Header photo: koi’s spicy tuna on crispy saffron rice ball
We can expect this contemporary Spanish fine-dining concept to launch mid-month at Tai Kwun, a collaboration between Chef Antonio Oviedo of tapas bar extraordinaire 22 Ships and JIA Group. At AGORA, Chef Oviedo, a Madrid native who has worked with some of Spain’s most acclaimed chefs including Santi Santamaria and the Roca brothers, will present two dinner-only seasonal tasting menus (10 or 11 courses) highlighting top-notch Spanish ingredients – from Verdial extra-virgin olive oil cultivated in Málaga served with wheat and red wine butter to choricero (a dehydrated Spanish chilli pepper) accented with crayfish and nectarine. The Arabic-inspired, minimalistic interior has got the wow factor, featuring a red-and-white marble arched entryway, high, curved ceilings and terracotta bricks paving the interior walls. Open Wednesday–Sunday for dinner from 6pm.
G/F, D Hall, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road (entrance via Old Bailey Street), Central, 2316 2005, book online
A Mad Dinner 3.0 at Relish (14 May)
Simran Savlani, author of the A Spark of Madness cookbook and creator of the range of dynamite Spark Sauces, is teaming up with catering and events company Relish to offer a nine-course vegetarian pan-Asian menu on Saturday, 14 May (the original event on Friday the 13th has already sold out), with each course spotlighting a different vegetable ingredient. Following this epic Asian veggie feast, head to Relish’s rooftop for an after-party with live entertainment. Tickets for A Mad Dinner 3.0 ($750/person) include a welcome drink and can be purchased online.
UPDATE: sold out!
Unit 22D, 22/F, Yally Industrial Building, 6 Yip Fat Street, Wong Chuk Hang, 3481 1924
The Baker & The Bottleman (wine bar)
The ground-floor bakery of Chef Simon Rogan’s The Baker & The Bottleman debuted earlier this year to daily queues around the block, and now we’re pleased to report that the upper-floor natural wine bar is open for business as well. Daytime dine-in (8am–5pm) focuses on The Baker’s menu (the chocolate chip cookies and Irish soda bread are particularly coveted), while in the evening (5:30–10pm), The Bottleman experience takes over. This translates to small plates (including a to-die-for artisan cheese platter), sweet treats like soft-serve ice cream and apple turnovers and natural wines curated by the team behind Chef Rogan’s nearby Michelin-starred Roganic. The Bottleman’s hand-picked wine selection is priced from just $200 per bottle, featuring a diverse range of vintages from around the world. Open daily from 8am.
Shop F15A, 1/F, Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Baodown at Little Bao (8 May)
On Sunday the 8th, Chef May Chow will kick off her series of chef collabs at Little Bao in SoHo, starting by teaming up with Chef Shun Sato of modern izakaya CENSU. For one day only, the two talented chefs will join hands to showcase a menu ($398 for 2) featuring Chef Chow’s unique Chinese comfort-food eats balanced with Chef Sato’s contemporary Japanese flair. These special dishes include the likes of chicken and pomelo salad, toothpick beef (dukkah-seasoned Australian rib-eye wrapped around garlic chives), maze soba and – the star of the show – the CENSU bao, a mash-up between Japan’s classic pork katsu sando and Little Bao’s signature fluffy steamed bun. Walk-in only from 12pm until sold out.
1–3 Shin Hing Street, SoHo, Central, 6794 8414
Bloom by Wang Jia Sha (K11 MUSEA)
Gaia Group heads to swanky K11 MUSEA for the opening of Bloom by Wang Jia Sha on Saturday the 7th. Bloom is the younger, hipper sibling of well-known Shanghainese brand Wang Jia Sha, open since 1945. We’re keen to check out the soup dumplings and pan-fried buns for which they’re famous. Exclusive to the K11 MUSEA branch is the Fragrant Spicy Pot series, showcasing various soup bases such as sauerkraut, laksa and tom yum kung. To entice us to give them a try, they’re offering a signature dim sum on the house from 7–31 May if diners follow Bloom on Facebook or Instagram. Open daily, 11am–10pm.
