With international travel still a remote prospect, the perspective of a travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore comes as a breather for those of us suffering from cabin fever and dying to hop on a plane. Planning to visit Hong Kong when the bubble allows it?
Make it an indulgent trip and treat yourself at one of the following restaurants, all living proofs that the 852 deserves its spot on top of the Food Capitals of the World list.
The city has no shortage of Michelin Star restaurants and picking one can be tricky. Not as internationally renowned as other stars in the city such as Amber or Caprice and a relatively new addition to the local vibrant dining scene (2018), Arbor is a striking star (awarded one star at the end of 2018, just a few months after opening, and winning a second star in 2019) that definitely deserves to be given a shot. Crafted by Finnish chef Eric Raty, the sophisticated Omakase-style menu perfectly combines French techniques and the freshest Japanese ingredients with a Nordic twist and a strong emphasis on natural, sometimes rather earthy, flavours. Located at the heart of the super busy Central district, on the 25 th floor of the very trendy H Queens tower, Arbor is an oasis from the hustle and bustle
of the city that never sleeps.
Signature dish: the Langoustine, cooked on a charcoal grill and served with Japanese tomatoes consommé jelly and candied kombu. But be aware that the menu at Arbor is seasonal and this dish might no be available.
While local crowds and medias tend to give more credit to its sister restaurant Roganic, Aulis won my heart, and stomach, with its interactive dining experience and more intimate setting (with only 12 seats). Also referred to as the venue’s chef’s table and a testing ground for newly created dishes to be tested before being fine polished and served at Roganic, Aulis is the place where to enjoy up-close introduction to famed British chef Simon Rogan’s farm-to-table cuisine through an omakase menu
designed, and cooked in front of you, by executive chef Oli Marlow.
Signature dish: with all dishes being seasonal and Aulis being the brain behind Roganic, you can expect the menu to change every 4 to 6 weeks and the only bite you will continuously be served when dining at Aulis is the Truffle Pudding, a buttery delight and savoury take on the traditional British bread and butter pudding.
An all-day dim sum restaurant opened in the midst of summer 2020 at The Fringe Club, an art-filled heritage building, Nove is backed by no other than chef Umberto Bombana, co-owner of three Michelin star restaurant 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana (the only three Michelin star Italian restaurant outside of
Italia). In a warm and welcoming setting infused with chinoiserie details, the all-day restaurant serves dim sum alongside Chiuchow and Cantonese specialties.
Signature dishes: the Eugene Bao, a wagyu bao, and the Ted Lo So, a crispy turnip pastry, both named after Hong Kong’s jazz legends Eugene Pao and Ted Lo.
With a reputation of serving the best Thai boat noodles in Hong Kong and an interior reminiscent of typical Bangkok hole-in-the-wall, Samsen has never ceased to attract a queue. Quite an achievement in a city where the trendy eatery of the month is swiftly replaced by another trendier and newer venue the next month. If the original venue, opened in 2016, is located in the vibrant atmosphere of Stone Nullah Road in Wan Chai, chef Adam Cliff and his team have recently expanded with the opening of another walk-in eatery in Sheung Wan. Bold experimentations on Thai flavours is what awaits for you whether you decide to visit the original or newly opened venue.
Signature dishes: the Boat Noodles in Wan Chai, the Khao Soi, featuring beef and noodles in a creamy and sweet coconut curry, in Sheung Wan.
Sitting adjacent to worldwide famous Amber (a two Michelin star restaurant and #21 World’s Best Restaurant for 2020), SOMM offers a much more casual dining experience serving French neo-bistro fares infused with Japanese flair and boasting an unprecedented (in Hong Kong) selection of Champagnes and wines. Nothing surprising for a place that takes its name from the word Sommelier. If the wood-paneled restaurant is open 7 days a week from breakfast to dinners, local foodies know that the best time to visit SOMM is for lunch on a Saturday or a Sunday to enjoy the “Sommthing Special Weekend Lunch”, a 3-course meal topped with free-flow Champagne, Sake and wine.
Signature dishes: the Hamachi, served raw with heirloom radish, Tosazu dashi vinegar, sea lettuce and coriander infused extra virgin camelia oil, and the Japanese Pork Belly with bbq sauce and Hakata cabbage.