They say that as you get older, the years begin to fly by faster and faster. I thankfully can’t exactly say I feel old just yet, but I can certainly say that time really does fly and I am now wondering in amazement where on earth 2012 went.
As usual, my year was filled with far too much food and wine. Thankfully the calories are yet to catch up with me, although I do fear that one day they might, so, just in case, I decided to join the LRC swimming team towards the end of the year, mainly so that I can eat more and not feel too guilty about it! So if you wonder how I am not the size of a house, I can tell you that it involves a lot of 6am starts and either running around (at Circuit25) or swimming at an ungodly hour.
The Dim Sum Diaries turned one in April last year – a very proud moment that sadly went by without a celebration. I should start making plans as of now for its second birthday and welcome any suggestions (or even presents!). From what started as merely a hobby directed at only my close friends and family, The Dim Sum Diaries is now being read by hundreds of people all over the world. I’m not entirely sure what people in Kuwait, Estonia or Suriname for example are doing reading about restaurants in Hong Kong, but whoever you are, and indeed wherever you are, thank you for your support and I hope I have been able to provide you with interesting reads to satisfy your food cravings.
Considering the fact that I reviewed almost 100 restaurants last year, narrowing it down to the top 10 is no easy feat. I’ve never been great at decision-making but I’ve had to force myself this time, so here goes nothing… In no particular order, my top 10 reviewed restaurants of 2012 in Hong Kong, whether brand new or simply new to me, are:
Liberty Private Works – Since going here in February, I have been recommending it to everyone for all sorts of special occasions. It is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach, as each one of the eight courses is prepared before your eyes with utter precision. Definitely a must-try.
Grassroots Pantry – I described this place as somewhere I would go when I need a food-hug. If you think vegetarian food is boring, think again, for Peggy and the team at Grassroots make their food far from boring.
Seema’s Private Kitchen – Seema is possibly one of the nicest and humblest chefs I have ever had the pleasure to meet and is a phenomenal cook. Her food, served in her own house, tells the story of her journey ‘from Africa to Asia’ and the sheer passion she puts into it is evident in every mouthful.
The Chinnery – Everything about The Mandarin Oriental speaks of elegance and class, and The Chinnery is no different. Amongst the British classics, it serves some of Hong Kong’s best curries in a timeless setting.
Otto e Mezzo – This restaurant definitely deserves its three Michelin stars. Everything from the drinks, to the service, to the delicious food is perfect, and apparently they do an excellent aperitivo too.
The Salted Pig – If you like pork, you’ll love this place. The super casual vibe, no-frills food and reasonable prices are enough to keep me going back again and again.
Chautari – You don’t need to go to a fancy restaurant to find delicious Indian food. This is some of the best I’ve come across in Hong Kong and what makes it even better is the friendly service and silly-cheap prices. You can honestly eat more than your bodyweight in curry and not even pay $200.
Chez Patrick – I can’t believe it took me so long to try Chez Patrick. This is definitely a gem in the city and although I never saw the old location, the new one is beautiful. Save space for the cheese, you won’t regret it.
Lucy’s – Lucy’s is a lovely restaurant tucked away in Stanley Market. It’s been going strong for almost 20 years and I can definitely understand why. I just received Lucy’s cookbook for Christmas and can’t wait to try to recreate some of her recipes!
Chicha– Hong Kong’s first Peruvian restaurant has become something of an institution already and they’ve even had to build a bar across the road to cater to the hordes of people that go there every day.
Ok, I know I said top 10, but I’ve thrown in an extra one just because I couldn’t not include it, so number 11 is:
La Cantoche – This down to earth eatery in Sheung Wan serves up wholesome French food with a Southeast Asian twist. You can spend hours here gorging on comfort food in a fun, casual setting, and it’s also great for big parties.
So that was 2012. What’s to come in 2013? A lot more food! I still have yet to try 22 Ships, View 62 or Bistro du Vin to name but a few, and I’ve heard a lot of whispers about many more exciting restaurants opening soon… I can tell it’s going to be a great year for The Dim Sum Diaries, beginning with a new facelift very soon. Keep watching this space and join me on my culinary adventures.
Happy new year one and all!