Remember when

Remember When...


You found a hidden gem? A place for celebration? A kitchen that speaks your love language?

DINERS' CHOICE 2019
wants you to relive your food memories by dining out at restaurants you love.

Take a gastronomic trip down memory lane with some of our favourite Hong Kong foodies.

Celebrate
Discover

Love

Flushed cheeks, beads of sweat and locked eyes — a blossoming romance, or a hotpot night out? Clichés are generous when it comes to how food and love intertwine, and we submit to all of them. After all, we know how important it is to find the right partner, just as much as it is to find the restaurant that’s your ride or die.

Describe how your love affair with food has grown and evolved.


My first foray into food-gramming actually began with me posting my own home recipes. I began to appreciate the complexity of work required for seemingly simple food after trying to imitate dishes I’d eat at restaurants, and that subsequently piqued my interest in fine dining. I made it my mission to eat out as much as possible.


I ended up in the deep end of Hong Kong’s F&B scene when I moved back, which gave me more opportunities to try out new culinary gems and engage with the industry leaders themselves: Chefs, gastronomes, food critics and the like.

Is there a restaurant in Hong Kong you like to frequent for a night with your loved ones?


Old Bailey is a great option for an intimate lunch. It has an elegant lounge area for rare teas sourced from China, and al fresco terrace overlooking Hong Kong’s concrete jungle.

They specialise in Jiangnan cuisine, and serve up some of my favourite xiao long bao (traditional, hairy crab and ma la!) in the city. Also, don’t miss their annual Shanghainese hairy crab menu by chef Wong Kwan Man in October.

furellie
Love

Which restaurant in Hong Kong holds the most sentimental value to you?


A recent love affair is Arbor, a totally underrated restaurant that specialises in fine Scandinavian-Japanese cuisine. I just love Eric Raty’s elegant and minimalistic cooking style. Arbor is also close to my heart because I celebrated a very special birthday here, and the entire experience — from service and ambience to food and drinks — was curated to perfection.

Restaurants mentioned:
Arbor
Old Bailey

Celebrate

Life is meant to be lived out loud — on the ‘gram or IRL. Whether you’re capturing inside jokes or showering in confetti at your favourite bar, your favourite place has been there, done that.

yukimaryrosel

Where’s a restaurant you go to for celebrations?


Bistecca Italian Steak House. My fiancé and I had one of our first dinner dates there eight or nine years ago. We absolutely loved the food and service. Now, we always go back to celebrate our special occasions.

Tell us about a birthday celebration in a restaurant that simply blew your mind.


It was about five years ago when Bread Street Kitchen just opened in Hong Kong at LKF Tower. My fiancé booked it for my birthday because he knows I'm a big fan of Gordon Ramsay. After a fantastic dinner, I took some photos to post on Instagram that night and tagged Gordon Ramsay. What I didn't expect was for him to follow me back on Instagram! It really blew my mind! Best birthday present EVER!

Is there a dish you tried recently that showcased a celebration of the chef’s creativity?

I recently tried a dessert at Buenos Aires Polo Club and it was so impressive. It's basically a marshmallow-covered coffee ice cream on a stick, served on an open fire. Guests can roast the marshmallow over flames like a kid at a campfire. Who doesn't love fun desserts?

Can you recommend a fine dining restaurant to truly #treatyourself?


I would say Caprice at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. The food created by chef Guillaume Galliot was absolutely delicious and beautiful, which of course is the reason why they have three Michelin stars in 2019. I love its mesmerising ambience, view of Victoria Harbour, and lovely service provided by the staff. There’s also an open kitchen where we can see the chefs work.

Restaurants mentioned:
Bistecca Italian Steak House
Bread Street Kitchen
Buenos Aires Polo Club
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong

yukimaryrosel

HappyPlace

Everyone has that one spot in Hong Kong where you can totally be yourself, escape humdrum routines in a sweet sanctuary, and tuck into comfort food in a place that feels like home.

Where is your happy place?


It’s a restaurant with large panoramic windows overlooking the majestic harbour view during golden hour. I’m preferably seated at a comfy corner booth with good food and innovative happy hour cocktails.

Where do you go for comfort food?


For steak, I’m still a huge fan of the classic Morton’s The Steakhouse for that protein fix. For pizzas, my go-to places are Motorino and Kytaly. These classic food items just remind me of my childhood in Canada when I would invite friends for a night of games and movies, and we would just order a few pizzas and burgers to chill.

sunday.son
sunday.son

Is there a childhood dish you loved that’s been revisited here in Hong Kong?


I really enjoy dim sum. It always reminds me of home whenever I eat it. The dim sum and Chinese dishes at SHÈ are absolutely amazing — rich in flavour, very traditional yet infused with a modern twist that appeals to anyone who enjoys Chinese cuisine. I used to eat dim sum religiously every weekend with my grandma and family, so these authentic dishes are truly special to me.

Is there a restaurant in Hong Kong you love to have some quiet time in?


I am absolutely over the moon for Little Cove Espresso in Sai Kung. It’s a delicious eatery that’s situated along the sea with a chill Los Angeles vibe, serving an array of healthy brunch items, sweets and speciality coffees. I am particularly drawn to their breakfast and smoothie bowls, and I honestly recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a relaxing place for brunch!

Restaurants mentioned:
Morton’s The Steakhouse
SHÈ
Little Cove Espresso

Discovered

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of discovering something for the first time. Whether it’s a chef who’s reimagined your childhood dish, or trying a new cuisine that’s sparked wanderlust in you, here’s to restaurants that constantly surprise you.

gutakesworld

As a New Yorker, is there a dish you loved in NYC that you managed to rediscover and find again in Hong Kong?


There were many cute and quaint wine bars in New York that I frequented near my apartment in Midtown West. When I discovered Brut!, a cute wine bar in Sai Ying Pun, I absolutely fell in love. I miss mac and cheese, and they do an amazing blue cheese version.

Is there a chef you’ve met who really speaks to your ethos on food and cuisine?


I really like the style of Leonard Chung, chef of Blue Supreme. Even though he has the expertise from Michelin-starred restaurants like Eleven Madison Park, he provides a casual and stylish feel in his local eatery.

Any ingredient you’ve tried in Hong Kong that was so memorable?


I had never tried dried mullet roe until I visited Uoharu. It was quite interesting with soba, which is one of their signature dishes. It looks really enticing with the yellow flakes, almost like cheddar cheese.

 

What’s a restaurant you discovered recently that really left an impression?


Beet. The quality of service and attention to detail in every dish left such a memorable dining experience. The chef also walked us outside the restaurant thanking us for visiting.

Restaurants mentioned:
Brut!
Blue Supreme
Uoharu
Beet

gutakesworld

Your favourite restaurant deserves some action.
Celebrate the restaurant where you fell in love, tasted the best dish ever, or met a chef you like.