Shop 136, 1/F, K11 MUSEA, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, TST, 2344 2366
Judging by the name, we thought Cantina would be a chilled Mexican spot, but it’s actually Aqua Group’s new modern Italian restaurant at Tai Kwun, taking the place of their former British showstopper, Statement (in Italian, cantina means “canteen”). Here, Chef Luca Schiavone adds his own creative twists to classic Italian dishes, offering seafood-focused cichetti, or Venetian-style tapas, and main courses that are designed for sharing. Highlights include Sicilian red prawn carpaccio, squid-ink dough pizza and pasta dishes, flamed salt-baked sea bass and “tableside” tiramisu that’s assembled before your very eyes. Open daily from Friday the 6th for dinner, with weekend brunch served from Saturday the 14th and weekday lunch from Monday the 16th.
Carbon Brews Central
G/F, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central, 5409 4840
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CHAAT’s Queen’s Coronation
Anglo-Indian tasting menu (2 June)
We’re getting this one in early as Michelin-starred CHAAT is always notoriously difficult to book, even on a standard weekday. On Thursday, 2 June, Chef de Cuisine Manav Tuli is commemorating the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation on 2 June 1953 with an eight-course Anglo-Indian dinner tasting menu ($1,288/person) featuring creative interpretations of dishes that were introduced during British colonial rule in India – mulligatawny soup, coronation guinea fowl tikka, chicken balti, Bombay potato, baked rice pudding and more favourites from the time of the British Raj.
5/F, Rosewood Hong Kong, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, TST, 3891 8732, book online
Chef Nic Family x Hungry Sausages NFT-themed pop-up at Grand Hyatt (7 May–26 June, 11am–7pm)
Creative studio Hungry Sausages is joining hands with Chef Nic Family, a food and lifestyle brand by celeb chef Nicholas Tse, to create this digital-meets-physical pop-up event, dubbed “CLASH!”, at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong this month, a precursor to the launch of brick-and-mortar NFT club “Not For Teeth” in September. The experience at the hotel involves five zones where QR codes are hidden, with each zone filled with LED screens, mirrored pillars and walls and sculptures featuring selected Chef Nic Family x Hungry Sausages special-edition NFT artworks. Each 45-minute session ($350/person) includes one special cocktail and a homemade sausage roll by Chef Tse and the Grand Hyatt culinary team; tickets can be purchased at the door. Click here for more details.
Champagne Bar, Lobby, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wanchai
Chutney Tandoor House
Chutney is another eatery that opened a few months back, but we’re just now hearing about it (and drooling over their IG feed). The restaurant bills itself as a tandoor house, showcasing two tailor-made tandoori ovens cooking everything from octopus and sea bass to milk-fed lamb shoulder and T-bone steak, but it also serves up an array of gorgeous non-tandoori modern British-Indian creations in a sophisticated, colonial-influenced space. The whisky and gin trolley has got us talking, and we can’t wait to try the rare drams from boutique distilleries around the world. Open daily for lunch and dinner sessions.
Decree by T & Decree Izakaya by T (Central)
Continuing the Japanese trend that we’ve been seeing for the past few years in Hong Kong, many of the restaurants opening this month are of the Japanese variety. Here, we have the Central offshoot of omakase eatery Decree by T in Tsim Sha Tsui, which opened to acclaim about six months ago. The three omakase menus by Chef Thomas, formerly of one-starred Petrus and two-starred Sushiyoshi, present refined French-Japanese dishes such as abalone liver noodles, pan-fried fish fin with chicken-bisque espuma and dry-aged toro sushi. Open daily for lunch and dinner sessions.
