New season, new menus! From dry-aged meat and straw-smoked fish to vegetarian options full of exotic spices, we've rounded up some of our favourite tastings this month.
Those craving Cantonese classics with an innovative twist should make a beeline for China Tang’s new Savour lunch and dinner tasting menus. Unveiled for the first time are “discreet” favourites created by chef Menex Cheung once only reserved for special VIP guests. Having tried the dinner, we especially loved the comprador seafood soup (the usual cream base has been refined with fresh Jinga shrimp, Hokkaido scallops and blue crab meat), the steamed patin topped with grated 30-years-old dried tangerine peel, and a fragrant crispy skinned mala chicken that had all guests asking for seconds. Be sure to ready your camera for the Instagram-worthy The Bomb, a golden sphered crispy rice dish, a showcase of the chef’s originality.
China Tang, Shops 411-413 4/F Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen's Road Central, Central; +852 2522 2148
BIBI & BABA
While a trip to sunny Lion City might be out of the question for now, thankfully, Bibi & Baba’s new head chef Malaysia-bred Ho Wai-Kong is bringing authentic Singaporean and Malaysian flavours straight to its quaint Ship Street location. Expect an aromatic feast for the senses with its new “Off Menu” set, where new dishes like assorted grilled satay (featuring a homemade sauce), sambal stingray wrapped in banana leaves, and the not-to-be-missed Singaporean chilli crab (meaty mud crab drenched in a spicy sweet and sour sauce that had everyone licking off their plates) complement signatures like the beef rendang and juicy Hainanese chicken with tri-coloured rice beautifully. The dried shrimp sambal wok-fried four beans packs a surprisingly umami punch, while the giant ice kacang and a few rounds of unique cocktails like the Baba’s sling and pandan white old fashioned cap off the meal perfectly.
Bibi & Baba, 1-7 Ship St, Wan Chai; +852 2555 0628
Enveloped by masterpieces by the likes of Andy Warhol, Tracey Emin, and Banksy, curated by Tanya Baxter Contemporary Art, is a revitalised Hue Dining that boasts some of the city’s most delicious modern Aussie fare and best harbour views. Melbourne-bred new executive chef Wilson Leung, who’d previously trained under Daniel Calvert at Belon, has taken the helm of the 5,000sqft space and revitalised the menu with a decidedly pared-back and more plant-driven approach. A reverence for fresh seasonal ingredients and purity of flavours are felt across highlights like Jerusalem artichokes with blended cashew nut cream, cumin-glazed sticky lamb ribs cooked overnight so tender they fall right off the bone, and the Rangers Valley hanger steak served with bone marrow, sous vide beef tongue and baby carrots. The rose hibiscus panna cotta and crème brulee are just the right amount of sweetness, allowing guests to make room for a scrumptious cheese platter from the trolley – one of each, please.
Hue Dining, Hong Kong Museum Of Art, 1/F - inside HKMoA, 10 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui; +852 3500 5888
The Japanese omakase restaurant on Staunton has revamped its menu with new tempting additions. The first highlight is Star Bonito, a smoked sashimi with distinctive spots on the skin resembling a starry sky. The fish is smoked with straw to preserve the umami flavour as well as balance out the fattiness of the fish. The Miyagi natural tuna is served after an extensive dry-aging process (tuna greatly improves in taste and texture with time), which gives the fish an abundance of flavours and a bold red colour. Finally, the Hokkaido horsehair crab wows with its beautiful complexity. The hand-torn crab shreds are paired with fresh crab paste and topped with the vinegar jelly, bringing out all the best flavours to savour the beloved Japanese delicacy.
Sushi Yonjugo, G/F, 35B Staunton St, Central; +852 3689 1045
Immerse yourself in Bedouin-style hospitality at BEDU, located at the corner of two of Sheung Wan's most charming streets. To celebrate the restaurant’s three year anniversary, executive chef Corey Riches gives both the lunch and dinner a la carte menu a little revamp by gracing our plates with more modern Middle Eastern dishes, with many vegetarian highlights. The restaurant group has always veered towards sustainability and this time chef Corey has decided to use more locally-grown produce, as can be seen from the three yellow chicken tagine with date and almond, as well as upcycle different parts of the same ingredient to include in multiple dishes. With a heavy accent on quality produce, the menu is fresh and overflowing with aromatic spices, with dishes such as eggplant carpaccio sprinkled with pistachio and sesame crumbs and topped with chilli dressing; feta-stuffed heirloom tomato with beetroot labneh, pomegranate and dill; and a personal favourite—chilli-roasted corn with almond tabouli and carrot puree.
BEDU, 40 Gough Street Central
A smokehouse concept by the Cupping Room has landed in Hong Kong, offering the city its very first open-fire dining experience. The large space in H-Code takes you through the rare 14 and 6 year old dry-aged meats before opening up to a large bar seating area from which you can watch the (smoky) magic happen and is complete with an open balcony to let fresh air in, a private dining space, and a few tables spread throughout. All dishes on the menu curated by Executive Chef Miguel Gallo vary in degree of smokiness, and the restaurant smokes not just meat but fish as well. Among our seafood favourites were the grilled endives with l’Escala anchovy, the four woods smoked plate of hokkaido scallop, local “ma yao” threadfin, New Zealand salmon and Spanish sardine; and the Pacific sauri and roasted eggplant, with the ponzu sauce giving an acidic kick to break the smokiness. In the meat family, we were served a fatty piece of steak that gave off nutty notes, attributed to the 2kgs of chocolate that the cows ate every day. The dessert was a winner, with the fire roasted seasonal fruits adding texture to the creamy burnt cheesecake semifreddo (recreated with the original La Viña recipe).
Fireside, 5/F H Code, The Steps, 45 Pottinger St, Central
Curated for those needing a healthy glow and a good detox, Asaya Kitchen now offers a supreme breakfast with all your favourite sweet and savoury options. Organic eggs? Check. Probiotics? Check. Seasonal vegetables? Check. Green and orange juices made in-house make the perfect accompaniment to this healthy breakfast. The fluffy free-range egg white omelette with kale and feta feels like biting into a cloud, while the mango and roasted almond paired with the lime zest is an epicurean match made in heaven. We were impressed with the use of herbs in all dishes, as seen on the pepper cured mackerel with celery and citrus, the avocado toast with power seeds and oakwood smoked salmon with radish and cucumber. The juxtaposition of the coolness of the forest berries and the spicy acidity of the ginger and lemon verbena makes the perfect finish.
Asaya Kitchen, 6/F Rosewood Hong Kong Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui; +852 3891 8732
The beloved Soho wine bar expands its menu beyond charcuterie and cheese to welcome dishes from the sea such as anchovies, oysters and ceviche-style octopus as well as warm snacks such as the delectable butter and parsley escargots, pizza brioche and the creamy baked Mont d’Or (or camembert if Mont d’Or isn’t in season—yes cheese can be seasonal as well.) While 90% of the wine bar’s wine collection used to be French it is now at 70%, offering a larger selection of fine wines from around the world, from Australia to less-represented wine regions such as Morocco and Peru, as well as a selection of spirits including sake, rum and more.
Thinkwine, 2/F LL Tower, 2 Shelley St, Central; +852 2886 3121