Hong Kong’s finest dining destinations
The Business Traveller Asia-Pacific team tries out some new hotspots and old favourites in Hong Kong
The newest dining venture from Hong Kong group Le Comptoir, Umi opened in February and offers authentic Japanese cuisine in easy walking distance of the Central business district.
Natural materials and minimalist décor create a zen-like environment, with a spectacular showpiece in the form of a hanging orchid tree. A set omasake (chef’s choice) menu is prepared live by fourth-generation sushi master Yukio Kimijima, with two seatings for ten patrons at a time (HK$1,588/£158 per person).
Our four appetisers comprised six-month dried rice with lavish shavings of French truffle; seasonal hirame (Japanese halibut) adorned with the vibrant hanaho flower; Narita-sourced abalone; and grilled Hokkaido scallop wrapped in seaweed with sweet chestnut.
The procession of ten sushi courses started with the lighter flavours of sayori, snapper and kohada fish, before the more meaty textures of akami and toro tuna. A rich miso soup, a powerfully flavoured sea urchin roll, and a dessert of mochi and matcha Valrhona chocolate followed. Sake pairings are available.
Offering authentic Edomae sushi in a lovely environment, Umi is a fantastic addition to Hong Kong’s culinary scene. Tamsin Cocks
Open Mon-Sat 6.30pm-8pm, 8.30pm-10.30pm. Shop 3, G/F, 159-163 Hollywood Road; tel +852 2956 3177; lecomptoir.hk/umi
FLINT GRILL AND BAR
Flint Grill and Bar may be housed on level five of the JW Marriott, but with its upmarket industrial-chic interior, it’s not your typical hotel restaurant. In 2016, it welcomed head chef Pieter Fitz-Dreyer, who has revamped the menu with inventive creations.
Our meal started with options “from the sea”. First, Akaroa king salmon with oyster, charred cucumber and white balsamic (HK$190/£19) – a seafood sensation. Another standout was the Ahi tuna (HK$190/£19), prepared at the table. The fresh melt-in-the-mouth fish contrasted beautifully with homemade Nori crackers.
From the daily specials, we enjoyed the lobster ravioli smothered in a coconut sauce infused with Thai herbs and decorated with young asparagus tips. The main event was the Linz Heritage USDA prime cut, 45-day dry-aged on the bone steak (20oz rib-eye HK$590/£58). The flavour of the matured meat was prominent, and not something for everyone.
Desserts included a crunchy, tangy apple crumble, which my companion declared the best she’d ever had in Hong Kong. Flint ticks all the boxes for both business travellers and locals looking for a high-end yet informal setting. Tamsin Cocks
Open 12pm-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm; bar 5pm-12am. JW Marriott Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty; tel +852 2810 8366; marriott.com
YEE TUNG HEEN
Located on the second floor of the Excelsior hotel in Causeway Bay, Yee Tung Heen is a superb example of Cantonese fine dining, with a new and innovative approach to the cuisine courtesy of executive chef Wong Wing Keung.
The décor is dramatic, with a contemporary artistic bamboo pattern in red and black leading through to floral-patterned partitions, which create five separate dining rooms and disguise the fact that this is a large restaurant (200 seats). There’s an elegant tea counter at the entrance where you can choose from a range of premium and bespoke blends.
The à la carte menu is huge, at 14 pages. We tried the twin mushroom platter (HK$248/£24), which won a “Gold with Distinction” award at the Hong Kong Tourism Board 2015 Best of the Best Culinary Awards. The two mushrooms were stuffed yet light in texture and flavour, exemplifying the subtle approach of the chef.
Another highlight was the steamed rice roll with tiger prawn, kale and beetroot dumpling served with prawn oil soy sauce (HK$128/£13). This well-known restaurant deserves a return visit – great food and service and some innovative cooking. Tom Otley
Open Mon-Sat 12pm-2.30pm, Sun 10.30am-3pm; dinner 6pm-10.30pm daily. 281 Gloucester Road; tel +852 2837 6790; mandarinoriental.com
Opened in December last year on the ground floor of Pacific Place mall in Admiralty, Bizou offers Danish-born chef Magnus Hansson’s fresh interpretation of a classic American brasserie. The menu is farmto-table in style, with no GM foodstuffs and organic produce as the rule. The cool, comfortable interior features natural wood finishes, dark leather, wooden chairs and warm lighting.
To start, we chose fried Camembert cheese with cloudberry preserves, fried parsley and toasted sourdough; rich with the perfect combination of crusty skin and melting centre. The grilled octopus with crispy potatoes, olives, young celery, mint hummus, sumac, extra virgin olive oil and lemon offered a fascinating mix of flavours.
For mains, we tried the slow-braised boneless short ribs in red wine with potato purée, gailan green vegetables and fresh horseradish, and the pan-seared Icelandic cod fillet with butter, soft-boiled egg, cauliflower purée, sautéed kale and fresh horseradish. The ribs were cooked beautifully, the meat shredding easily and filled with juicy flavour. The fish was also excellent, the crispy kale and horseradish injecting piquancy into an otherwise mild, creamy dish.
The wine list was strong on Italian bottles but with a good global spread, while the cocktail menu was highly creative. The atmosphere was a nice mix between modern and traditional, the service was excellent and the food consistently delicious. HK$1,500-$2,000 (£145-£200) for a three-course meal for two with wine. Jeremy Tredinnick
Open daily 11.30am-10.30pm. Shop 132, L1, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway; tel +852 2871 0775; diningconcepts.com/restaurants/bizou
Open since March last year, Cobo House (short for “community of bohemians”) is an arty eatery tucked away in the Shek Tong Tsui district. It grows its own herbs and plants, while other ingredients are procured from local markets.
The menu is brief and to the point. For starters, we chose the “Mushroom” and “Crab”. The former consisted of a king trumpet mushroom, egg tofu and herb butter, along with more mushrooms, a panfried egg tofu cube and smashed potato. A hint of truffle subtly enhanced the flavour. For the mains, we selected the pork and the vegetarian somen. The slowcooked pork belly was served with charred spiced pineapple, giving the dish a slightly peppery taste.
A key part of Cobo’s appeal is its collaboration with Janice Wong, a Singapore-based chef known for founding 2am:dessertbar. The dessert menu offers three dishes, paired with beverages for HK$298 (£29). We tried the Popcorn, a combination of sweet and savoury popcorn-flavoured parfait; Kyoto Garden, a floral dish with orange blossom ice cream in a white chocolate shell; and Basil White Chocolate, a sharp, fruity dish with passion fruit. Perhaps the most impressive dessert is the Cassis Plum (pictured), a signature creation of Wong’s that made an appearance on Masterchef Australia 2015. Craig Bright
Below: Umi Top and inset: Flint Grill and Bar Main picture: Yee Tung Heen
Open 12pm3pm, 6pm-12am daily. 8/12 South Lane, Shek Tong Tsui; tel +852 2656 3088; cobohouse.com