It’s been a bumper year for Hong Kong restaurant openings and some have even more reason to celebrate this December – thanks to their inclusion in the newly released Michelin Guide Hong Kong and Macao.
At a grand ceremony at Macao’s City of Dreams, Michelin awarded stars to 90 restaurants. Among the first-time recipients were some recent debuts: Taiwanese chef André Chiang’s Sichuan Moon, which opened at the Wynn Palace in March, was given two stars, while six-month-old Louise garnered one star, as did Petrus, which only introduced chef Uwe Opocensky’s menus in November.
‘This year’s selections are testament to Hong Kong and Macao’s unwavering position as benchmark cities in the gastronomic world,’ said Gwendal Poullennec, Michelin Guides’ international director.
Many of Cathay Pacific’s frequent flyers would agree. In the Marco Polo Club Members’ Choice Awards, they voted Hong Kong as Asia’s Best City for Food, with Macao shortlisted.
Black Sheep Restaurants group, which just inked a deal to provide in-flight meals for Cathay Pacific, kept its name in the headlines for retaining the one-Michelin-star status of New Punjab Club and French bistro Belon. Marco Polo Club members can take advantage of priority booking at these and any other Black Sheep establishments.
Read on for all 16 newly minted Michelin-star restaurants in Hong Kong and Macao.
Three Michelin Stars: ‘Exceptional Cuisine, Worth a Special Journey’
The third star is a promotion from the two-star rating Forum achieved in 2018 and builds on years of success. The Causeway Bay restaurant’s menu of classic Cantonese flavours has drawn gourmands since its establishment in 1977. Don’t leave without sampling the signature Ah Yat braised abalone – named for owner-chef and abalone connoisseur Yeung Koon-yat.
This one makes the ‘new’ list on a technicality as it reopened at the prestigious Landmark Mandarin Oriental earlier this year. Still, Sushi Shikon and chef Yoshiharu Kakinuma deserve every one of the three stars they’ve held since 2014 for the reverence with which they prep and present the fresh seafood flown in daily from Japan.
New Two Michelin Stars: ‘excellent cuisine, worth a detour’
Young Finnish chef Eric Raty’s refined, softly spoken quality shines through in his seasonal menus, which incorporate Japanese ingredients into French dishes. The restaurant captured Michelin’s attention last year and its meteoric rise continues with a promotion to two stars this year.
Sichuan Moon (Macao)
Since opening in March, Wynn Palace’s Sichuan restaurant has become one of Macao’s most coveted tables. Credit goes to André Chiang and Malaysian executive chef Zor Tan, who go beyond lip-tingling mala spice to celebrate the complex melange of Sichuanese flavours – case in point, the sublime hot and sour soup and the king crab leg, two of the showstopping dishes in the 26-course tasting menu.
Wing Lei (Macao)
The extravagance of the decor is befitting of this fine-dining restaurant’s location, also in the Wynn Palace. It sets the stage for an equally dazzling meal paying homage to the best Cantonese culinary traditions. The Michelin guide lavishes praise, for instance, on the steamed group fillet on egg white custard which features a ‘30-year-old dried tangerine peel and has a wonderful aroma’.
New One Michelin Star: ‘High-Quality Cooking, Worth a Stop’
Chef David Thompson made a name for himself cooking Thai food for Thai people at his acclaimed Nahm restaurant in Bangkok. Aaharn, his first Hong Kong restaurant, displays all of his mastery, with elegant takes on cuisine from across Thailand – served up in a beautiful heritage building overlooking the Tai Kwun courtyard.
Fook Lam Moon
Venerable Wan Chai dining institution Fook Lam Moon is surely pleased to have regained the Michelin star it lost in 2017. It’s a testament to the excellence of its menu of Cantonese classics like crispy chicken, honey glazed barbecue pork and double-boiled fish maw, mushroom and cabbage soup.
Gaddi’s inclusion recognises the talents of newly instated chef Albin Gobil, who continues the high standards that date back to the French fine-dining restaurant’s founding in 1953 in The Peninsula hotel’s former ballroom.
When The St Regis Hong Kong debuted in spring 2019, it introduced two dining hot spots that have won over the Michelin guide. L’Envol means ‘take flight’ and chef Olivier Elzer’s inventive take on French haute cuisine has certainly risen to the occasion. Pictured above: tuna five spices with crushed avocado and shallots.
Liu Yuan Pavilion
Long regarded as one of Hong Kong’s best Shanghainese restaurants, Liu Yuan Pavilion now has the Michelin stamp of approval. Dishes like the Mandarin fish with sweet and sour sauce, and braised abalone with pork belly keep diners coming back and have made the Wan Chai restaurant a go-to guidebook recommendation.
Julien Royer is the man behind Singapore’s Odette, which was named this year as Asia’s best restaurant. Hong Kong’s Louise – named for Royer’s grandmother – showcases the chef’s approach, merging French bistro cuisine with local produce. A highlight is roast local chicken, cooked perfectly shy of pink and served with plump Niigata rice and a jus that’s to die for.
For too long it was a stuffy fine-dine French restaurant of the kind that went out of fashion about a decade ago. However, new executive chef Uwe Opocensky has brought a real burst of energy to this venerable establishment at Admiralty’s Island Shangri-La hotel, with a menu emphasising seasonality and a little something different, such as his beetroot cured like bresaola.
British chef Simon Rogan has built upon the fine work of his UK restaurants L’Enclume and Roganic with his first Hong Kong restaurant (and its adjoining eight-seater development kitchen Aulis). The menus play with flavours and textures like few others, and most ingredients are sourced either locally or from his farm in the Lake District.
Rùn’s signature barbecued Iberico pork has established itself as one of the most elevated char siu dishes in town – no mean feat. It’s one of the many reasons a meal at The St Regis Hong Kong’s Cantonese restaurant lingers long in the mind after your visit. Another? The habit-forming pan-fried lamb buns.
Ryota Kappou Modern
Osaka-born Ryota Kanesawa serves modern, seasonal Japanese cuisine in a kappou style at his namesake restaurant. The multi-course fixed menu is left up to the chef and his team, with recommended sake pairings. Michelin singles out the Omi Wagyu Katsu with black truffle and egg confit, noting that ‘its flavours are in perfect harmony’.
Zest by Konishi
A hidden gem on Central’s dinky On Lan Street (also the location of Ryota Kappou Modern), chef Mitsuru Konishi’s new restaurant is well deserving of a star for its creative collision of French techniques and Japanese ingredients.