Art & Lifestyle

The Best Restaurants in Hong Kong Right Now

Hong Kong is one of the most exciting and diverse restaurant capitals in the world. From the classics to the latest game-changers, here are our favourite restaurants of the moment, updated weekly

by Vogue Hong Kong

18 Oct 2019

Te Quiero Mucho

The flagship TQM Taqueria in Sheung Wan has made a name for itself with a distinctive mix of bold, flavourful, shareable tacos, burritos and tortas – not to mention signature cocktails and imported beers. Now, a second location has opened in Wong Chuk Hang. TQM Southside’s very drinkable margarita slushies are perfect for the balmy autumn evenings that Hong Kong is enjoying right now. The new location is a much larger space than the Sheung Wan original – complete with a pool table – making the restaurant an attractive option as an after-work hangout for those commuting to and from the neighbourhood.

3/F Ovolo Southside, 64 Wong Chuk Hang Road; 3460 8157, tqm.com.hk

Obihiro Hageten

When Chef Hitoshi Yano chose Tsim Sha Tsui’s Elements as the location for his family restaurant brand’s first overseas location, he committed to making frequent visits, bringing with him the freshest ingredients direct from Hokkaido to the tables of Hong Kong. The latest menu to be curated by the master chef features exquisitely prepared Sea Urchin in Seaweed Tempura – a triumphant display of the chef’s delicate touch. Other highlights include strikingly sweet Hokkaido White Corn Tempura, fabulously hearty Grilled Scallop with Butter, and rich-flavoured Marinated Edamame with Oyster. The special menu is available until 17 November.

Shop 2103-05, L2, Elements, 1 Austin Road West; 21968310

Chom Chom

Since opening in 2013, Chôm Chôm seems to have been perpetually busy, with diners spilling out onto the steps outside the restaurant, sipping on their curbside beers in true Hanoi-style. New Chef John Nguyen has gone to great lengths to promote what he refers to as Vietnam’s “Beer culture” in his reimagining of the menu at this much-loved hangout, making monthly trips to Vietnam to research new dishes and flavours. However, that is not to say that Nguyen’s menu is burdened by dogmatic adherence to tradition. The Vietnam-born chef has worked across America, most notably at New York’s Hanoi House, where in 2017 he was awarded ‘Chef of the Year’ by Eater. Bold American-influenced presentation and experimentation are evident in the Vietnamese Pizza, while dishes like the Roasted Bone Marrow make a perfect accompaniment to the selection of Vietnamese beers on offer. Nguyen reserves particular praise for Hong Kong’s fresh seafood, which he employs to delicious effect in dishes such as the Charred King Clam and Scallops with Pomelo.

58-60 Peel Street, 58-60 Peel Street, Hong Kong; 2810 0850

Nectar

While Hong Kong is not unfamiliar with plant-based cuisine, chef Peggy Chan has raised the stakes, even beyond that of her former much-loved restaurant Grassroots Pantry. In the same space – pared back in Scandinavian-style, with fresh white walls and tablecloths, reclaimed-wood tables, string-back chairs and indoor plants – now belongs Nectar. With a focus on fine dining, as opposed to the humble comfort food of Grassroots’ days, Nectar offers a five, eight or 12-course tasting menu for dinner, a three-course set menu for lunch, and a free-flow brunch menu on the weekend. The tasting menus are designed to be an integrative experience, with chef Peggy or one of her colleagues introducing each innovate creation, with the locally-sourced, sustainable and seasonal ingredients reflecting Peggy’s belief in the healing nature of plant-based cuisine. Such dishes include an almost-too-good-to-be-true ‘Faux Gras’ with water bamboo, organic figs and pumpkin seeds, purslane fettuccine with vegetable salami and hazelnut pecorino, and an extensive “cheese” board, with nut and tofu-based creations fermented on site.

108 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong; 2873 3353

Ming Court

Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant Ming Court’s new seasonal menu embraces sustainability by focusing on locally-sourced ingredients. In a city where the vast majority of our food is imported, turning to locally-sourced produce has many benefits. Minimising travel time means that ingredients arrive fresher, retaining more nutritional value, while at the same time reducing the carbon footprint associated with their transportation. By indulging in dishes such as fresh Lingzhi Mushroom soup and locally-caught soft-shell lobster, diners are also helping support small-scale local producers at a time when business is increasingly tough. The menu is available until the end of September.