Decree Izakaya by T is the omakase restaurant’s more casual sibling, located one floor above and inspired by the trendy izakayas of Tokyo. It features over 80 authentic Japanese dishes, from yakitori to grilled seafood, as well as a range of cocktails, sake and craft beer. The stars here are the four grilled tuna-collar dishes, with the Japanese tuna collar first roasted for three hours before being grilled and accented with the likes of shrimp udon, kimchi rice, pomelo salad or perilla leaf with cucumber. Special opening offers available until 20 May include a 20% discount on both takeaway and dine-in. Open Monday–Thursday for lunch and dinner sessions and throughout the day (12–11pm) on Friday–Sunday and public holidays.
Decree by T: 22/F, FOCO, 46–48 Cochrane Street, Central, 9822 7957, book online
Decree Izakaya by T: 23/F, FOCO, 46–48 Cochrane Street, Central, 9823 7331, book online
Dim Sum Bar’s Sichuan Flavours menu (until 31 July)
Dim Sum Bar’s Harbour City outlet is switching up its Cantonese yum cha offerings with a limited-time à-la-carte menu showcasing fiery Sichuan cuisine. The Sichuan Flavours menu presents 11 dishes curated by Chef Kenny Chan, featuring both spicy and milder dishes composed of the “seven tastes” and “eight flavours” of Sichuan cuisine, from marinated cold chicken with peanuts in chilli sauce, to simmered fish fillet with pickled mustard greens, to beef brisket in chilli broth, to classic dan dan noodles and wontons in chilli oil. Open daily, 8am–10:30pm.
DONDONYA x Torikai concept store
Japanese donburi specialist DONDONYA has opened this concept store at apm in Kwun Tong in partnership with Torikai, a famous egg don chain from Nagoya. This translates to an exclusive offering of the Torikai Donburi series, made using free-range Cochin chicken from Nagoya, homemade broth and half-cooked egg. Authentic Japanese flavours for reasonable prices – we’re in. Open daily, 11:30am–10pm.
Shop L6–3B, 6/F, apm, Millennium City 5, 418 Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong, 2351 6283
HAKU (relocation to ifc mall)
This month, innovative Japanese restaurant HAKU is moving from Tsim Sha Tsui’s Harbour City to equally swanky digs at ifc mall in Central – the fourth-floor rooftop garden, to be exact – this time with a minimalist Scandinavian look courtesy of Sean Dix. Under the direction of Executive Chef Rob Drennan, HAKU has unveiled a new tasting menu that highlights premium ingredients from Japan as well as produce sourced from local farms. Uni toast, firefly squid grilled on binchotan charcoal and buttermilk-fried Yamaguchi chicken are just some of the tempting new menu items. The refreshed beverage programme features both wine pairings and non-alcoholic kombucha-based drinks. Open daily for dinner from 6pm, with lunch available from Monday the 16th.
Kerry Hotel x Sweaty Betty Breakfast Club (15 May–26 June)
Feeling guilty about all that weekend indulgence? To get your weekend off to a healthy start, book in for Kerry Hotel’s one-hour harbour-view yoga session at 10am on Saturday or Sunday, followed by breakfast at Lobby Lounge (à-la-carte item + drink). Each participant will receive a Sweaty Betty goodie bag ($650 value) and a $500 shopping voucher. Book online, with tickets priced at $400 for the yoga-meets-brekkie experience.
1/F, Kerry Hotel, Hong Kong, 38 Hung Luen Road, Hung Hom, 2252 5888
KIN Food Halls
Founded by Matt Reid, Jonathan Yeoh, and Malcolm Wood of Maximal Concepts, KIN is a multi-concept sustainable enterprise with the goal of changing the way we eat. KIN Food Halls is the first step, an 18,000-square-foot space in Quarry Bay that showcases recipes from creators ranging from Michelin-starred chefs to up-and-coming talents, with each dish made there and then using traceable, ethical ingredients. The Food Halls also features a pizza counter, an 18-tap bar with kaiten and even a pop-up kitchen where foodie surprises await. Still to come is the KIN App, which will showcase food “playlists” based on your own dining preferences, and KINShop, which will offer delivery of groceries, meal kits and premium takeaway sets. Open Monday–Friday, 11am–10pm.
