Happy New Year everyone! Yet again I am baffled at how another year could have flown past so quickly! They say time goes faster as you get older, which isn’t very fair, since it means you get older even quicker! Yet I welcome 2016 with open arms, as I’m sure it is going to be quite a fantastic year.
Looking back on 2015, it was another excellent food-filled year for The Dim Sum Diaries. It never ceases to amaze me just how many new restaurants open in this city, each one with its own exciting concept. Some of these work and some fail before they’ve even started, only to be replaced by something equally, if not more exciting. Even if I ate out every single night, I think I’d still struggle to get around to trying all of this city’s restaurants. And yet I will continue to attempt it!
The Dim Sum Diaries turned four in April, which was another great milestone. I think I may have to plan something exciting for the website’s fifth birthday this year! Any suggestions?
With all the restaurants I review, it is always impossible to highlight my top 10. A few weeks ago I posted my shortlist for the best restaurants of 2015 and asked you all to help me choose the best ones. Thank you to all who took the time to respond and vote for your favourite restaurant – I will announce the winner of the People’s Choice at the end of this post.
This year it was a particularly difficult choice, since all 20 restaurants on the shortlist were worthy of making the final cut. I tried and tried to cut it down to 10, but when I reached the final 11, there just was not one restaurant I could cut from the list! So, without further ado, here is my list of the top 11 restaurants that I reviewed in 2015 in Hong Kong, in the order in which I visited them:
Vietnamese-American Chef Que Vinh Dang is known for his unique, mind-blowing tasting menus. The eight-course menu changes monthly at Quest and I am yet to meet a single person who was not blown away by Chef Que’s creative and delicious menus.
28/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai +852 2554 0888
A trusty favourite that is just as good for a quiet date night as it is for a dinner with friends or even a private party. Without needing to be anything fancy, the food is honest and delicious, whilst, most importantly, it is consistent. We often visit Pirata just for a glass of vermouth and a quick dinner at the bar and it never disappoints.
29-30/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai +852 2887 0270
Café Gray is somewhere that I often recommend to anyone looking to celebrate a special occasion, as a meal here is guaranteed to impress, no matter who it is you’re taking. Although it is without a doubt a fine dining experience, a meal at Café Gray is not pretentious nor fussy, but just excellent food done well.
49/F, The Upper House, 88 Queensway, Admirality +852 3968 1106
Simple yet authentic, Toritama is one of the best, if not THE best yakitori restaurant I have ever been to. It’s easy to understand why this restaurant is so famous in Tokyo, and why it is so difficult to book a table at here in Hong Kong. The whole experience is authentic and personal, whilst the quality of the food is second to none.
G/F, 2 Glenealy, Central +852 2388 7717
I remember being utterly blown away by the food in this art gallery slash private kitchen. This is Italian cuisine elevated to a whole other level, made using high quality produce imported from Italy, prepared in a rigorous yet simple fashion, served in a one of a kind setting.
16/F, Kwai Bo Industrial Building, 40 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen +852 2805 8555
If you’re looking for somewhere with a party vibe no matter the occasion, go to El Loco Gringo, order a pitcher of margarita, a couple of rounds of tacos, and before long you’ll be dancing on the tables, whether figuratively or literally. The setting is unique and, with a Mexican chef manning the kitchen, the food is as authentic as you’re going to get in this city.
49 Bonham Road, Sai Ying Pun +852 2858 8833
This has quickly become my favourite Vietnamese restaurant this side of Hanoi, for both the quirky and colourful décor as well as the authentic and delicious Vietnamese food prepared by Chef Peter Cuong Franklin. Despite being in an office building lobby, Viet Kitchen transports you to the streets of Vietnam.
G04 & 06 Nexxus Building, 41 Connaught Road, Central +852 2806 2068
A meal at Mr & Mrs Fox is more than just a way to fill one’s stomach; it is a true experience from start to finish in a setting that tells a story. I have dined on three separate occasions on each of the three floors and can safely say that all three were some of the best meals I had in 2015. Get a group together and take over The Den; you won’t regret it.
23 Tong Chong Street, Quarry Bay +852 2697 8500
This place is easily just as good, if not better than Liberty Private Works, which previously stood in its place. Michelin-Starred Chef Bjoern Alexander works his magic right in front of you to create a truly amazing ten-course tasting menu that will leave you speechless. Definitely one to recommend.
26/F, Stanley 11, 11 Stanley Street, Central +852 5186 3282
Hong Kong is getting saturated with Spanish restaurants, yet this one is one of a kind. The asador-inspired restaurant’s motto is “we grill things” and that is exactly what they do. Not only is the décor absolutely stunning, but the food is guaranteed to impress. Just two words of advice: go hungry!
G/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai +852 2433 3324
Exceptional service and fantastic food make this restaurant one of the best openings of 2015. From the moment you arrive until your evening is over, you will be very well taken care of and will enjoy some truly incredible seafood. Whatever you do, order the salt-baked seabass and finish with a sgroppino.
G/F-1/F, 109-111 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai +852 2343 8111
People’s Choice Award
Thanks again to everyone who took the time to vote for their favourite restaurant. It was great seeing all these votes come in and reading all the comments.
There were some definite favourites out there, including La Paloma, Vasco, Toritama and Mr & Mrs Fox….
But the clear favourite, taking 44% of the vote and therefore winning the People’s Choice Award was…..FISHSTERIA SEAFOOD PLACE!
I look forward to another delicious year of exploring many of our city’s exciting new openings, as well as old openings that I have not yet managed to try. Let’s hope this year also takes me on little foodie adventures outside of HK. As always, if you have any restaurants that you’d like to recommend, please drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – I always love hearing from you.
Here’s to a wonderful year ahead filled with love, happiness, laughter and lots of delicious food!