Haven’t you heard? Dinner is back in Hong Kong! With restaurants now able to seat four people per table, until 10 pm, since February 18, now is a great time to show support to the FnB industry while enjoying a long-awaited night out at one of the following restaurants, be it a soon-to-be hot spot or a Michelin awardee perfectly fitted for a celebration.
Having opened its doors on February 16, The Aubrey couldn’t wish for more auspicious debuts than seeing the ease of dine in restrictions two days after its opening. A unique collaboration between Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong and, local awarded restaurants group, Maximal Concepts, The Aubrey is already one of the city’s most-talked about restaurants with its sweeping views of the Victoria Harbour, three bars under one roof, perfectly executed Japanese cuisine and eccentric interior design and vibes. If the design itself is a reason to visit the place, the restaurant has been imagined as the home of a 19th century European collector and avid traveller with a passion for Japanism, the cocktail list imagined by award winning bartender Devender Seghal is another great excuse to book a table and sipping a Queen’s Gimlet while enjoying the views and, auction-sourced, collection of Japanese art pieces and ukiyo-e, is a must. The perfectly executed Japanese classics ranging from Edomae sushi to a decadent Wagyu Oxtail and Bone Marrow Fried Rice and a fluffy and deliciously addictive White Miso Souffle are other reasons why The Aubrey should be on your radar.
The thing I’ve missed the most about not being able to dine at restaurants at night isn’t the food, I am lucky to live with an amateur chef but also most restaurants in town were (are still) offering great delivery and takeaway options, but the vibrant atmosphere of a night out. People talking loudly, glasses clinking, kitchen and dining-room buzzing … those are the things you cannot recreate at home. And when it comes to serving good food in a vibrant atmosphere, Brut! is a winner. A small, but buzzing, bistro in Sai Ying Pun, Brut! has a unique neighbourhood-hang-out appeal, a short seasonal menu of dishes to share including a Char Siu with haw’s candy and grilled pineapple that feels like butter to your mouth and some truly indulgent Roquefort Mac & Cheese, and a sexy wine list focusing on bringing surprising New World wines to Hong Kong.
One of the two restaurants to clinch a second star in the Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau 2021, L’Envol at St. Regis Hong Kong is the perfect place if you have something to celebrate. And isn’t the ease of COVID-19 restrictions something to celebrate? Treat your tastebuds to Chef Olivier Elzer’s elegant, modern French cuisine with signatures including the Hokkaido Sea Urchin box or the Brittany Razor Clams with pressed caviar cream. I cannot recommend enough to make it a proper celebration with opting for the excellent wine pairing by sommelier Tristan Pommier.
With international travel still a remote prospects, I am making dinner an opportunity to take my tastebuds on a fragrant trip to countries I miss or haven’t had a chance to visit yet but would love to. Opened in July 2020, Club Rangoon is Hong Kong’s first gourmet Burmese restaurant and plates up national favourites including the Mohinga, Myanmar’s national dish of rice noodles in herbal fish soup, Lah Phet Thoka, also know as tea leaf salad, and Egg Curry Bites. The underground spot has already received some love from foodies and medias in town but has suffered, I believe, from opening right in the middle of the pandemic and I definitely think it should be on your radar because I have a feeling it might soon be a hot spot in Hong Kong.
Another new addition to Hong Kong’s exciting and vibrant dining scene, OBP stands for Old Bailey Pocha aka street food vendors in South Korea. The latest project from the team behind 11 Westside, my favourite Mexican restaurant in town, OBP introduces the laidback atmosphere of Korea’s Sool-Jip (literally a place that serves alcohol and food). With big communal tables and a menu of South Korean favourites made for sharing, OBP is the perfect place for dinner with friends and if I’ve already visited during the day, I cannot wait to visit again at night and enjoy another round of the crispy and tender Korean Fried Chicken, the absolutely addictive Kimchi Pancakes, the Galbi Dumplings with wagyu and prawn filling and the Spicy Seafood Noodles.