As we slip into the summer months there’s a host of new restaurants opening across Hong Kong. Here are some of the venues we’re getting excited about this season.
It’s a great time to be out and about and an even better time to be dining out. The pandemic stopped us from even the most basic socialising and diners and restauranteurs alike are making up for lost time, with a bevy of exciting new restaurants opening this summer. From fine-dining Italian to modern Filipino, these are our favourite summer restaurants for 2023.
An Icon in the Making
One of the most exciting culinary openings this year, Forty-Five is set to become a refined new culinary destination in Central, Hong Kong. The new Leading Nation venue at Landmark will open in phases, introducing five stunning new experiential concepts.
First to open will be The Merchants, which will serve classic dishes from Shanghai and her surrounding provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang, prepared by multi-award-winning head chef Chen Tian Long. Rooftop venue Cardinal Point, meanwhile, will present innovative cocktails created by beverage director John Nugent.
Beyond, diners will discover Kaen (meaning flame or blaze), a Japanese steakhouse featuring both teppan and binchotan cooking helmed by chef Yoshiyuki Sato, while acclaimed chef Anne-Sophie Pic has teamed up with luxury brand Baccarat to create The Cristal Room by Anne-Sophie Pic (opening in late July) a 40-seat eatery designed by famed Parisian architecture and interior design studio Gilles & Boissier.
Another of the new summer restaurants to look out for, and part of Central Hong Kong’s Tai Kwun complex, Black Sheep Restaurants is opening two new venues at the multi-phase redevelopment of The Magistracy: the Dining Room and the Botanical Garden.
Helmed by executive chef Matthew Kirkley, the Dining Room will present classic dishes laced with nostalgia but also the highest quality ingredients. Highlights include a rotating oyster selection; Petrossian’s Tsar Imperial grade caviar, served with traditional garnishes; Pacific Blue prawn cocktails made with Osiblue prawns from New Caledonia; and grass-fed Blonde d’Aquitaine steak tartare with egg yolk, with many dishes finished tableside.
These culinary classics will be served in a sublime space created by designer Joyce Wang that marries vaulted ceilings, panelled walls and sumptuous banquettes with oversized armchairs, brass accent lamps, and hand-woven rugs.
Before your meal, take time out at the Botanical Garden, located on the adjacent terrace and home to a spectacular collection of gins.
Located in Central Hong Kong, newly-opened Barkada by Singular Concepts and Filipino-American foodie Jen Balisi of Indulgent Eats is an ode to Filipino culture, combining familial retro tropical elements – think Filipino art, a Red Horse Beer sign, an old school hip-hop playlist, and a disco ball – with a menu inspired by ‘Pulutan’ or Filipino-style tapas.
Menu signatures include Lumpiang Shanghai, crispy spring rolls with chicken and pineapple chili sauce; Salmon Kinilaw, sashimi-grade salmon with calamansi, cane vinegar, and coconut milk; and Adobo Birria Quesotacos, crispy tacos with chipotle, guajillo, and ancho-chile infused pork belly adobo.
Barbecue dishes are first sous vide in tangy Filipino BBQ sauce before being grilled over charcoal; while Sisig, a Kapampangan delicacy, is served in a signature sizzling skillet with soy sauce, calamansi, kewpie mayo, and the option of pork belly, salmon or mushrooms. Also look out for head chef Joshua Matocinos’ Spicy Funky Coconut Noodles with kabocha squash and vegan bagoong coconut-chili sauce, perfect for pairing with cocktails by group beverage director Gagan Gurung.
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Acclaimed chef Fabiano Palombini’s first venture as owner-chef, Kontrasto will open this summer on Hong Kong’s Hollywood Road. The embodiment of Italian epicurean finesse and a culmination of Italian-born chef Palombini’s breadth of experience at celebrated Michelin-starred restaurants globally, Kontrasto serves cuisine imbued with distinct textures and flavours.
Benvenuto, the dinner tasting menu, features a meticulous selection of dishes that spotlight the aromas and ingredients of Italy and the wider Mediterranean region.
Highlights of the six- and eight-course options include Caviale, cured egg yolks and Kaviari Oscietre Prestige Caviar cut through with the zest of Amalfi lemon; Spaghettone, artisanal spaghetti sourced from Vicidomini in Naples exclusive to Kontrasto, inundated with finely pureed Carmagnola bell peppers; and signature revelation Virtù, a nostalgic dish from the chef’s hometown, that combines a variety of traditional handmade Italian noodles into a single pasta dish. Pair your dishes with wines from sommelier Leo Fernando’s 260-label selection.
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