2/F, Devon House, Taikoo Place, 979 King’s Road, Quarry Bay, 5660 6740, book online
This chilled Japanese fusion bistro by Chef Terufumi Mihara has opened right next door to its popular sister eatery, Teppanyaki Mihara, in Tseung Kwan O. The menu at koi is filled with well-priced yet sophisticated Japanese-meets-Western fare, from classic yakitori, grilled eel and sushi rolls to salads, soups and sandwiches. We look forward to trying the spicy tuna crispy rice ball, Japanese A4 Miyazaki Waygu sando, creamy mentaiko carbonara udon and more innovative wafu (Japanese fusion) creations. Open daily from early May, 12–10pm on weekdays and 11am–10pm at the weekend.
M+, Hong Kong’s new museum of visual culture, has debuted two stylish dining concepts in partnership with Lai Sun Dining. Most anticipated is Mosu Hong Kong, an offshoot of Chef Sung Anh’s two-Michelin-starred Mosu Seoul, offering sophisticated Korean cuisine in a space designed with “digital nature” in mind, surrounded by the roof garden and stunning views of the HK skyline. The tasting menu changes seasonally, always including a selection of small bites, five savoury courses and an assortment of Korean-inspired sweets, with local ingredients used whenever possible. Open Tuesday–Sunday from 5:30pm.
At the more laid-back end of the spectrum, we have all-day-dining spot ADD+. Located next to the waterfront promenade, this 10,000-square-foot eatery is designed with a zigzag glass wall, so every corner of the space has its own unique harbour view. The menu by Chef Daniel Chan presents a mix of HK, pan-Asian and global flavours, from a Hong Kong dim sum box, to Hainanese chicken rice, to a club sandwich that boasts a whopping 18 layers of ingredients and condiments. Look out for the grab-and-go section too. Open daily, 8am–10pm (11am–8pm for grab and go).
West Kowloon Cultural District, 38 Museum Drive, Kowloon
Inspired by the Jewish delis of New York City, Mendel’s Delicatessen marks the second opening for the Shady Acres team in Kennedy Town in a matter of months (Juicy juice and sando bar opened in March). We’ll be heading to Mendel’s in a Big Apple minute to sample as much of the all-day menu as we can fit it in – in particular, the mazto ball soup, “everything” bagel with hot smoked salmon, scallion cream cheese, capers and dill cucumber salad and massive Reuben sandwich. Open daily, 8am-8pm (note: “Bubbe Hour” is on daily from 4–7pm, where they’ll “feed you noshes like your grandma would”).
66–68 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town, email@example.com
Mustard Bar & Grill
Taking over the space occupied previously by Etna in Tin Hau is Mustard Bar & Grill, opened by chef-turned restaurateur Kong Wai Sing, who is also the founder of popular nearby restaurant Tipsy. Expect a menu full of modern surf-and-turf dishes, from grilled octopus and Spanish red prawn pasta to Black Angus beef tartare and Australian Wagyu steaks, as well as a large selection of drinks. The laid-back location boasts two outdoor spaces (a terrace and balcony) that are pet friendly. Mustard’s brilliant Daily Chill Time promo, which stretches from 12–7pm every day, features two bottles of premium wine for just $438. Open daily from 12pm.
3/F, Golden Wheel Plaza, 68 Electric Road, Tin Hau, 3462 2700
Papadakis pop-up at Tai Kwun (24 May–12 June)
Black Sheep Restaurants is giving us another transportive dining experience at Tai Kwun this summer; this time around, it’s a trip to the Greek islands at Papadakis. You’ll start off your night with a shot of ouzo, followed by a spread of meze, sliced hamachi with watermelon, lemon, olives and bottarga, scallop saganaki, slow-roasted lamb and two limited-edition Messina flavours: Scents of Santorini (grapefruit and olive oil sorbet) and A Greek Tragedy (honey gelato with pistachio baklava and pistachio fudge). Yamas! By invitation only; register online.