Level 6, Cordis Hotel, 555 Shanghai Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong; 3552 3028

Rech by Alain Ducasse

The best way to indulge in world-class seafood is to do so against the best view of Hong Kong’s skyline. 1 Michelin-starred French seafood restaurant Rech by Alain Ducasse presents the finest seasonal fish, shellfish and oysters in the airy grandeur of the InterContinental’s high-ceilinged first floor, where sweeping views transition from daytime sunshine to the soft neon glow of Victoria Harbour by night. The fine-dining menu, too, is ever-changing under the brilliant curation of Executive Chef Guillaume Katola, whose gastronomic finesse brings contemporary French cuisine to blossom with the seasons. If you’re of the good fortune to visit this August, experience their new Coastal Tour de France Menu, which brings diners on a 5-course culinary voyage along the coast of France. Its latest chapter takes to the northwest region of Brittany with dishes ranging from the expectation-smashing “Armoricaine” style blue lobster to the humble but undeniably scrumptious cookpot of buckwheat, squid, and shellfish. Everything is immaculately prepared, masterfully composed, and presented without a detail to spare. End the night with Pastry Chef Gary Wong’s elegant sweet treats and Rech’s famous marshmallows.

Lobby Level, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong; 2313 2323

Sushi Zo

Appealing to Hong Kong’s exceptionally well-versed sushi clientele, Michelin-awarded omakase restaurant Sushi Zo has set up shop in a tucked-away enclave in Tai Kwun, where each day, two evening sittings of no more than 12 guests are served a bespoke 18-dish experience of the freshest seafood and ingredients flown in straight from Japan. With undivided attention, head chef Fumio Azumi prepares and presents one dish at a time, when flavour, temperature and texture are in a perfect “Sushi Zo state” of harmony, achieving such balance with a signature spare use of rice and softer texture befitting the seafood. This elaborate array of seasonal fare is orchestrated over the course of 24 hours: seafood orders are placed over phone by 1:00 am, purchases are made at the Japanese fish market by 3:00 am, ingredients arrive by plane in Hong Kong by 3:00 pm, and the first round of customers are served at 6:00 pm, followed by the second sitting at 8:30 pm. For a perfect ending to the exclusive meal, head over to the adjoining Gishiki Lounge for your choice of nightcap, ranging from Japanese cocktails to live siphon-brewed spirits.

Sushi Zo & Gishiki Lounge, Shop 01, LG 103, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong; 2884 0114

Guo Fu Lou

Fook Lam Moon’s Michelin-one-starred Cantonese restaurant Guo Fu Lou has moved from its Wan Chai locale to its new upscale spot at The Murray, where you’ll find the same signature dishes and staff welcome its celebrity clientele in a modern tearoom-inspired boutique. The kitchen’s most prized dishes such as the Jasmine tea-smoked chicken and Barbecued Pork are an indulgent embrace of classic Hong Kong flavours — succulent, fragrant, and delicately balanced to rid of the typical post-meal heaviness — while its seafood offerings such as their steamed lobster with egg white dish are worth the splurge for first-time diners and regulars alike.

Guo Fu Lou, The Pavilion, The Murray, 22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong; 3468 8188

Nove

Nove means “9” in Italian, and the latest addition to chef Umberto Bombana’s growing empire. This little gem is located in the narrow, hawker lined Lee Yuen Tung Street. The retro designed space is reminiscent of a tea hall in the 1950’s, cosy and just a little boisterous. The menu juxtaposes classic Cantonese dim sum with a selection of Chiu Chow style dishes, including their famous soy marinated sliced goose. Rumour has it that the dim sum chef hails from China Tang, and the presentation and taste are both exquisite – from the dainty Har Gow with fresh, plumped shrimps, to a truffle topped Siao Mai, to the punchy Wasabi Seafood Spring Roll. A nice piece of nostalgia without the pretence.

G/Fl, 9 Lee Yuen Tung Street, Central, Hong Kong

Caprice

A legend in Hong Kong’s restaurant scene, the three-Michelin-starred Caprice represents the height of haute French cuisine in the city. Set within an opulent, chandelier and wine cabinet-lined space in the Four Seasons with unmarred views across the harbour, Caprice nevertheless presents a surprisingly modern take on French cooking courtesy of executive chef Guillaume Galliot, whose 18 years living abroad have furnished his style with many expertly executed Asian notes. Deftly paired with French wines both boutique and world-renowned, Galliot’s culinary philosophy comes to life through dishes like Hokkaido uni with mango and pan-seared scampi, Alaskan king crab laksa with quail egg, and Kagoshima wagyu with roasted watermelon and grapes – all of which feature on Caprice’s new summer menu. No meal here can end without Caprice’s famous artisanal cheese board, or the classic creations of Pastry Chef Vivien Sonzogni, such as White Chocolate Soufflé.

