When L’Estrange London first approached me for my recommendations on fine dining restaurants in Hong Kong, I blanked. Amber? Caprice? What other fine dining restaurants do I know? I couldn’t possibly bring myself to recommend places I didn’t even personally love, but I honestly have barely visited “fine dining” restaurants in the past 2-3 years.
Thankfully, the important detail emerged as they were looking for excellent quality restaurants I feel comfortable in.
Shifting dining trends in Hong Kong
These thoughts of mine are anecdotal of the major shift in dining trends in Hong Kong, and around the world, towards more laid back spots which are still able to deliver top quality food. This was also exactly why I loved Tapisco so much, during my recent visit to Lisbon.
The thing is, I used to fantasise about being taken to Michelin-starred fine dining restaurants at hotels for my birthday. But to suggest this today would have even my closest friends cringe at the thought of having to act so uncomfortably formal.
Check out the full article where food authorities from major food cities like LA, New York, Sydney and London also share their recommendations in The Maker‘s latest issue – The Hit List.
My two top picks for Hong Kong were:
With a 50% chance of being seated on a high stool by the bar, the setting at Chino is almost the opposite of what anyone would picture as a venue for ‘fine dining’. But not only do their upbeat vibes and friendly service ensure an experience to remember, their Mexican-Japanese tacos and tostadas are faultlessly compiled every single time. No matter which one you order, the genius combinations always feature fresh ingredients and an exciting burst of flavour. The kanpachi and furikake tostada is one of my (many) favourites, but it’s the shima aji (Japanese fish) ceviche with pineapple that I’ve never failed to order.
1B New Praya Kennedy Town
No reservations (but you can put down your name and enjoy a drink or some craft beer at Little Creatures while you wait)
Spend per person: HK$500-700 (incl. drinks)
The uniqueness of the constantly-changing dishes on the menu at Rhoda makes it difficult, if not unfair, to assign a cuisine to this restaurant. The comfortable rustic vibe was an immediate selling point, but it’s the creative variety of their menu that has made this restaurant so unforgettable, despite Hong Kong’s frequent new restaurant openings. The intensity of the wagyu braised short rib, bone marrow and caviar on toast, is one example of how strong flavouring is their forte. Yet, with that in mind, you probably wouldn’t have guessed that they also make one of the best vanilla cheesecakes in town.
G/F 345 Des Voeux Road West
Sai Ying Pun
~5 min walk from HKU station
Phone: 2177 5050
Spend per person: HK$600-700 (dinner); HK$300 (brunch)