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Top 10 European restaurants in Hong Kong

Mention Hong Kong and food, and tiny morsels of delicately packed dim sum in light bamboo baskets spring to mind. That should come as no surprise – situated at the Southeastern tip of Canton, Hong Kong has some of the world’s best Cantonese cuisine. But many visitors (and locals alike) miss out on the high quality European fine dining available in the city. The last decade has seen a boom, with celebrity chefs Alain Ducasse, Joel Robuchon, Pierre Gagnaire and more setting up a Hong Kong home for their restaurants, and in the process adding to their reputations as top chefs. Having racked up several Michelin stars, Hong Kong’s European restaurants continue to shine in reputed food circles, but with a list as strong as this, perhaps the city should be one of the first names to slip off the tongue, along with San Fransisco, Washington DC, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Paris, London and New York, when the discussion veers towards best cities for fine dining. From opulent venues to match the timelessness of Le Louis XV in Monaco to the more contemporary and innovative restaurants, Hong Kong’s European restaurants provide a spectrum of choices, the best of which are listed (alphabetically). It was a tough job, but someone had to go check out all the restaurants. I volunteered to eat at and vet all the restaurants (and more) below: 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana Headed (and founded) by the former chef at the beloved Toscana at the old Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong, this restaurant sits serenely in an upscale shopping mall in the heart of Hong Kong. Chef Umberto Bombana’s traditional Italian fare presented in a contemporary, no-frills fashion, has landed him three Michelin stars, making it the only Italian restaurant outside of Italy to be awarded such an honour. Otto-e-Mezzo Amber After relatively shaky beginnings, Amber, at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental has come through glowing with two Michelin stars, and has also had several inclusions in the highly acclaimed World’s 50 Best Restaurants lists. Chef Richard Ekkebus serves up some of the most tantalising takes on modern French cuisine in a sophisticated environment that is set aglow by the 4,320 bronze rods that adorn the restaurant. Amber Caprice Hong Kong and Four Seasons‘ jewel in the crown, Caprice, has earned three Michelin stars for a few seasons running, making it arguably the hottest (European) spot in town. A particular highlight is the restaurant’s selection of cheeses and its cheese trolley, which brings diners back on a frequent basis. Its wine list is also of note, as is the restaurant’s famed silver service. Caprice The Drawing Room While the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong was undergoing renovation (or rather, recreation), Chef Umberto Bombana was on a hiatus – or at least, a working hiatus. It was during his time off that he founded The Drawing Room, together with Chef Roland Schuller. At the heart of its modern Italian fare is seafood, which Schuller, who took over all operations of the restaurant within a year of its opening, complements with an array of pastas and styles. The Drawing Room Gaddi’s It’s always 1928 at Gaddi’s, the year The Peninsula, affectionately known as The Pen, opened its doors. One of the oldest authentic French restaurants in the city, the restaurant is fittingly set in one of the oldest luxury hotels in the city, once described as the “finest hotel east of the Suez canal”. With a dining space that is warmly lit and quietly opulent, the scene is reminiscent of the 1920s neoclassical architecture (although this restaurant opened in 1953), with a heavy emphasis on romance and formality. This is still one of the few restaurants in the city that demands a strict jacket only dress code for gentlemen for dinner. The Chef’s Table, one of the first in Hong Kong, is an absolute must – for both, the privacy and romanticism offered, as well as for the food. The food does not stray too far from classic French that is presented creatively, but with romantic overtures as its focus, would you really want it to? Gaddi's Hugo’s A vaguely Bavarian hue greets the visitor at this restaurant, once a city-favourite that has now re-opened at the new Hyatt Regency. Past the knight in shining armour at the entrance, a distinct wooden tint evokes memories of the Renaissance era. With an open kitchen and artful table-side cooking, a meal at Hugo’s is as much theatre as it is hunger satisfaction. While the restauraunt’s dishes draw inspiration from all over Europe, Chef Renaud Marin brings with him a French flavour, with much of the menu reading like an archaic book of French cooking, never deviating too far from the classics. Hugo's Krug Room Truly a once in a lifetime meal! One of only a few Krug Houses in the entire world, Chef Uwe Opocensky’s training under the hands of Ferran Adria at the world renowned El Bulli shines through. Set inside the kitchen of the luxurious Mandarin Oriental, this private kitchen serves up creatively presented whimsical dishes in true “molecular gastronomy style”, served with a few glasses of Krug to complete the lavish experience. Krug Room L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon While its Tokyo and Las Vegas outposts might be more famous, this little gem in Hong Kong has just been awarded its third Michelin star. Set in the distinctly atelier style influenced by his Tokyo creation, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon‘s contemporary chic is clear with his open kitchen and lipstick red velvet seats sat around the kitchen like a sushi bar. But it is not the setting for which patrons frequent this joint – his amusing yet delightful plays on European and French fine dining, mixed heavily with Asian influences are a hit within the city, as evident with his expansion plans. L'Atelier Restaurant Petrus Set atop the Island Shangri-La Hong Kong, the decor here is a throw-back to a grander and gentler age, of marbled columns, high crystal chandeliers, murals and thick silk drapes. The scene is truly set with the scintillating view of modern Hong Kong’s  glitzy skyline visible from the floor-to-ceiling windows, which provide a stark contrast to the regal air inside the restaurant (but a stunning view to enjoy over a meal!). Much like its namesake, the eponymous wine, Restaurant Petrus is known for having one of the largest wine cellars in Asia. The classic French fare served here by Chef Frederic Chabbert is delightfully rich without being overtly complex, in true French fashion. Restaurant Petrus SPOON Another restaurant that has grown over time, SPOON at InterContinental Hong Kong is an Alain Ducasse flagship. With a backdrop of the Hong Kong Island skyline, SPOON offers a more chic approach to fine dining, with a casual, calming and understated (save for the thousands of spoons lining the ceiling) beige and cream setting enhanced by the playful approach to food, presented by Chef Philippe Duc. SPOON Chinmoy Lad is the CEO and Founder of The Suite Life. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Chinmoy Lad

Chinmoy Lad is a luxury travel consultant, helping clients plan their special getaways. Enjoy exclusive Virtuoso benefits and special amenities at the world’s best hotels and resorts. www.thesuitelife.com.hk

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