Hong Kong opens and closes hundreds of restaurants every year, but only a few eateries stand out from the pack. From neo-Cantonese to world-class French, these seven restaurants are among the best new additions of the past 12 months.
Located inside Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star InterContinental Hong Kong, Rech is fresh in every way, from the subtle maritime-inspired décor (right down to the fish-shaped butter pats) to the French seafood, oysters and marvelous desserts (like the signature XL éclairs).
Bring the family for Rech’s Sunday lunch or spoil your partner on a lingering date night — just be sure to book ahead for a harbor-side table.
It’s not every day that you come across a Chinese restaurant that’s simultaneously funky and authentic. But this trendy spot nails the old-meets-new approach thanks to the creativity of chef May Chow, who is also behind the ever-popular Little Bao just around the corner.
Approachable and energetic, Chow’s new place feels like a retro diner, thanks to the neon lighting and hot pink accents. A short list of creative cocktails (categorized into “easy,” adventurous” and “crazy”) adds to the upbeat vibe.
An adventure in Chinese gastronomy, the menu skips from slow-cooked chicken simmering in Shaoxing wine to meaty Szechuan chicken wings, crispy tea-smoked pigeon and flavorful sweet and sour pork chops.
This Five-Star fine-dining institution, located inside the Five-Star Four Seasons Hong Kong, recently welcomed Guillaume Galliot as its new chef de cuisine. The globetrotting toque has loosened up the definition of classic French cuisine by incorporating inspiration from his travels — most notably in his signature crab “laksa.”
Of course, Galliot’s refined version of the Singaporean spicy noodle soup is a far cry from what you’d find at a hawker stall (it also doesn’t contain noodles), but the unconventional dish is no less a breath of fresh air.
Traditionalists need not worry: apart from a few menu additions, Caprice largely remains unchanged. There’s still a vast wine cellar, a large open kitchen, massive cheese boards and the same panoramic harbor views that have been drawing diners for years.
Gough’s on Gough
The first restaurant venture from British designer Timothy Oulton, Gough’s on Gough was an instant hit when it debuted in Hong Kong in June. Located on fashionable Gough Street, right next to a Timothy Oulton boutique, the eatery opens into a black-and-white marble foyer where a gold spiral staircase leads diners to the bar and restaurant.
Upstairs, a Gatsby-esque bar lures you in for a cheeky pre-dinner cocktail (try the Churchill Martini, made with Plymouth gin, Boodles gin, Mancino Secco vermouth and an olive) before you settle into one of the handsome leather booths.
From there, choose to dine à la carte or follow chef Arron Rhodes on a nine-course culinary journey of modern British dishes with Asian touches. A few highlights include the Australian beef tartare, handmade gnocchi and guinea fowl with squash and chestnut.
If you’re on the fence about a wine pairing, the knowledgeable sommelier here will take great care of you with precise pours of lesser-known labels.
Tate Dining Room & Bar
Only once in a blue moon do you come across a restaurant so calm and ethereal, it feels like it could double as a spa. As soon as you enter this tranquil eatery, you feel an instant easiness as the Japanese-chic aesthetic soothes with its soft lighting, brushed gold and blush pink hues.
The attention to detail — from the staff’s stylish uniforms to the book-shaped menus — offers just a taste of the meticulous manner in which chef-owner Vicky Lau (formerly a graphic designer) approaches her culinary creations.
At her new location, the celebrated chef creates a playful gastronomic narrative for diners, beginning with a short and sweet cocktail list (including a “mystery” drink) and the choice of either a carnivorous or vegetarian eight-course set menu — each with an enticing wine pairing.
Inspired by Pablo Neruda’s All the Odes (a collection of 225 works by the Chilean Nobel laureate), Lau pays homage to Asian dishes in magical ways — a hot-and-cold broth delights the senses, as does an impossibly square brioche with housemade fermented tofu butter.
Even dessert will take you by surprise. An Ode to Bees arrives in a custom-crafted wooden beehive, literally buzzing, concealing layers of honey-inspired treats that will charm the kid in all of us.
New Punjab Club
A deeply personal project by Black Sheep Restaurants co-founder Syed Asim Hussain, who is from the Punjab region (a cultural province that encompasses parts of northern India and Pakistan), this unique spot marries eccentric colonial surrounds with flavor-packed food.
The atmosphere feels perfect for a business dinner or date night, thanks to the dapper leather booths, mahogany tables, gorgeously mismatched china and a peppering of contemporary artwork (all part of Hussain’s collection). But the real draws are the people, the stories and, of course, the plates.
As a window to the history and culture of the region, the menu showcases samosa chaat with tamarind glaze, tandoor-oven-roasted meats (like the big-as-your-face lamb chops), buttery naan and minced mutton and milk buns (called keema pau, and not unlike sloppy Joes).
The gregarious staff, many of whom hail from the region, is quick to explain the stories behind each dish — and the customary way to enjoy it all (with your hands).
Naturally, the spicy bites pair beautifully with crisp G&Ts, and conveniently, an old-school trolley rolls around to top you off with an assortment of premium gins, such as Monkey 47 or Tanqueray.
Whatever your liquid potion, just make sure you bring an appetite — or a bunch of friends — as portions here are uncharacteristically large for Hong Kong.
Admittedly, Frantzén’s Kitchen opened right at the end of 2016, just missing our cutoff. But the restaurant is so good that we’re willing to look past technicalities. The first international outpost from acclaimed Swedish chef Björn Frantzén, this chic eatery quietly made itself at home on the trendy street of Tai Ping Shan, west of Central.
Helmed by chef Jim Löfdahl, the Hong Kong location blends together French techniques rooted in Swedish heritage and Japanese ingredients — plus one or two locally inspired dishes, such as the elegant “hot pot” (wagyu beef, cabbage, cauliflower and truffles in a warming broth).
As for identifiably neo-Nordic bites, the highlights include a bite-sized apple and lingonberry macaron with foie gras parfait and a Swedish French toast, oozing with aged cheese and covered in truffle shavings.
Every little detail has been thoughtfully prepared here, from the handpicked artisanal wine list (that spans at least 15 pages) to the curated Nordic spirits, housemade vinegars and meticulously placed garnishes.