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By Laura Walkinshaw | February 4 2007
Whether you’re in Hong Kong for business or pleasure, one thing’s for sure: you’re in for an amazing dining experience. Some say Hong Kong is worth visiting for its food scene alone and with a whopping 61 Michelin-starred restaurants, the choices are limitless. For fine dining heaven, complete with creative artistry and molecular gastronomy, you’ve come to the right place. Considered to be one of the best culinary destinations in Asia, Hong Kong offers a multitude of venues and cuisines that keep foodies interested – from traditional dim sum to creative concepts in which East meets West.
The blending of two cultures can be seen in the way that Hong Kongers go about their daily meals, which stands at five a day. In salute to their colonial past, afternoon tea is enjoyed at 3pm, consisting of sandwiches and tea, while the day ends on a Chinese note with sui yeh – translated to “midnight snack” – which is eaten anytime from 9pm in the evening. While the many hawker stalls that line Hong Kong’s streets cater for smaller meals during the day (and, of course, sui yeh), Michelin-starred venues spearheaded by world-famous chefs are where it’s at for the main evening course – and provide the ultimate food lovers’ paradise, thanks to fine ingredients, vintage wines and outstanding cooking techniques. Read on to find out which venues feature in Elite Traveler’s list of the best restaurants in Hong Kong.
If you want to dine at a restaurant with a view, RyuGin almost certainly has to make the cut. Located on the 101st floor of the landmark ICC, Hong Kong’s tallest building, the modern Japanese restaurant offers diners striking views of West Kowloon’s harbor and Hong Kong’s skylines – with the food to match the experience. With dishes featuring exotic foods that will not be found in Hong Kong, you could be forgiven for momentarily thinking you’re in Tokyo. But that’s exactly the dining experience Michelin star chef Seiji Yamamoto has sought to create, and with ingredients flown in daily from Japan, the restaurant certainly delivers with its ten-course Kaiseki meal. Yamamoto’s first overseas venture, RyuGin has been recognized with two Michelin stars and boasts two private dining rooms.
With a cellar that houses Hong Kong’s largest selection of artisanal French cheeses and carefully-selected wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux, two-Michelin-starred Caprice is on the checklist of just about every food critic eager to try out the restaurant’s fresh, innovative twist on French classics. Located at the Four Seasons Hotel in Central district, the restaurant boasts first-class views of Victoria Harbour, while blending together the aesthetics of France and China for a unique ‘Chinoiserie’ dining experience. Run by Chef de Cuisine Guillaume Galliot, who sources ingredients from his suppliers in France, Caprice was named to the Elite Traveler’s Top 100 Restaurants in the World.
If exclusivity is what you’re after, you’ll be right on the money with Twenty Six by Liberty. But with bookings few and far between, it’s not easy to get a spot at the table for just 26 diners. Once there, you’re treated to Chef Chris Keung and his team preparing their inventive dishes from scratch right in front of your eyes. Featuring an eight-course French menu that can be paired with wine, the restaurant captivates diners with its beautiful, bold plates, exquisite flavors and unique atmosphere, which makes for an unforgettable culinary experience.
With three Michelin stars to its name, T’ang Court already stands out among the crowd as one of just four Cantonese restaurants to earn this recognition. The restaurant focuses on authentic Cantonese cuisine with dishes like braised imperial bird’s nest with crab meat and roe. Sumptuous decor recalls the Tang Dynasty, featuring traditional red accents contrasted with contemporary artwork. For the exceptional experience that T’ang Court provides gourmands in Hong Kong, the restaurant has earned reader recognition in Elite Traveler’s Top 100 Restaurants in the World.
Owned by legendary chef Joël Robuchon, who holds the most Michelin stars in the world, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon is located in luxury shopping center, The Landmark. Serving up modern French food in small portions, the restaurant draws inspiration from the simplicity of Japanese cuisine, delivered in a vibrant atmosphere much like that of a tapas bar. While seated at a bar counter that wraps around the open kitchen, guests can see chefs prepare dishes right in front of their eyes using a range of ingredients from countries all around the world.
Dutch-born chef Richard Ekkebus’s contemporary French cuisine with an Asian twist has won him awards, two Michelin stars, and earned him a place on the Elite Traveler’s Top 100 Restaurants in the World. Using ingredients that take advantage of the Hong Kong location – expect to see fruits from South-East Asia and seafood from Tokyo – Ekkebus applies classic French techniques to a menu he recreates every three months. Add in a dramatic chandelier made up of more than 4,000 bronze rods, creating a unique lighting effect, and you’ve got a Parisian-style dining experience with a taste of the East.
For an evening of authentic Cantonese cuisine in a beautiful setting, two-Michelin-star Summer Palace fits the bill. Spearheaded by chef Ip Chi Cheung, the restaurant focuses on using traditional ingredients to create classic dishes. Located on the fifth floor of one of Hong Kong’s plushest hotels, the restaurant’s oriental interiors and sparkling chandeliers complement authentically Chinese creations, including chilled crystal ham, baked king prawn, and steamed crab claw.
A focus on traditional dishes and seasonal gems, together with panoramic views of Victoria Harbour, have earned Man Wah a reputation as a firm favorite for classic Cantonese cuisine in Hong Kong. Located on the 25th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, the restaurant boasts a beautiful setting, with original paintings on silk along with gold-plated ceiling lamps, and an exceptional view of Hong Kong’s skyline.
Owned by Umberto Bombana, one of the premier Italian chefs in Asia, Otto e Mezzo Bombana is the only Italian restaurant outside of Italy to have gained three Michelin stars – and it certainly lives up to the hype with its authenticity. Located in upscale shopping center Landmark Alexandra, the restaurant serves up classic meat and fish dishes, while pasta takes on a contemporary slant with clever flavors and textures. With a bustling atmosphere much like what you’d find in Italy, Otto e Mezzo Bombana is a gem of a restaurant that prides itself on delivering the best Italian cuisine available.
With its elegant setting and serene water features, One Harbour Road makes you feel like you’re dining in a 1930s-era Chinese mansion. A quick look out of the floor-to-ceiling windows, however, and you’re soon back in the 21st century with views of Hong Kong’s world famous Victoria Harbour and the modern IFC and ICC towers. Located at the five-star Grand Hyatt, One Harbour Road serves up traditional, homestyle Cantonese cuisine, using the highest quality, seasonal ingredients, which has earned it a vast following among locals.
Hutong offers some of Hong Kong’s finest northern Chinese and Sichuan cuisine, in an atmospheric dining room. The stunning dining room is beautifully decorated, complete with scenic views of the backdrop of Hong Kong seen from floor to ceiling windows. The restaurant offers a diverse traditional northern Chinese with a contemporary twist. The menu offers a variety of full-flavored, spicy, and aromatic dishes, with a wide-ranging wine menu to match. Try the Ao Yun tasting menu featuring seared foie gras served on runny Shanghainese coddled egg, wagyu beef cheek and sweet dumplings complemented by China’s first ‘Grand Cru’ from Moët Hennessy’s Shangri-La Winery.