Isaac Mchale

Head chef at Lon­don’s Miche­lin-starred The Clove Club and “Bri­tal­ian” restau­rant Luca

Prestige Hong Kong - As Told: The Very Best In Life - - As Told: The Very Best In Life Contents -

In Lon­don, there is so much to see. From world-class ho­tels like The Dorch­ester and Clar­idges to bril­liant food from my friend James Lowe at Lyles Restau­rant, or Quo Vadis in Soho for a very Bri­tish kind of cook­ing: sim­ple, sea­sonal and de­li­cious, in a restau­rant filled with his­tory.

For pure plea­sure, my favourite dish has to be the white Alba truf­fle risotto we had at The French Laun­dry in Napa, Cal­i­for­nia, five years ago. They charge crazy money for it, but they put a crazy amount of truf­fle on it, so it is very good value for money. It was a “wow” mo­ment. As good as food can get.

Last year I went to Naoshima island off the south coast of Ja­pan. The island has many in­stal­la­tions all over it. We spent the night in a lux­ury yurt and cy­cled around the island. It was like a child­hood camp­ing hol­i­day; it was dream­like.

Bor­ough Mar­ket is the orig­i­nal and still the best in Lon­don. An amaz­ing place to buy food for din­ner, while grab­bing some cheese to bring home from your trip, foodie gifts, and just the magic, real-life in­ter­ac­tions that mar­kets bring. They are so­cial lev­ellers; peo­ple from all walks of life meet and queue to buy and sell. There’s great food there, smiles and a nice at­mos­phere. It’s the peo­ple-watch­ing and ob­serv­ing in­ter­ac­tions I love.

I am cur­rently read­ing The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan and Pris­on­ers of Ge­og­ra­phy by Tim Mar­shall; fas­ci­nat­ing books on geopol­i­tics and how, even to­day, it is still shaped by the rivers and moun­tain ranges and plains and seas that sur­round na­tions.

Food-wise, I love The Last Food of Eng­land by Mar­wood Yeat­man and The Scots Kitchen by F Mar­ian Mcneill.

Bar­ra­fina in Drury Lane, Lon­don, is a good place for din­ner. Cro­que­tas, a salad, some sim­ply cooked shell­fish and coca; a Mal­lor­can flat­bread with spinach and raisins. A few glasses of sherry and a Rioja and that’s a pretty per­fect lit­tle meal.

I try to have fewer wild nights, but I love Hap­pi­ness For­gets in Hox­ton Square for cock­tails.

I’m an am­bas­sador for the Great Bri­tain cam­paign, and came to Hong Kong ear­lier in 2018 to sup­port the Great Fes­ti­val of In­no­va­tion. I am proud to show­case the amaz­ing food and drink Bri­tain has to of­fer. Since an­cient his­tory, when the Ro­mans came to Bri­tain for the oys­ter beds, to the fact that we catch 80 per­cent of Europe’s quo­tas for ed­i­ble crab, to the hand-caught scal­lops and lan­goustines that catch the Eurostar daily to ap­pear on the menus of the three-star restau­rants of Paris – we have al­ways had raw pro­duce that has been the envy of the world.

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