Magistracy, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central
PLATED summer series (16 May–26 July)
Back at it again with its popular affordable dinner series, Black Sheep has three ingredient-driven PLATED menus up for booking on Monday and Tuesday evenings this summer. With Golden Fortune ($528/person) at Ho Lee Fook, Chef ArChan Chan has come up with a seasonal Cantonese feast, while Chef Teya Mikhael of Maison Libanaise presents L‘étè à la maison ($328/person), offering a spread of summery Lebanese dishes. Finally, at Le Garçon Saigon, Chef John Nguyen has built a tasting menu centred on the sizzling grilling culture of Vietnam, dubbed Un soir d’étè ($328/person).
Click here for the menus and to book
Pret A Manger’s 20th anniversary in Hong Kong (until 21 June)
A staple of the grab-and-go lunchtime scene in Hong Kong since it first landed at ifc mall 20 years ago, UK-based chain Pret A Manger is marking its incredible two decades in the 852 with a host of HK-themed additions to the menu. From the breakfast treat of banana and almond butter wholewheat brioche with condensed milk to the char siu sandwich, siu mei goose baguette and typhoon prawn hot wrap for lunch or dinner, Pret’s got us covered with local flavours. The star of the anniversary items is this birthday longevity cake, which looks like a traditional shoutao bao, a bun presented at Chinese birthday banquets for good luck. Pret’s version is made of vanilla sponge with a peach jam filling, covered in a white chocolate shell and packaged in a cute mini bamboo-steamer cake box.
An eye-catching Pret van will hit the road for four days between 19–22 May, introducing the anniversary goodies and offering games and giveaways.
Another newcomer by JIA Group (see also AGORA above), Ramato takes the place of long-time (12 years!) JIA fave 208 on Hollywood Road. The 208 interiors have been given a refresh with bold print wallpaper and specially commissioned artwork. The straightforward, comfort-food-driven southern Italian menu (without the pizzas of 208) has been developed by Chef Antimo Maria Merone, already beloved in the 852 for recently opening fine-dining Italian eatery Estro. Start with a selection of antipasti, move on to pasta dish (perhaps homemade fettuccine with king prawn, zucchini, mint and ltalian chilli), share a main course (either the baked whole sea bass or grilled Australian M5 Wagyu rib-eye) and round things off with Ramato’s authentic tiramisu or cannoli. Italian mixologist Mario Calderone of Michelin-starred Duddell’s has designed the beverage programme here, offering classic drink staples. Open Tuesday–Sunday from 5pm.
208 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, 2549 0208, book online
Roganic’s Friends of Sustainability series (1 & 29 May)
Michelin Green Star recipient Roganic continues to plug the importance of sustainability within the F&B industry by bringing back its Friends of Sustainability series this month. We unfortunately missed the Local Heroes dinner ($1,080/person) on Friday the 1st, which featured 12 courses of innovative interpretations of local produce sourced within 160 kilometers of Hong Kong, but we’re not to late to announce the even more exciting eight-hands Climate Action charity lunch ($2,080/person) on Sunday the 29th, a cross-collab between Chef Ashley Salmon of Roganic, Chef Manav Tuli of CHAAT, Chef Antimo Maria Merone of Estro and Chef Jayson Tang of Man Ho. This menu will also feature as many local ingredients, including fresh seafood, as possible. We particularly like the sounds of Chef Tuli’s local fish maw keema served with milk buns and the dish of local cuttlefish with soy milk and capers courtesy of Chef Merone.