6/F, Four Seasons Hong Kong, 8 Finance St, Central, Hong Kong; 3196 8888

Pirata

Few restaurants can attest to reaching their fifth anniversary in Hong Kong’s unforgiving F&B scene, and fewer yet can claim to be the namesake of an entire restaurant group, yet Pirata can admit to both. The hugely successful restaurant has become a staple for hearty Italian fare thanks to Chef Stefano Rossi’s deft hand in recreating the dishes of his nonna, yet that’s not to say that the Turin native doesn’t continue to innovate by continuously introducing new dishes. Latest to the menu are the likes of the Scallop Gratin, which is coated in breadcrumbs infused with Mediterranean herbs and baked in-shell, and deliciously decadent Bone Marrow, served with homemade green sauce and toasted bread. The pasta dishes are equally rich – we would recommend the Tagliolini with Sicilian Red Prawns and Zucchini, as well as the creamy Porcini Risotto, washed down with the house signature cocktail, teh Bunga Bunga.

29-30/F, 239 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; 2887 0270, pirata.hk

New Punjab Club

Hong Kong’s favourite Michelin-starred Punjab restaurant has launched a new menu that makes it a must-visit all over again. For the city’s long, hot summer, the seasonal menu includes fresh and vibrant dishes that make the most of the fish and game, fruits and berries that are abundant in the Punjab region at this time of year. Cooking is in the traditional tandoor style, with the tandoor-roasted Australian venison in fennel seeds and chartreuse liqueur being a highlight. The Kadai Machli (grouper, tomatoes and peppercorns) and Baingan Bhartha (Tandoor-roasted aubergine with ginger) are lighter offerings. The Mooli salad of radishes, turnips and mango pickle, and the slow-cooked okra with fresh turmeric and cumin are flavoursome summer accompaniments, along with the restaurant’s signature cooling pickles and dips. As ever, New Punjab Club’s gin and tonic trolley is not to be missed, concocting a variation of infusions for the classic cocktail.

34 Wyndham St. Central; 2368 1223, newpunjabclub.com

Aaharn

Highly renowned for transforming Thai cuisine into something that people would pay top dollar for, Chef David Thompson added another feather in Hong Kong’s culinary crown with the opening of Aaharn in Tai Kwun back in October of 2018. Since then, it has quietly gone about the business of Thai gastronomy, but with the recent addition of Thompson’s protegé, Dtoy Pariyasakul, as head chef, the restaurant is set to shake things up. Pariyasakul’s palate fully captures the aromatic essence of Thai cooking, with expert flavour combinations marrying sweet, spicy, sour and salty. Prime examples of this include the spicy lemograss salad with prawns, deep-fried perch fillet with tamarind and chilli, and the Mussaman curry combining jackfruit, potato and shallots for a wonderfully redolent flavour punch that will have you reaching for a refill of jasmine rice time and again. Opt for the tasting menu (HK$788) for a full spread of specialties, available with wine pairings.

1/F, Armoury Building, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Rd, Central; 2703 9111, aaharn.hk

Kinship

The concept of family informs much of Hong Kong culture, from which longtime friends-turned-professional partners Arron Rhodes and Chris Grare have taken inspiration for their newly-opened joint venture, Kinship. Rhodes, previously head chef of Gough’s on Gough, and Grare, who helmed the kitchen at Lily & Bloom, aim to serve a menu of soulful and rustic home-style dishes with New World influences as part of their farm-to-table philosophy. Key to this approach are the family-run local farms and suppliers who provide Kinship’s ingredients, including roasted homegrown carrots from the New Territories, to salmon sourced from the Faroe Islands. Make sure to order the melt-in-your-mouth BBQ Pork Belly and the Giant Duck Ravioli, or better yet, ask for the HK$488 Family Meal to try a bit of everything.

3/F, LL Tower, 2 Shelley St, Central; 2520 0899, kinshiphk.com

Wagyu Vanne

Former DJ-turned-chef Vanne Kuwahara has taken his expertise from running Tokyo celebrity favourite Yoroniku Ebisu to open a yakiniku restaurant specialising in wagyu beef. The restaurant will be the first in Hong Kong to feature beef from Hiyama, a prestigious, 100-year-old beef supplier renowned for their premium Kuroge wagyu beef. Guests choose from a tasting menu and two dinner sets, of which the highlights include Wagyu Sushi with Sea Urchin, Beef Tongue in Green Onion Sauce, and Hiyama A5 Wagyu ‘Shabu Shabu’ with black truffle. Guests can also choose to grill the raw beef slices themselves, or request the servers to grill it tableside. An extensive menu of Japanese sake, some of which are exclusive to this restaurant, is also available for pairing.

