Taste of Hong Kong Presented by HSBC is on comfortable ground, now entering its fourth year of setting the stage for the ultimate al-fresco feast along Central Harbourfront. If you haven’t been before, this is a food festival that gathers the trendiest restaurants, most talented chefs and most exciting food producers for four days of gastronomic indulgence; it’s a chance to try some of the local dining scene’s leading restaurants, all in one stunning outdoor space between 21–24 March 2019.
You can try, you can buy, you can meander and, at the heart of it all, you can eat exceptionally well. This year presents new restaurants, new vendors, new experiences and new bars.
Mala xiao long bao from Old Bailey
New restaurants showing their stuff at the festival include the eco-chic Chinese deliciousness from John Anthony, hot new Jiangnan dishes from Tai Kwun’s Old Bailey, the Nordic stylings of The Flying Elk and great Greek from Artemis & Apollo. Award-winning Hoi King Heen will continue to twist those Cantonese classics alongside the casual fun of Vietnamese Chôm Chôm, contemporary Middle Eastern fare from FRANCIS and meaty bites from Sausage Commitment by Okra. A select few favourites return for another year, with modern Japanese HAKU, pasta from Pici and the city’s consistently favourite Japanese spot, Zuma.
Matcha croissants from RISE
You’ll need some sweet treats too. Look out for the freshly baked and chewy cookies from Cookie DPT, get your bread and pastry fix from French artisanal bakery RISE and seek out the finest truffle honey that’s been carefully and expertly crafted by family business Sabatino Tartufi. You’ll also want to check out the signature organic milk ice cream from Baekmidang and the designer desserts that pass as mini works of art from Sweet Fashion House.
Here’s one for the nose: London’s Miller Harris will be making its Asia debut, serving cocktails that complement their luxe perfume range. Guests will be invited to discover cocktails paired with their signature scents, guided by resident fragrance experts.
Coffee experts from Nespresso will join Taste this year to wake up the crowds with free coffee throughout the festival. And there will be foamy fun to be had at the Stella Artois World Draught Masters competition on Friday evening, 22 March.
The Gourmet Market is back with a new selection of premium artisanal products available for sampling and purchasing. The Sound Stage by Virgin Australia will provide the soundtrack for the weekend, with DJs sending out festival vibes.
Wolf Theatre will have a host of interactive cooking demos from famed international and local chefs, as well as an exhibition of Wolf’s elite range of kitchen products.
Foodie, Invisible Kitchen and Food’s Future
As returning media partner, our own Foodie tent will be fuelled with sustainable fun in partnership with those catering geniuses at Invisible Kitchen. We will have a crazy-cool doughnut wall with doughnuts and doughnut holes (wouldn’t want the holes to go to waste!) made from one of the foods of the future: cricket flour! Come and play one of our Foodie games to get a chance to try one of these sumptuous bites of the future that will be deliciously displayed and ready to be won. You can also check out the cool furniture we will be using from the inspiring eco-conscious cardboard architecture company Papertown. Come find us!
We spoke with a selection of the chefs who will be showing off their skills at this year’s food fest about what entices them about this eating extravaganza. Max Levy of Okra will be bringing his new concept, Sausage Commitment, to the stage, explaining, “Taste is a festival unlike any other in Hong Kong. It is purely food focused and reminds me of all the food festivals that I grew up with every spring in New Orleans. We can take a break from what we normally do and make some more fun dishes that wouldn’t necessarily show up in our restaurants. It’s exactly why we invite other chefs to participate with us, so they have the chance to do something more fun in Hong Kong.”
Taste veteran Zuma returns for another year of food-fuelled fun. The team tell us why they’re returning: “These festivals give us the chance to directly serve customers in a different setting, providing a unique experience outside our venue. We, of course, hope to interact with new guests who may not have been to Zuma yet and give them a little taste of what we have to offer. Most of the restaurants participating are quite new, and we’ve had a strong presence in Hong Kong for the past 12 years. In such a competitive market, we are still one of the top dining destinations in the city. The fact that we have been in a leading position in the industry for over a decade certainly helps. Our uncompromising commitment and continuous strive to deliver strong executions and innovative flavours are something that don’t go unnoticed.”
Newcomer on the scene is Middle Eastern wine bar FRANCIS. The dynamic team tell us why they’ve joined: “We consider Taste to be the premier global food festival, showcasing the very best restaurants each city has to offer. Hong Kong is a vibrant multicultural city, and this is reflected by the sheer variety of cuisines. With the sheer density of restaurants in Hong Kong, it is often difficult to visit all. Taste allows festival-goers to taste dishes that a restaurant has become well renowned for in a casual yet fun environment.”
Chef Chau Sai To of new Causeway Bay restaurant John Anthony tells us what we can look forward to: “Festivals provide the opportunity for people to experience our restaurant in a completely different environment, pace and atmosphere. It’s a lot more fast-paced and more of a teaser to what we have to offer and encourages us to be more innovative and think outside the box. It’s fun to get involved with the community and also be able to share the experience with other restaurants and chefs we respect and love! John Anthony’s food is innovative, putting a creative spin on Chinese classics like dim sum as well as grilled and stir-fried dishes in a way that also highly prioritises the notion of sustainability. We believe our unique concept and food make us an exciting addition to Taste, which we hope will draw attention from foodies all across Hong Kong.”
Taste sessions are divided into lunch and dinner services. A session lasts for 4–5 hours (session dependent):
- Thursday, 21 March 2019: 6–10pm
- Friday, 22 March 2019: 12:30–4:30pm and 6–10pm
- Saturday, 23 March 2019: 12:30–4:30pm and 6–10pm
- Sunday, 24 March 2019: 12:30–5:30pm
Individual dishes vary at each restaurant, but dish prices start from $50. Last year, some of the signature dishes topped out around the $300 mark.
General entry is priced at $120 in advance, $150 at the door ($98 for HSBC cardholders). All kids under 12 are free! There are also several ticket packages available.
For ticketing info, head to www.ticketflap.com/tastehongkong2019.