May Chow

Hong Kong Tatler Best Restaurants (Hong Kong / Macau) - - Best of awards -

In a city that is a mag­net for all man­ner of in­ter­na­tional chefs, it’s some­times easy to for­get about our home-grown tal­ent. Not this year. Our in­au­gu­ral Lo­cal Cham­pion award is all about cel­e­brat­ing those who have made a real con­tri­bu­tion to pro­mot­ing Hong Kong’s unique food cul­ture.

Since open­ing her own restau­rant three years ago, chef May Chow has evolved at a rapid pace. Her tiny 20-seater Lit­tle Bao in Soho was a rev­e­la­tion, bring­ing tongue-incheek twists to Asian plates in a fresh and ap­proach­able man­ner. In the past year, she has gone abroad, rep­re­sent­ing Hong Kong on the in­ter­na­tional stage at lead­ing food fes­ti­vals, in­clud­ing Om­ni­vore in Paris and Shang­hai, the pres­ti­gious Mel­bourne Food and Wine Fes­ti­val in Aus­tralia and, just this sum­mer, the Bordeaux Wine Fes­ti­val, where she pre­sented her whim­si­cal take on typhoon shel­ter crab—a true Hong Kong clas­sic. In July, she opened a branch of Lit­tle Bao in Bangkok; the fol­low­ing month, she part­nered with Chris Wong and James Ling of The Ale Project and Ro­hit Du­gar of Young Master Ales to open Sec­ond Draft, a neigh­bour­hood “Chi­nese gas­tropub” in Tai Hang—and win­ner of this year's Best New Restau­rant as voted by our read­ers.

Here, Chow has been work­ing hard at bring­ing the spot­light back to Hong Kong’s culi­nary roots: by adding dried oys­ters to squid cro­quettes, say, or cham­pi­oning the fra­grant lo­cal “three-yel­low” chicken, which she in­sists is un­par­al­leled in qual­ity.

“We want to use a lot of lo­cal in­gre­di­ents to in­te­grate into these clas­sic gas­tropub dishes, with a fun take on lo­cal food,” Chow once told us. With all she has achieved in such a short amount of time, we can’t wait to see how this tal­ented young chef con­tin­ues to in­ter­pret all our city has to of­fer in the years to come.

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