1/F, 535 Jaffe Rd, Causeway Bay; 2883 0533, gosango.com.hk

The Leah

Having trained under the likes of Rene Redzepi and Tom Aitkens, British chef James Sharman is setting up shop in British family members club Maggie & Rose, transforming it at night into The Leah. Inspired by his time working in London and sharing a house with eight other young chefs, Sharman wanted to create a menu that reflected the meals he and his housemates would cook together on their day off, hence the focus on British comfort food. As a result, he has reinvented classics such as Beef Wellington, Scotch Egg with Soldiers, and Chicken, Leek and Bacon Pie. An extensive cocktail menu is also available to take advantage of the large outdoor patio decorated to resemble an English garden – expect reimagined British favourites with names like Wimbledon Cup and Camden Spritz, alongside a selection of ales and iced teas.

Maggie & Rose, Shop 308 & 311, Lee Garden Two, 28 Yun Ping Rd, Causeway Bay; 2337 7651

L’Envol

After last year’s closure of his Seasons by Olivier E. restaurant, chef Olivier Elzer has found a new home in L’Envol (“flight” in French), the new French haute cuisine restaurant in St. Regis Hong Kong. It’s immediately clear that the Pierre and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon alum poured his soul into the space, working closely with hotel designer André Fu to etch out his vision of an interior extends from the pastel marble walls all the way down to the tablecloths that were custom-made in France. Elzer’s trademark fusion of East and West is evident here, with each dish exhibiting a combination of French technique and premium Asian ingredients such as Shadi caviar from China, tuna seasoned with five spices, and A3 Kagoshima wagyu beef. These dishes are expertly paired with wines curated by sommelier Tristan Pommier, while cheese aficionados will also appreciate the cheese selection served tableside on a trolley at the end of each meal, along with a condiment of fresh honey harvested from a honeycomb. As its name suggests, L’Envol is bound to take bring French cooking in Hong Kong to new heights.

3/F, St. Regis Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai; marriott.com

Taqueria Super Macho

Food connoisseurs will undoubtedly be familiar with this space on Bridges Street, which formerly housed the rowdy Yardbird but now is the new home of the equally rowdy, yet tonally opposite Taqueria Super Macho, which proves to be a welcome addition to Hong Kong’s oftentimes lacklustre Mexican restaurant scene. Now, the space is bathed in a neon glow and hung with sombreros, channeling the beach town vibes of the coastal Baja and Jalisco states, with Mexican ballads crooned over the stereo. The seafood-focused menu is concise and split into four sections. Start with small dishes such as the charcoal-grilled Mexican street corn and the Japanese surf clam ceviche before moving onto the tacos, which come undressed in corn tortillas and are accompanied by close to a dozen sauces and toppings for diners to use as they like. The cocktails tend to be quite strong, which may not be to everyone’s taste, although the margaritas (available straight, on the rocks or frozen) are a surefire winner. Meanwhile, the service is gregarious and the atmosphere transportive, guaranteeing a fun night to be had.

33-35 Bridges St, Sheung Wan; 2333 0111, taqueriasupermacho.com

Moon Lok Chinese Restaurant

Evoking the atmosphere of a Chinese garden brought into the future, Moon Lok Chinese Restaurant is one of the first restaurants to open in the monumental Xiqu Centre opera house in the West Kowloon Cultural District. The interiors were designed by local interiors studio NCDA, who created a lofty, arched space dominated by voluptuous curves that was deliberately designed “without direct viewpoint, encouraging a sense of curiosity and discovery through meandering paths,” according to the designers. Hand-painted floral artworks inhabit the spaces between each arch, while verdant green rattan-backed banquettes complete the illusion of dining outdoors. On the menu, Cantonese roast meats and dim sum take the spotlight thanks to Executive Chef Hui Mei Tak’s 30 years of experience in the kitchen. Signature dishes include the Peking Duck (which is aged for 36 hours in a custom oven), Honey-glazed Barbecued Pork, Baked Crab Meat Stuffed in Crab Shell and Double-boiled Pig’s Lung and Almond Soup.

