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A city of more than 25,000 places to eat, Hong Kong is always going to spoil diners, even without the seemingly constant flow of new spots opening up.Nevertheless, the inspirations, ingredients and innovation behind the best new restaurants in Hong Kong, from the Peruvian Andes to northern England, are stretching the city’s global reach in 2019 even further.Here are 11 of the best additions to the city’s dining scene, offering a world of flavors when you travel here:
Virgilio Martinez is arguably Peru’s most celebrated chef, responsible for the award-winning restaurant Central in Lima, as well as other global spots. His new Hong Kong restaurant Ichu Peru is named after a plant from the Peruvian Andes that only grows in extreme conditions.It’s his first in Asia and serves contemporary Peruvian cuisine that’s as intriguing as it is comforting and delicious. Chef Sang Jeong worked alongside Martinez at Central and heads up the new kitchen in Hong Kong’s Central neighborhood.The Joyce Wang-designed interiors can seat up to 80, while the outdoor terrace has already become a popular al fresco spot.
It’s a huge claim — and very subjective — but “The World’s Best Pizza” has hit Hong Kong.The man behind the unusually named Kytaly — it combines the Japanese symbol of life energy, “Ki,” with “Italy”– is renowned pizza chef Franco Pepe.His first overseas restaurant, it sits smack in one of the nightlife hearts of Hong Kong island, Wyndham Street in Central. Pepe is a third-generation baker and created a new pizza dough with his own flour, before topping it with ingredients that are 99% imported from Italy, such as pork from Caserta and buffalo mozzarella from Campana.That may help explain the price of HK$208 ($26) for his Margherita Sbagliata (“Mistaken Margarita”), one of 19 pizzas on the menu.Pepe’s pies, served at his Caiazzo, Italy, restaurant Pepe In Grani, have pulled in a number of global awards, ensuring that his Hong Kong restaurant is always busy.
Simon Rogan needs no introduction to British diners thanks to his five restaurants, which hold four Michelin stars between them.He has opened two adjacent restaurants in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay district.There’s the experimental hub of Aulis Hong Kong, with just 12 seats, and Roganic, a modern 40-seat spot focusing on farm-to-table cuisine inspired and influenced by England’s Lake District and some of its finest ingredients.Always imaginative and ahead of its time, Rogan’s food delivers on every level and reminds Hong Kong’s diners — and chefs — that there’s still plenty of room for innovation.With natural wines, fresh and foraged produce and impeccable execution, this will clearly be one to watch in 2019.
SHÈ is a Chinese character that represents hospitality and also the name of a modern Chinese restaurant within one of Hong Kong’s most historic and exclusive department stores, Lane Crawford, which is inside the IFC Mall.The plates riff on Chinese classics with clever, innovative and healthy twists, as befits their fashion-conscious clientele.Everything from classic Cantonese roast meats to dim sum and noodle dishes to afternoon tea paired with cocktails are available. The restaurant’s terrace overlooking Victoria Harbour has quickly become a spot to see and be seen.
If beef is your thing, then it doesn’t get much tastier or more exclusive than Wagyumafia, newly opened in Wan Chai. That’s because the 18-seat dining and butcher’s club, originally launched in Tokyo by Hisato Hamada, only serves Japanese-reared champion wagyu beef from Kobe and Tajima. There’s only one tasting menu that highlights a variety of cuts and techniques including shabu-shabu and yakiniku. Most famously of all, however — especially on Instagram — it’s the cutlet sandwich, which steals the show. An extra thick Chateaubriand cut is fried in Japanese panko breadcrumb, then served on Japanese milk bread with the restaurant’s own special sauce.Other dishes on the menu include tuna direct from Tokyo, but high-end produce such as the top 1% of already expensive Kobe beef doesn’t come cheap, meaning the Signature Tasting menu will set you back a cool $230 per person.
Another intriguingly named spot, especially for a Chinese restaurant, comes in the form of John Anthony in the city’s Lee Gardens mall in Causeway Bay. Regional Chinese cuisines including Szechuan, Hunan and Shandong are the stars of the menu, but Cantonese also plays a large role.The 7,000-square-foot space boasts three custom-built barbecue grills that deliver many of the dishes. The Flat Bed BBQ cooks traditional Cantonese char siu roast meats including Iberico pork, Black Angus short rib and Australian wagyu fillet.There’s a large selection of dim sum, with handmade Alaskan crab dumplings and steamed rice rolls with soft shell crab and squid ink providing a mouthful in more ways than one. The bar is another draw, especially its 12 “gin tubes,” each filled with a house-infused gin featuring botanicals from across ancient Spice Routes.