From gold-flecked dim sum to blocks of 260-million-year-old pink Himalayan salt, Hong Kong is a veritable playground for the gourmet traveller.
Photo by TMHK
Classy Cantonese: Yan Toh Heen
The InterContinental’s one-Michelin-star restaurant, Yan Toh Heen, is one of Hong Kong’s best fine dining Cantonese restaurants. Intricate jade place settings and dim sum flecked in real gold are just the start of this restaurant’s luxury indulgences. The dumplings are exquisite little parcels made from silky-smooth wraps filled with delicate, no-expense-spared ingredients.
The trio of dumplings (pictured below) comprises a steamed grouper dumpling with shrimp roe and peppercorns, a steamed scallop dumplings with bird’s nest and gold leaf, and a steamed crab leg dumpling with green vegetables. The restaurant sits right on the harbour and offers sweeping views of the water, passing boats and Hong Kong Island’s world-famous city skyline beyond.a: LG/F, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road., Tsim Sha Tsui w: www.hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com/dining/yan_toh_heen.php t :+ 852 2313 2323
The Avenue of Stars, which is a great place to watch the 8:00 pm Symphony of Lights show, Space Museum, Museum of Art, Cultural Centre and Star Ferry pier.
Designer Dining: Armani/Aqua
Chef Andrea Magnano unleashes his creativity in this sexy venue complete with plush red interiors and a James Bond-worthy entrance sequence. Go for the six-course ‘salt discovery’ menu and try sweet, raw Boston prawns lying atop a heavy block of 260-million-year-old pink Himalayan salt (pictured below). You’ll also sample Persian blue salt served with Sicilian red prawn risotto with Maltese scampi and malossol caviar. The Black Angus strip loin comes with hoarfrost salt harvested from the heart of the Sahara Desert near the Bahariya Oasis – it has a unique snowflake-like appearance that melts in the mouth.
Add the wine or cocktail pairing for a real treat. And note – the cocktails also incorporate rare salts.a: 2/F, Shop 204-205, Chater House, 8 Connaught Road Central, Hong Kong w: www.armani-aqua.com t :+ 852 3583 2828
The New Central Harbourfront, Chater Garden, IFC Mall, Central piers, tram lines, City Hall and the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.
Where Art Meets Food: WHISK
Chef Bjoern Alexander is obsessed with unique, seasonal produce from around the world, which you can see in his internationally diverse, ever-changing menu – but whatever you do, don’t call his food ‘fusion’, or you won’t be getting any.
He utilises dainty flowers and herbs and steers clear of heavy carbs, which means you can eat their eight-course ‘voyage’ menu and not be insanely stuffed – and we recommend you do go for the full eight courses. At WHISK, truly indulgent ingredients are prepared in novel ways. You might see oysters with pineapple, coconut and lime, or foie gras with beetroot and cherry vinaigrette. Or perhaps M7 waygu with black garlic, black quinoa crisps and dried mushrooms (pictured below).
And as WHISK is in The Mira, and The Mira is part of the Design Hotels network, expect the food to be visually stunning, too – it looks so good you won’t know whether to eat it or hang it on your wall.a: The Mira Hong Kong, 118-130 Nathan Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong w: www.themirahotel.com t :+ 852 2315 5999
Nathan Road and Granville Road shops, and Kowloon Park.
Photo by TMHK
Trendy Tapas: 22 Ships
Head over to Wan Chai for a cool culinary treat at this vibrant Spanish-inspired joint where tapas and sherry go hand in hand. It’s not the biggest of venues, but what it lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in unique character and bold dishes.
Firstly, these guys love sherry – there are pages and pages of the stuff. And secondly, they’re all about tapas-style small bites, but not the traditional kind. The Brittany oysters served with cucumber and dill (pictured below) have some serious visual appeal. As does the cauliflower, mushroom and parsley salad with walnut pesto, which looks like a little army of vegetables standing up in a bowl.