A fusion of two our favourite cuisines, Sawadee Chef by LUBUDS preserves the essence of traditional Thai cuisine while incorporating the cooking techniques and spicy elements of Sichuan cuisine for a match made in culinary heaven. Sichuan native chef Ronald Chao, who also leads the kitchen at The Murray, Hong Kong’s fine-dining Chinese restaurant MIÁN, and his team have created unique signature dishes including spicy minced pork belly with perilla leaf (pictured), sliced fish in Thai spicy-and-sour soup and claypot rice with assorted fish and mushroom. The contemporary eatery also offers a Thai barbecue bar, with the menu developed by a Japanese yakitori chef, where diners can order up the likes of spicy grilled whole squid. Open daily, 12–10pm.
Shop G21–G23, G25–G27, G/F, Olympian City 2, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Tai Kok Tsui, 2881 8803
SEN SEN SUSHI (Peak Galleria)
Developed by the Japanese DON DON DONKI discount superstore brand, SEN SEN SUSHI opened last autumn in Hong Kong at Tsuen Wan’s OP Mall as a kaitenzushi (conveyor-belt sushi) restaurant. However, this new Peak Galleria branch focuses instead on freshly made-to-order sushi, and the special Japanese tuna menu (red tuna, semi-fatty tuna, prime fatty tuna) and lobster sushi items are only available at this shop. The premium Nanatsuboshi sushi rice from Hokkiado deserves a mention for its sweet stickiness; it’s milled in-house by SEN SEN SUSHI. Open daily from Friday, 29 April, 11am–10pm.
Shop 112–113, 1/F, Peak Galleria, 118 Peak Road, The Peak, 2569 7411
Shake Shack (Citygate Outlets)
The seventh HK branch of Shake Shack, located at Citygate Outlets in Tung Chung, will officially open its doors at 12pm on Monday the 9th, showcasing a nearly 4,000-square-foot interior space and plenty of pet-friendly outdoor seating (the lucky first 100 customers will be gifted with a Citygate Shack T-shirt and tote!). To celebrate the opening, check out the limited-time Avocado and Bacon menu, available until the 15th here and from the 16th at all Shack locations, featuring two new burgers (cheeseburger or crispy chicken, both topped with avo and applewood-smoked bacon). Or head there at any time for the Citygate-exclusive Tung Chung Pop Trail – frozen vanilla custard blended with salted caramel sauce, peanut butter and peanut brittle and topped with caramel popcorn – with 5% of the sales of this concrete donated to the InspiringHK Sports Foundation. Open daily, 10am–10pm (from 11am at the weekend).
Shop G20, G/F, Citygate Outlets, 20 Tat Tung Road, Tung Chung, Lantau Island
The Social Den
We have another tiki-like bar in our midst with the launch of The Social Den, a cool-cat tropical hideaway in Central opened by Joe Villanueva, co-founder of The Wise King (#34 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022). The creative, exotic cocktails on the menu draw inspirations from various eras of cocktail history through the use of unique ingredients – take the clarified guava-jalapeño purée and guava leather in the GUAVA cocktail and mangosteen chutney and curry powder in the MANGOSTEEN, for instance. A Cantonese-Polynesian snack menu and live DJ complete the vibey experience. Open Monday–Saturday from 4pm.
9/F, The Loop, 33 Wellington Street, Central, 9702 5267
Terrible Baby: VIP tour + brunch with Luke Casey (28–29 May)
For two days only, diners can join London- and HK-based visual artist Luke Casey for an exclusive private tour of his solo show SPECTERS at Tomorrow Maybe, followed by brunch and cocktails ($380/person) at funky watering hole Terrible Baby, both located at Eaton HK. The brunch menu includes three sharing starters (baked oysters, wedge salad, fried prawns in potato strings) and a choice of main (the steamed seafood platter sounds especially tempting), but it’s the drinks that have really got us intrigued and spooked out in equal measure, with star mixologist Axel González’s two exclusive cocktails inspired by the SPECTERS exhibition and Casey’s supernatural imagery around the 852. Book online.
