Your insider’s guide to Hong Kong

Dinners to splash out on in Central

Book ahead for these special occasion restaurants

Words: Rachel Read

Hong Kong’s vibrant food scene abounds with restaurants that cater to just about every cuisine and budget you can think of – and fine dining meals are no exception. If you’ve got a client to impress, a special occasion to celebrate or simply feel like splashing out on an unforgettable dining experience, here are six restaurants in Central that will deliver the goods in style.


Arbor

With a serene pink-hued interior, dazzling views over the city and cuisine that combines classic French techniques with premium Japanese ingredients, the results at Arbor are pretty spectacular. That’s all down to talented chef Eric Räty, who turns his hand to both savouries and sweets with delicacy and flair. Wow-worthy creations include a melt-in-mouth A4 wagyu with malabar pepper sauce, sweet potato mash and yuzu butter, and a stunning Asian-inspired dessert of soy milk ice cream with wafer-thin yuba sheets, black beans marinated in soy sauce, salted egg yolk and white chocolate crumbs. There are currently three different nine-course menus available for dinner; while dishes change seasonally, make sure you leave enough room for one of Räty’s freshly-baked madeleines for a delightful end to your evening.

25/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, +852 3185 8388
www.arbor-hk.com


Belon

Elegant Soho eatery Belon recently landed a coveted spot on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant list – and once you’ve tasted chef Daniel Calvert’s food, you’ll soon see why. Calvert effortlessly elevates Parisian bistro classics, with a focus on exacting cooking techniques (some dishes take over four days to prepare) and quality ingredients, including many that are locally sourced. The results are sophisticated, unpretentious and flavour-packed. Although dishes change seasonally, there would be a riot if favourites like his roast chicken with buttery pommes Anna, or pigeon pithivier with figs and amaretto were ever taken off the menu. If you find yourself too spoilt for choice with the a la carte, opt for the Selection de Cuisine, where Calvert will craft a menu for the entire table. Either way, it would be criminal to miss out on his masterful mille-feuille for dessert.

41 Elgin Street, Central, +852 2152 2872
www.belonsoho.com


VEA

Creativity is the name of the game at the Michelin-starred VEA, with a decadent eight-course tasting menu that blends chef Vicky Cheng’s Hong Kong heritage with the finest French gastronomic techniques. Cheng takes familiar, nostalgic Asian flavours to whole new levels, with breath-taking presentation and expertly chosen cocktail pairings to match. The menu changes frequently according to what’s in season, but previous creations include roasted sea cucumber with flowery crab and aged hua diao wine, and Taiyouran egg with truffle, caviar and parmesan. Opt for one of the sleek counter seats at VEA’s open kitchen to watch the team craft your dishes up-close or bag the private dining room, which has amazing views of both the city’s glittering skyline and a sneak peek inside the restaurant’s kitchen.

30/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central, +852 2711 8639
www.vea.hk


Octavium

Chef Umberto Bombana’s first restaurant in Hong Kong, 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana, is still the only Italian restaurant outside Italy to be awarded three Michelin stars – so it should come as no surprise that his second eatery in the city, Octavium, is every bit as excellent. With a laidback intimate vibe, Octavium has been dubbed Bombana’s “private kitchen”, a cooking laboratory where he can experiment with new creations and serve simpler, more rustic dishes than those typically found on the menu at Otto e Mezzo. The dishes on the four or six-course dinner menus change regularly, but you can expect tried-and-tested Italian favourites done with finesse, including delicious pasta and risotto, top-quality meat and seafood, and dessert classics like tiramisu and chocolate soufflé.

8/F, One Chinachem Central, 22 Des Voeux Road Central, +852 2111 9395
www.facebook.com/OCTAVIUM


Tate Dining Room

When does Hollywood Road change from Central to Sheung Wan? We’re not entirely sure, but for the sake of good food, we’re willing to walk the extra few metres to include the Michelin-starred Tate Dining Room on this list. Helmed by chef-owner Vicky Lau (a former recipient of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant’s Best Female Chef award), the cuisine here is light, playful, inventive and perfectly complimented by the gorgeous interior (think soft pink and bleached timber tones). Lau describes her immaculately-presented dishes as “edible stories”, where the taste, texture and aroma of each ingredient has been carefully chosen to evoke memories. The eight-course tasting menu is a melting pot of French and Asian influences, with a vegetarian menu also available; popular creations include a honey-inspired Ode to Bees dessert and an Ode to Hong Kong featuring pan-fried oyster, seaweed rice and dried radish.

210 Hollywood Road, Central, +852 2555 2172
www.tate.com.hk


Amber

As the only Hong Kong establishment on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, you know that Amber must be doing something right – and 12 years (and two Michelin stars) since its opening, chef Richard Ekkebus’ food continues to excite and intrigue in equal measure. Ekkebus’ contemporary, creative take on French cuisine showcases the very best seasonal ingredients from Europe and Asia, with nine or ten-course dinner degustation menus that are a feast for the eyes and the palate. Meanwhile, the six-course Amber Classics menu (available until the end of 2018) is a celebration of some of the restaurant’s greatest hits over the past decade – including much-lauded dishes like duck foie gras lollipops and Hokkaido sea urchin in a lobster jell-o.

7/F, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, +852 2132 0066
www.amberhongkong.com

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