Happy 2014 everyone! Another 12 months have flown by, bringing me back to that difficult time of year once again, when I must reflect on all the delicious meals I have reviewed over the past year and somehow pinpoint my top 10.
Firstly, a brief reflection on the past year in general: in April 2013 The Dim Sum Diaries celebrated its second birthday. There was yet again no specific celebration, but I did receive a lot of lovely congratulatory messages from readers, some of whom I know personally, and others whom I don’t. Trust me, when my schedule makes it very difficult to find the time to write, it’s you who spur me to go on and keep this blog going. Thank you all, near and far, for taking the time to read my reviews, make comments and even send recommendations; it means a lot.
Last year I introduced a beautiful new logo to the page, designed by the fabulous Roger de Leon, designer extraordinaire and co-owner of HK’s favourite burrito joint, Little Burro. There will be a few more changes coming up soon-ish to keep the page looking fresh and make it easier for you all to find what you’re looking for. Watch this space.
Now on to the main event: I reviewed close to 100 restaurants during 2013, so, yet again, I must point out how difficult it is to narrow this down and pick out my favourites. There were a few close contenders, but the restaurants I reviewed that I loved the most last year were, in chronological order, as follows:
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
This three Michelin-starred French restaurant is guaranteed to impress, whether you’re on a date or an important business meeting. Everything from the beautiful, chic décor, to the exquisite, immaculately presented food is perfect. Although lunch is significantly more affordable, your credit card will take a little bit of a beating, but trust me, it’ll be worth every cent.
Shop 401, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central
+852 2166 9000
This private kitchen in the depths of Hung Hom took me completely by surprise. Don’t be fooled by the name – KimChi is an amalgamation of the names of the two owners, not a Korean restaurant. Chef Chi’s incredible, somewhat experimental dishes suggest years spent at one of the top culinary schools. I was amazed, however, to hear that she learnt everything she knows by watching cooking programmes, making me even more impressed by this little gem.
Flat C, 7/F, Loong Wah Building, 36-42 Baker Street, Hung Hom
+852 5364 6623
Lung King Heen
The first three-Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in the world resides at the Four Seasons, complete with a gorgeous harbour view. The extensive menu includes everything from traditional Cantonese dishes to more modern ones, each presented with the elegance and beauty for which Lung King Heen is known.
4/F, Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance Street, Hong Kong
+852 3196 8888
Stone Nullah Tavern
The lovely and talented chef Vinny Lauria has made the “New American” menu at SNT his playground. He uses only the best, mostly locally sourced ingredients to create sharing-sized portions of extraordinary dishes, such as crispy pig’s head with lobster salad, chicken fried tenderloin, and some of the best chicken wings you will ever taste. Perfect for date night or a meal with friends, SNT always keeps me coming back for more.
69 Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai
+852 3182 0128
In my review of Metropolitain, I claimed that their chocolate fondant might actually be the “best in Hong Kong”. If that isn’t enough to lure you to this casual, authentic Parisian bistro, then there are plenty of other classic French dishes that will.
G/F, 46 High Street, Sai Ying Pun
+852 6271 6102
Not for the faint-hearted, this super spicy eatery is like no other Thai restaurant in town. With its emphasis on Isaan cuisine from the northeast of Thailand, don’t expect to find your favourite Thai green curry on this menu. Instead, expect bolder, (much) hotter flavours that will reignite your love for Thai food.
206 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan
+852 2549 0020
Whether it’s down to its tender lamb ribs, fried cheese or Golden Greek Time, from day one, contemporary Greek restaurant Souvla has been a hit for hungry Hongkongers keen for something a little different. Try the set lunch for a great-value, deliciously healthy feast.
1/F, 40 D’Aguilar Street, Central
+852 2522 1823 or Text: +852 9285 8846
Chôm Chôm Bia Hoi and Eatery
Specialising in Vietnamese street food and fresh draft beer, Chôm Chôm is not your average Vietnamese restaurant; in fact it doesn’t even serve pho! What it does serve is delicious sharing dishes bursting with fresh herbs and spices in a fun, casual setting.
58 Peel Street, Central
+852 2810 0850
I described Little Bao as “char siu bao, crossed with burger, crossed with pure awesomeness,” and think that pretty much sums up these amazing bundles of joy. Whilst the ‘baos’ are my favourite, Little Bao also serves some delicious sharing plates that are impossible to resist, particularly the LB fries.
66 Staunton Street, SoHo, Hong Kong
+852 2194 0202
Flint Grill & Bar
Flint is not just a restaurant; it’s an experience. I was completely wowed by everything from the gorgeous décor that blended the new and the old, to the beautiful bar complete with one of Asia’s top mixologists, to, most importantly, the fantastic food. This is one seriously cool restaurant.
5/F, JW Marriott Hotel, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty
+852 2810 8366
And now we have another exciting year ahead of us filled with more delicious food, balanced with plenty of ApeFit, H-Kore and swimming, just to make room for even more food! Restaurants in the pipeline include G7, the new Spasso, Ham & Sherry, Fish & Meat and many, many more. If you have any recommendations for places you think I should try, please don’t hesitate to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy New Year everyone! Let this be the best year yet!