Shop 2-4, 1/F, Xiqu Centre, 88 Austin Rd West, Tsim Sha Tsui; 3622 1449

Estiatorio Keia

Photo:
Photo: Mitchell Geng

Photo: Mitchell Geng

The latest venture of the Bulldozer Group is this airy, vibrant Greek restaurant in H Queen’s that somewhat alleviates Hong Kong’s conspicuous lack of buzz-worthy Greek dining options. Able to seat 120 diners, the interiors were designed by the award-winning Sundukovy Sisters and feature marine mosaics and an eye-catching central oven clad in gold tiles that adds to the restaurant’s transportive atmosphere. Chef consultant Alexis Zopas designed the seafood-centric menu with plenty of Mykonian and Cycladic influences, which is expertly executed by Executive Chef Marios Tsouris. Make sure to order the oven-fresh Peinerli baked seafood pie which can be made in Spanaki (spinach and feta cheese) and Thalassina (mixed seafood and tomato) variatinos; or the Lavraki whole sea bass, which is served with lemon, capers, olive oil and parsley. Diners can also browse the raw seafood bar and pick from a selection of oysters, Greek ceviche, and sea bream sashimi. Meanwhile, Nobu-trained pastry chef Marino Kosmas is responsible for an unmissable dessert menu that includes the traditional Ekmek dessert with Kataifi Fillo, Karidopita walnut pudding, and homemade ice creams and sorbets.

2/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Rd Central, Central; 2677 7737, keia.com.hk

Porterhouse

A longtime heavyweight amongst Hong Kong’s steakhouses, Porterhouse has recently renewed its à-la-carte menu by doubling down on its beef-centric forte, as well as expanding its seafood offerings and introducing new, meat-free items to keep up with the times. But first, the dry-aged steaks, which boast one of the most varied offerings in the city, with premium cuts cherry-picked from as far afield as Spain, Ireland, Italy, and Hungary in on- and off-the-bone versions. We were partial to the Italian-Scottish Marango cross-breed porterhouse steak which delivered extreme tenderness packed with omega-3. Big groups should not forgo the Grand Ocean Platter, a sumptuous arrangement of Canadian lobster, oysters, Amour caviar, Alaskan king crab and other fruits of the sea; or the Impossible™ Wellington, which weighs in at a whole, guilt-free kilogram.

7/F, California Tower, 30-36 D’Aguilar St, Lan Kwai Fong, Central

Mr Brown

From the team behind award-winning Middle Eastern restaurant Francis comes neighbouring Wan Chai grill and smokehouse Mr Brown. The moodily-lit space on Ship Street buzzes with chefs at the open kitchen-bar and a jolly crowd of diners. Continuing in Francis’ fashion, the menu is encouraged to be shared, with small and large plates that can be ordered as ‘Mr Brown goes to town’ – a chef’s selection served throughout the evening. Highlights on the menu include the Iberico pork muffin with cabbage and aioli, the smoky grilled eggplant with miso tahini, and the 12-hour smoked brisket, best tried with the Kohlrabi with hazelnut, pecorino, chilli. Head Chef Asher Goldstein credits his cuisine with influences from his home town of Tel Aviv along with his experience of wood fire cooking in Australia – a pleasing combination.

G/F, 9 Ship Street, Wan Chai

The Flying Elk

The rowdier cousin to Björn Frantzen’s tasting menu-only restaurant, Frantzen’s Kitchen, The Flying Elk is the Hong Kong outpost of the Stockholm restaurant of the same name, and presents casual Nordic fare that is designed to be, first and foremost, comfort food. Primarily based around medium-sized sharing plates, the dishes are hearty and perfect for the Scandinavian winters that they were undoubtedly inspired by – expect to see the likes of Foie gras & chicken liver parfait, Veal schnitzel, and Roasted chicken & lobster “pot-au-feu.” Alternatively, the pairing menu ($595 p.p.) does a good job of summarising the restaurant’s ethos, offering individual portions with the option of wine or beer pairings – we suggest the latter for an introductory course on the surprisingly robust pairing potential of various Nordic brews.

2/F, Wyndham Mansion, 32 Wyndham St, Central; 2898 3788, theflyingelk.com

The Legacy House

Rosewood Hong Kong’s new Chinese restaurant is just one of the many ways in which Sonia Cheng, CEO of the Rosewood Hotel Group, pays tribute to her family’s ties to this corner of Hong Kong, in particular to patriarch Dr. Cheng Yu-Tung, who built New World Centre on the same plot of land in the ’70s. Accordingly, the restaurant focuses on the cuisine of the Shunde region of Guangdong province – known as the cradle of Cantonese cooking – giving rise to signature dishes by chef Li Chi-Wai such as minced fish soup and Daliang-style wok-fried milk, crabmeat, egg white and bird’s nest. Premium Chinese teas and tea-based cocktails are on offer to bring out the best of the fish-centric dishes. Apart from the main dining space, seven expansive VIP dining rooms with unbeatable harbour views function almost like private kitchens, each named after milestones in Dr. Cheng’s life.

5/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui; 3891 8732, rosewoodhotels.com

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