The ‘gin and tonic’ dessert is a real crowd pleaser, comprising cubes of green and white jelly served with ice cream. The green jelly is made from tonic, and the clear jelly brings a kick of gin.a: 22 Ship Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong. w: http://22ships.hk t :+ 852 2555 0722
The Pawn, Ham & Sherry, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and the Lockhart Road bar strip.
A Taste of Barcelona: FoFo by el Willy
Enjoy Spanish food with a fine dining flair in this clean, white dining space perched high above busy Wellington Street. Award-winning chef Willy Trullas Moreno from Barcelona has designed the menu to include both traditional and contemporary Spanish elements.
Super-silky slivers of scallop ceviche are dressed in olive oil and topped with crispy shallots. And you’ve got to try the Iberico ham (pictured below) – shaved off the leg in the middle of the room and served with Barcelona-style crystal bread. Little triangles of toasted Barcelona-style bread filled with Iberico ham, black truffle, mozzarella and arugula are ideal for lunch, as are the succulent garlic prawns. Or, to take it up a notch, there’s always crispy suckling duck.
For dessert? It’s got to be churros – served with homemade vanilla ice cream and warm chocolate sauce.a: 2-8 Wellington St., Central, Hong Kong w: www.fofo.hk/home t :+ 852 2900 2009
The bars and restaurants of Lan Kwai Fong and Soho, Pottinger Street for ‘green tin stall’ shopping and Queen’s Road Central for High Street brand shopping.
Old World Sweet Tooth: The Langham High Tea
Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a dose of classic elegance. And that’s where a bit of high tea and pomp – of the best kind – are in order. The Langham’s high tea is pretty iconic the world over, so you know you’re getting the very best in sweet indulgence here.
Add the free flow champagne for a real treat – it’s Veuve. And after you’ve been served your champagne – assuming you’ve gone for the free flow bubbly goodness – you’re then presented with a three-tiered veritable library of cakes, potted desserts and teeny sandwiches. But don’t fill up yet – there are still scones with clotted cream and jam to come.a: Palm Court, L/F, The Langham, 8, Peking Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong w: http://hongkong.langhamhotels.com t :+ 852 2375 1133
Harbour City shopping mall, Kowloon Park, The Avenue of Stars, the 8:00 pm Symphony of Lights show, Space Museum, Museum of Art, Cultural Centre and Star Ferry Pier.
Power Lunch: Zuma
Fresh seafood is the name of the game here. Go at lunchtime, you’ll get to sample the lunch set menu, which is a speedy but awesome set for those who want great food but are pushed for time.
It kicks off with some light starters, which include sesame-coated sliced salmon, and thinly sliced octopus. Then it’s on to your choice of either sushi or sashimi before you move on to the mains, which offer up the likes of grilled sirloin steak and grilled Chilean sea bass. And all this in around 45 minutes.
The venue is a large, light-filled space with upstairs, downstairs and outdoor seating options. Visit in the evening and you’ll find a different landscape: one where the drinks are flowing and the music’s pumping.a: 5-6/F, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong w: www.zumarestaurant.com t :+ 852 3657 6388
High-end hopping at Harvey Nichols and The Landmark, and bargain buys at Pottinger Street.
Cocktails and Nibbles: Common Room
With dark, industrial-chic interiors, this self-proclaimed gastrobar is the perfect place to enjoy some tapas and a cocktail or four.
The wagyu foie gras sliders are a real winner, comprising super-soft buns filled with wagyu beef patties, a slab of foie gras, caramelised onions and rocket. And while you enjoy the sliders and some other nibbles from the tapas-style menu, don’t forget to check out the classic, contemporary and molecular cocktails.
The ‘kiss from a rose’ is pretty cocktail made with vodka, lychee liqueur, fresh lychee, lemon juice and homemade rose foam – it even has a rose petal on top. Or, you could push the boat out with a ‘pornstar martini’, which muddles vanilla vodka, vanilla liqueur and champagne with half a passion fruit.a: 1/4, Wo On Building, 8-12 Wo On Lane, Wo On Building w: www.common-room.hk t :+ 852 2525 3599
The bars and restaurants of Lang Kwai Fong, Wyndham Street and Soho.
By Christina Wylie