The best of Hong Kong in 8 stops (1)

The Chinese special region is a treasure chest of delicacies and great chefs. In part one, Richard Ekkebus and Alvin Leung

The luxurious dining room at restaurant Amber in

The luxurious dining room at restaurant Amber in Hong Kong, French-Asian cuisine signed by a Dutch chef, Richard Ekkebus (photo Amber)

Hong Kong is around one third of Valle d'Aosta, has a population of over 7 million inhabitants (it’s one of the most densely populated areas on the planet) and as many as 61 starred restaurants, of which 6 with three stars. A real culinary heaven for the most compulsive gourmet.

The journey can start from Milan with Cathay Pacific, the national company of the administrative region. The business and first class menu is studied by our very own Andra Aprea of Vun in Milan: they serve a slightly reinterpreted veal in tuna sauce and sea bass all'acquapazza.

The first night we had to try the food at Amber, 2 Michelin stars and 24th in the World’s 50Best, on the seventh floor of the Landmark Mandarin Oriental. Dutch chef Richard Ekkebus – previously working with Alain PassardGuy Savoy and Pierre Gagnaire – offers food that is both decisively French and Asian: classic foundations and many oriental ingredients.

A successful contamination, a mix of aromas and flavours that make the experience very pleasant in a sort of non-place where East and West go hand in hand and support each other, resulting in real added value for all those looking for emotions without excessive acrobatics.

Union cocktail at the M-Bar, on the 25th floor (photo M-Bar)

Union cocktail at the M-Bar, on the 25th floor (photo M-Bar)

Already from the amuse-bouche you can tell the chef wants to stimulate the palate: 5 small tastings each one of which is studied so as to enhance one of the five flavours, with umami saved for last. For those tasting, this is already a good exercise that prepares you to face the demanding tasting menu (9 courses). Of all the courses, we choose Duck Foie gras on a broth of shiitake mushrooms and black garlic. A great dish. The rich cellar (almost one thousand labels), the attentive yet discreet service and the luxury of the location are the deserving contour to an unforgettable evening.

After the dinner, I recommend walking to the other Mandarin Oriental, only two blocks and 25 floors to get to the M-Bar. High quality cocktails and the perfect embodiment of what the French call “beaucoup d'ambience”.

One of the most famous chefs in Hong Kong (born in London) is an old acquaintance of Identità. His name is Alvin Leung, known as the “demon chef”. Bo Innovation, 3 Michelin stars, offers X-treme Chinese cuisine – as he calls it. But we preferred the chef’s other restaurant: it’s called Mic Kitchen, it has a star and it’s hidden in a not very trendy area of Hong Kong, among offices and warehouses.

Mic Burger at restaurant Mic Kitchen in Alvin Leung, one Michelin star (photo

Mic Burger at restaurant Mic Kitchen in Alvin Leung, one Michelin star (photo

It offers modern comfort food: it has an interesting lunch menu starting from around 30 euros. It’s a not-to-be-missed chance for a restaurant that already has a Michelin star. We were impressed by the concentration of flavours in the Beef consommé with its ribs cooked at low temperature for 36 hours. Don’t miss the Mic-burger either, with fries and kimchi mayonnaise. Very bad smell and extraordinary taste. Quite addictive.

1. to be continued tomorrow


Dal Mondo

Reviews, recommendations and trends from the four corners of the planet, signed by all the authors of Identità Golose