Hong Kong’s finest din­ing des­ti­na­tions

The Busi­ness Trav­eller Asia-Pa­cific team tries out some new hotspots and old favourites in Hong Kong

Business Traveller - - LIFESTYLE CONTENTS -

UMI

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

BIZOU

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

COBO HOUSE

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

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