4/F, Eaton HK, 380 Nathan Road, Jordan, 2710 1866
Town 93 Café
French natives (and superb pastry chefs) Frédéric Desprès and Lionel Bionel, who have respectively most recently worked at Pierre Hermé Paris at Studio City Macau and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Hong Kong, soft-opened laid-back French bistro Town 93 (otherwise known as T3) a few months back. Both chefs grew up in Seine-Saint-Denis outside Paris, which is often referred to by its department number, 93 (and is also, ironically, the poorest part of mainland France). This laid-back all-day-dining spot serves up a range of comforting French eats, from freshly made croissants, millefeuille and canelés to croque-monsieur, lobster Benedict and steak tartare. Open Tuesday–Saturday, 9am–6pm.
1/F, Hong Kong House, 17–19 Wellington Street, Central, 9317 1023 (WhatsApp)
What was once Piccolo Pizzeria in Kennedy Town is now bright and welcoming Trattoria Piccolo, shifting its USP from wood-fired pizza to a lighter menu of Venetian-style cichetti, or small plates, with an emphasis on cured meats and seafood. The restaurant’s cichetti menu changes daily, with many of the ingredients sourced from K–Town’s Smithfield wet market – perhaps small dishes of octopus carpaccio with sea asparagus or Puglia-style suppli, fried balls of risotto with peas and pork ragu. Main highlights include veal Milanese and baked three-yellow chicken in terracotta pot, but a selection of traditional pizzas and pastas is up for grabs too. Open Tuesday–Sunday, 12–10pm.
Moving on to Japanese grilled meat, well-known yakiniku brand USHIO from Fukuoka has landed in Hong Kong, specialising in Shinmura Wagyu from Kagoshima (the only restaurant in the 852 to do so) and, in particular, akami yakiniku. Akami refers to lean cuts of beef that, although not having a high fat content, have a tender, delicate texture complemented by a robust flavour. The chef’s homemade secret sauce adds to the meat’s succulence, with a wide range of akami cuts showcased including rare togarashi (chuck tender), kurimi (shoulder tri-tip) and tomosankaku (knuckle tri-tip). To celebrate the opening of the first USHIO global flagship restaurant, limited $788 omakase sets can be ordered daily during lunchtime from 11:30am; the sets include akami yakiniku, Wagyu curry with rice and more, and they must be booked in advance. Open daily for lunch and dinner sessions.
A new venture by Twins Kitchen, Vivant is described as a modern European bistro, and the French-influenced kitchen is overseen by Chef Jeston Chua, formerly of French restaurants Bâtard and Michelin-starred BELON. Just as with CUT, the sando/sound bar by Twins Kitchen that formerly occupied this space, Vivant also places importance on natural wine (fittingly, in the wine world, vin vivant is a French expression used to describe natural wine). For those mourning the loss of CUT, it’s set to make an appearance at upcoming festivals and pop-ups. Open Tuesday–Saturday from 6pm.
The newest member of the Lai Sun Dining’s portfolio is Yakitori Yamato in Wanchai, an offshoot of the famed restaurant from Osaka founded by yakitori master Shin Kawaguchi. This elegant, intimate Japanese eatery, which seats only 12 guests in the main dining room, is built around a binchotan charcoal grill, where the best parts of free-range Jidori chickens from Nara, Japan, are barbecued to perfection. The single omakase menu by Chef Kawaguchi and his decade-long protégé, Chef Ogura Tadashi, is priced at close to $1,700 per person and showcases traditional Japanese grilling styles with Western ingredients and techniques. Open Monday–Saturday from 6pm.
Not a new restaurant per se, but we can’t help but give a shout-out to Yobox, a brand-new box subscription service that places the spotlight on snacks from around the world. Each month, the snack box ($360) focuses on a different country’s snacks (16–24 items), with Spain chosen to launch the service (Chile, Austria and South Africa are planned for future boxes). The box includes a guidebook with fun information about the surprise snacks and the featured country. Life is too short for bad snacks!
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