In partnership with Taste of Hong Kong this year, Dishtag brings to you the visual menus of all 16 restaurants at the festival, showcasing all the dishes you can “feast on and foto” during the four-day event on 21–24 March at Central Harbourfront.
In this latest post, we take you to the back of the restaurants’ tent-kitchens to reveal the exclusive dish that each chef has crafted for the event – what it is, what inspired it and how excited the chefs are about Taste of Hong Kong 2019.
We’re sure you’re just as pumped as we are, so please remember to eat with your eyes through our app and website ahead of the event!
“Our festival-exclusive dish is Buddha jumps over the wall xiao long bao. The Buddha jumps over the wall xiao long bao comes from the classic Chinese double-boiled soup of the same name. It condenses the flavours of abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw, conpoy and Kurobuta pork all in one single bite – something heavenly delicious that literally would make Buddha himself jump over a wall! Since opening, our xiao long bao have been very popular. As they are warm and bite-sized, they are great for both a festival and a colder climate.”
“We chose a Swedish street food called tunnbrödsrulle, which is like the Swedish version of a taco, as our Taste-exclusive dish. The flatbread we use is from the north of Sweden, which gives a soft and wheaty flavour with a burnt note to it, and we stuff it with mashed potato, sausage, pickled cucumber, bell pepper, crispy onion and shrimp salad to keep it traditional. To make it even more special for our festival guests, we source a very specific kind of sausage from Sweden that has a light, acidic, milk flavour added to it. Served with ketchup and mustard sauce on the side, this is a fantastic dish for the festival and for people to experience the Swedish food culture for the first time.”
“We understand that people expect to just grab and try the food at the festival, so the alitas con quinoa will be the dish everybody loves at Taste of Hong Kong. It is a deep-fried chicken wing covered with quinoa, stuffed with rice in huancaina sauce and served with a traditional Peruvian yellow chilli dipping sauce. Who doesn’t love fried chicken that is crispy and creamy at the same time? This festival-exclusive dish allows us to present visitors with everyday Peruvian cuisine by using different ways of cooking to give new flavours to familiar ingredients.”
“Our festival-exclusive dish is called horias (grilled pitta), which originated in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. It only became popular in the Middle East in the past few years, so it is quite a unique dish that you seldom see in Hong Kong. The dish is basically spiced minced beef stuffed into a pitta. It is grilled, so it has a nice, crunchy and crispy texture. The fat from the beef is soaked into the pitta bread with all the spices inside, and we serve it with freshly grated tomato salad with tahini sauce. The tomato brings freshness to it, whereas the tahini brings a nutty and rich texture, making this flavour-packed dish particularly fun to carry around and enjoy while you are at the festival.”
“Our festival-exclusive dish is deep-fried toasted rolls with hairy crab roe. We deep-fry the bread rolls with the crabmeat and roe mixture inside to make them aromatic and crispy. Since hairy crab is a seasonal ingredient in winter, we then choose Australian mud crab for its year-round freshness to maintain the flavour of our dish at this time of the year.”
“At Zuma, it’s all about the explosion of flavours, so the spicy grilled New Zealand TE MANA Lamb cutlet has become our festival-exclusive dish, giving visitors a bold taste impression. TE MANA Lamb is organic lamb from New Zealand, light in flavour and tender in texture. The lamb chop is marinated in Korean spices and Japanese hatcho miso for 48 hours before being charcoal-grilled, and it’s served with a lemon-sesame tofu sauce. The smokiness and crunch from the charcoal will make the dish a standout at the festival, and the mildly creamy and citric taste from the tofu sauce is perfect for the springtime outdoor setting.”
Chef Sean: “To represent the spirit of Taste of Hong Kong’s lively atmosphere, Nicholas, Oliver and myself collaborated to create a completely unique dish that highlights, represents and harmonises all three of our cuisines: roasted pigeon and wild rice on squid-ink tostada with pork-head veil and oyster cream. This festival-exclusive dish that we created pays tribute to Hong Kong’s reputation as a melting pot of cultures and foods, as well as bringing together each chef’s vastly different background – Nicholas’ precise yet creative French-Asian dishes, Olivier’s refined execution of Breton cuisine that combines the best of land and sea and my modern rendition of traditional Japanese favourites. Most importantly, this is a dish that people will have fun eating at Taste of Hong Kong.”
“Our festival-exclusive dish is Black Pearls, which is a hamachi tartare with Kristal caviar from Kaviari and edible flowers and herbs. With the support of Kaviari, one of the first houses to adopt an eco-responsible approach to manufacturing wild caviar, we are able to keep up the excellent quality even at the festival. By adding our own grains of salt, the distinctive flavour of the hamachi complements the caviar at its best, bringing something different to our guests at the event.”
“For our Taste-exclusive dish, we actually combined the two most photogenic dishes on our menu, which are girasoli and truffle pasta, so we call it girasoli truffle – a ravioli dish with a sauce made of asparagus, mascarpone, ricotta and a fresh egg yolk inside each one. Topped with fresh truffle, the orange and round presentation of the ravioli resembles the sun – that’s why the dish is called girasoli, meaning ‘sunflowers’ in Italian. Since the festival is in March, we changed the ingredient on our original menu to asparagus to give a fresh note to it, which is all the more suitable for this springtime weather.”
“In Hong Kong, people judge the quality of a dim sum restaurant by the quality of the har gow, so we made lobster har gow our festival-exclusive dish to show people at Taste of Hong Kong our 'John Anthony' interpretation of this quintessential and much-loved Cantonese dish. We chose to do one with sustainably sourced lobster instead of the traditional shrimp filling, using rosé champagne to give a pink hue to the dumpling wrapper, which is our way of transporting the colours and atmosphere of our restaurant to Taste of Hong Kong. Our unique version of such a traditional Hong Kong dish really sums up John Anthony as a contemporary restaurant that serves authentic Chinese cuisine.”