Get your culinary kicks at one of these new Hong Kong establishments
Celebrating Singaporean heritage at Whey
Located at The Wellington in Central, Whey is helmed by Singaporean chef Barry Quek and represents a collaboration with Hong Kong-based ZS Hospitality Group, the company behind two Michelin-starred Ying Jee Club. It seeks to introduce diners to modern European cuisine reimagined with Singaporean influences, with a focus on local ingredients.
Created with whey and mixed herbs, local spring peas presents a refreshing prelude to the main event. Whey’s bread and butter, meanwhile, showcases brioche made with buah keluak, an earthy native nut from Southeast Asia, and sourdough made with locally grown leaven. Starters include seared scallop on a bed of jackfruit emulsion and homemade prawn floss.
Inspired by the classic Singaporean pepper soup, pork rib Bak Kut Teh features New Territories pork ribs with pork heart and fermented cabbage, homemade pepper jus and black garlic jam. Flower crab Konjac rice showcases chef’s personal twist on the timeless Singaporean favourite, laksa. Quek transforms the spicy noodle soup into an addictive rice dish made with fresh flower crab, and konjac coated with rich curry laksa sauce. whey.hk
A sixth venue for Pici
Hong Kong’s Pirata Group has launched five new restaurants in the first half of the year, the latest being another outlet for popular neighbourhood pasta bar Pici.
Situated in Kennedy Town, the newest Pici outlet is a 50 seater restaurant that showcases the restaurant chain’s handmade pasta, which is made on the premises daily, and homestyle Italian treats for lunch, dinner, delivery and takeaway. This is the sixth Pici to open following the flagship in Wan Chai and subsequent branches in Central, Tsim Sha Tsui, Lai Chi Kok and Sha Tin. Another new offering by Pirata worth checking out is beachfront Italian bakery Panne E Latte in Stanley, which serves sweet and savoury artisanal baked goods to eat in or takeaway. piratagroup.hk
Brewing up: hybrid restaurant & craft beer bar Grain debuts
Woolly Pig Hong Kong has partnered with local craft brewers Gweilo to open Grain, a hybrid restaurant and research & development brewing facility, Brewlab. It is the only dining venue in Hong Kong to house a working brewery on-site (See our interview on p90).
At Brewlab, craft beer lovers can sample newly-developed brews before they are released globally. Grain’s bar is home to 24 taps, which serve a rotating selection of brews created by Gweilo and several other local breweries. There is also be a series of tap-served cocktails, including gin & tonic made with Gweilo gin and pineapple mojitos, which have proved a big hit since they made their debut, as has the Gweilo pale ale. grain.com.hk
Embrace Norwegian fare at Hjem
Meaning ‘home’ in Norwegian, Hjem is a Nordic café located in Sheung Wan that’s defined by the simple comforts of traditional Norwegian ingredients and dishes. The café serves authentic Nordic coffee with a bespoke menu designed by renowned Nordic chef Jaakko Sorsa, with smørrebrød (traditional open-faced sandwiches) at the forefront of the F&B offerings, along with Nordic bakes. Hjem celebrates the culture and cuisine that co-founder Elin Fu grew up with. commonabode.com
Salisterra opens at the Upper House
The Upper House has debuted its much-anticipated dining concept at level 49, Salisterra. Drawing upon Mediterranean influences, it delivers the warmth and familiarity of a neighbourhood bistro with a menu created by Michelin-starred chef Jun Tanaka (see our review on p106).
Tanaka was awarded one Michelin star for his London-based French restaurant The Ninth in 2017, and Salisterra represents his first collaboration with a restaurant overseas. The menu draws inspiration from the coastal cuisines of France and Italy. Classically trained, his dishes are founded on the principles of French cuisine with a focus on simple, sustainable fare.
In homage to Tanaka’s favourite food, the restaurant’s hand-crafted pasta includes ossobuco tortellini, langoustine ravioli and duck agnolotti. Bold vegetable dishes take centre stage, including pickled carrots with coconut yoghurt and grilled hispi cabbage with tahini.
From the grill, there’s grilled lamb cutlets with purple sprouting broccoli, anchovy and apricot vinaigrette, and Japanese baby red snapper with lemon confit, miso, fennel and radish. Popping in for a snack? Viennoiserie are made fresh daily in-house. salisterra.com
Dig into themed brunches at Candour
Looking for a new spot to have a long, lazy brunch on the weekend? Then check into Candour, a bar/lounge space located in the heart of SoHo. The all-day concept will place particular emphasis on its cocktail menu, which is helmed Chanel Adams. Hip-hop fans, meanwhile, will adore the carefully curated music programme at Candour. Group chef Karisa Cheque’s menu showcases dishes inspired by classic local flavours. “[Candour] came about as a result of reflecting on our own experiences within a nightlife space,” says the restaurant’s co-founder, Nelston Htoo. “If anyone were to ask what our ideal space for a night out would look like, this would be it.” commonabode.com