JohnJ Chan, Am­ber

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

Year af­ter year, we're im­pressed by the evo­lu­tion of Am­ber's wine list, which con­tin­ues to be a joy for oenophiles as well as those who pre­fer a light drop with din­ner. The se­lec­tion of wines by-the­glass and by carafe is so­phis­ti­cated (as be­fits the set­ting) but ap­proach­able, as ev­i­denced by head som­me­lier John Chan's friendly team.

Chan dis­cov­ered his love for wine in a way that may sound fa­mil­iar to you, dear reader—at univer­sity, where he spent time tend­ing bar while at­tend­ing the Univer­sity of Hawaii. He turned that pas­sion into a ca­reer, re­turn­ing to Hong Kong to train with the best som­me­liers in the in­dus­try at the most il­lus­trous restau­rants in town.

Like The Land­mark Man­darin Oriental, Chan is cel­e­brat­ing his 10th year in the busi­ness, a jour­ney that has seen nu­mer­ous ac­com­plish­ments, in­clud­ing a first-place tro­phy at the 2006 Hong Kong Som­me­lier Com­pe­ti­tion. As the restau­rant en­ters a new era of ex­plo­ration and evo­lu­tion, the som­me­lier is con­fi­dent that his cel­lars will con­tinue to break bound­aries and of­fer more la­bels to ex­cite, in­trigue, and di­vide. A con­sid­er­able num­ber of bio­dy­namic wines pep­per the list, with Clau de Nell's Vieilles Vignes by Anne-Claude Le­flaive (the pi­o­neer­ing bio­dy­namic wine­maker who died in April 2015) cur­rently avail­able by the glass.

Chan is not one to play it safe when it comes to pair­ings and re­gions; al­though Am­ber's reper­toire of old world wines is among the best in the city, his in­sa­tiable thirst for the in­ter­est­ing and the unique will lead him to add more left-of-field selections for guests. His ded­i­ca­tion to making your meal at Am­ber bet­ter and more tran­scen­dent by virtue of his wine selections is cer­tainly some­thing to cel­e­brate.

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