they’ve stepped it up a notch with a brunch experience too. We realise that it’s not technically one top dish, but with plenty of fantastic options, we couldn’t decide. Dishes such as the Wagyu tataki in chorizo oil and deep fried chicken with black Okinawan sugar are the number one crowd pleasers, but overall, the brunch experience is well executed. This also includes the sushi, sashimi and maki stations, which feature an assorted collection crafted by Executive Chef Miguel Huelamo.
Honjo, 1/F Hollywood Centre, Queen’s Road West, Sheung Wan; +852 2663 3772
Featuring Malaysian street food injected with modernity, Jalan is a vibrant restaurant that combines Chinese, Indian and Malay influences on its menu. Meaning ‘street’ in Malay, guests can expect dishes such as Beef rendang samosas, Coconut roasted prawn curry, Roti canai, and Pandan custard doughnuts. But our top dish has to be the most moreish: the Laksa fried chicken. Infused with Peranakan coconut curry paste, the succulent chicken thigh meat is packed with flavour, before it is fried until crispy. The sauce is tangy, and more so an Assam laksa, but works really well to provide a brightness before a deeper heat begins to warm up. If you haven’t tried Jalan yet, we would strongly suggest to explore the exotic flavours of Malaysia in a modern and tropical setting on Soho’s Peel Street.
Jalan, 42 Peel Street, Central; +852 2386 2216