Hong Kong’s dining scene just keeps getting better and over the past few weeks, we have been to three new must-try eateries, which we considered outstanding.
What: a Ginza-style Japanese restaurant and cocktail whisky bar in Landmark Prince’s. It is the latest restaurant in the Epicurean Group fold.
What’s in a name: Kakure is Japanese for “present yet absent” and as it is located in Landmark Prince’s “hidden passageway”, where Yannick Alléno’s Terrior Parisien used to be, it is apt.
Interior: the 3,000-square-foot (280-square-metre) stylish space features warm lighting enhanced by lanterns. The bar is on the right of the entrance and was buzzing when we visited.
The restaurant’s interior has been done in light wood and has private tatami rooms, several cooking stations, such as a sushi bar and teppanyaki live cooking area.
On the menu: Japanese traditional dishes with twists in execution. There are choices of seafood, sushi, sashimi and Wagyu beef dishes.
Must-try dishes: the melt-in-the-mouth Hida beef tenderloin (HK$568, US$70) – which is an A5 premium Wagyu from the Gifu region; the tender teppanyaki live lobster (HK$1,180) and the fresh sushi and sashimi.
Drinks: we liked the old fashioned (HK$150) Wagyu fat-washed Michter’s rye with Okinawan black sugar and orange and aromatic bitters and the smoked sesame oil negroni (HK$155) made of sesame oil fat-washed gin, and dates infused with Vermouth, Campari, yuzu bitters and cherry blossom smoke.
Where: Landmark Prince’s, M/F 20-24, 10 Chater Road, Central
What: French fine dining using Asian ingredients
What’s in a name: the chef has his roots in Hong Kong and he uses ingredients which have their roots here, too. Interestingly, chef Vito Chan – formerly of Whisk, L’Atelier and Amber – likes to use ingredients sourced from small farms where ever possible.
Interior: in keeping with its dedication to the environment, the setting is done in Earth tones and wood evoking tranquillity. There is an open kitchen and plenty of natural light from large windows overlooking the neighbourhood.
On the menu: the restaurant offers an eight-course tasting menu for HK$1,380 per head. Dishes use local ingredients such as yellow chicken and longan and the menu changes seasonally. It also serves promotional menus, such as the current Mushroom Tasting Menu.
Must-try dishes: langoustine with wintermelon and tomato consomme – it is a refreshing starter to the regular tasting menu – black abalone with fermented rice and abalone liver, yellow chicken with bittermelon and truffle crust and Te Mana lamb with souffle and green water spinach.
Drinks: There is a selection of international wines.
Where: 7/F, Low Block, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central
Nove Chinese Kitchen
What: contemporary Chinese cuisine, as it fuses Cantonese and Chiu Chow flavours.
What’s in a name: Nove means “nine” in Italian, as it is located at 9 Li Yuen Street East, in Central, and the word aesthetically is similar to “love”, which describes the dedication in preserving the heritage of Chinese cuisine.
Interior: designed by Albert Kwan, known for his work with the late David Tang at Shanghai Tang and China Club, the restaurant interior depicts old Hong Kong as it harks back to the 1960s.
The first thing that hits the eye when entering is the mosaic tiled floor, then a beautiful ceiling fan and a centrepiece of red lanterns with tassels hanging from them. Ornate mirrors and a long panel showcasing a mural that depicts Chinese-style artwork line the upper walls.
On the menu: there is a wide selection of dim sum ranging from HK$29 to HK59, Chiu Chow delicacies, rice, noodles, veggies and a Cantonese home-made soup. The kitchen is helmed by executive chef Wong Yiu-por and chef Poon Kwai-chung, who specialises in Chiu Chow delicacies.
Must-try dishes: rice flour rolls filled with satay sauce minced beef, steamed xiaolongbao with lobster bisque, baked abalone and cheese tarts, sliced goose with pigs trotters, classic shrimp dumplings and signature steamed pork belly buns.
Drinks: a choice of Chinese teas such as Puer, buckwheat and scent of Phoenix Mountain served cold. There are four Italian wines and soft drinks.
Where: 9 Li Yuen Street East, Central