REACHING NEW HEIGHTS
Crave talks to chef Leung Yu-king of Summer Palace about his new role and his plans for the restaurant.
Chef Leung Yu-king has recently been promoted to executive Chinese chef at Island Shangri-la, Hong Kong’s Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant Summer Palace. The seasoned chef started his culinary career when he was 18, and has garnered over 30 years of experience at notable kitchens including Fook Lam Moon, T’ang Court, and, since 1991 as part of the opening team, Summer Palace.
Crave (C): What was it like being part of Summer Palace’s opening team?
Chef Leung (L): Being part of the opening team gave me the opportunity to be mentored by two of the greatest Chinese chefs, chefs Lee Keung and Ip Chi-cheung, who have both taught me so much before I finally took up the role of Chinese executive chef. It’s also incredible to witness how the restaurant has grown over the years from being a hotel restaurant to being widely recognised in the local dining scene. At the same time, it gives me mixed emotions when colleagues I have worked with for so long are one by one slowly retiring, and it’s our turn to pass down the knowledge to a new generation of future chefs.
C: What’s your most memorable moment at Summer Palace?
L: One of the most memorable moments I had at Summer Palace is definitely when the restaurant received one Michelin star after I had just taken on the role of Chinese executive chef, because I had a huge shoe to fill after chef Ip’s retirement, and I was still navigating my way through leading the entire kitchen brigade, so I was glad to have been recognised.
C: What are some of your signature dishes? What are some new dishes you’ve added to the menu?
L: There’s a tasting menu at the restaurant with my new dishes, but the two signature dishes would be the stir-fried lobster with crispy preserved vegetable, fried goji berry, crispy rice, spring onion and shallots; and stewed pork brisket with fresh yam in Hangzhou style. I invented the lobster dish myself, as I seldom see lobster being cooked this way, and I want to put emphasis on the texture. Want to try chef Leung’s dishes for yourself? Make a booking at 2820 8552.