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Duck & Waffle Hong Kong
Photograph: Courtesy Duck & Waffle Hong Kong

The best foreign restaurants to hit Hong Kong in 2019

Our favourite foreign bites

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong
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Hong Kong’s culinary scene has seen an influx of foreign restaurants this year, each hoping to make a splash in our fast-paced, epicurean city. Lucky for us, many of these newcomers are from brands boasting Michelin stars and international popularity. Coming from around the world, some of these eateries have left us Hongkongers speechless. Here’s our round-up of five foreign restaurants that have taken Hong Kongbystormthisyear. Haven’t tried them yet? Take a look at our list and decide which suits your palate best. By Ann Chiu, translated by Andrea Hui.

Top five foreign restaurants to hit Hong Kong this year

Roganic
  • Restaurants
  • Causeway Bay

It seems like only yesterday when famed British chef Simon Rogan introduced Aulis to Hong Kong as the 852’s first-ever chef ’s table-style restaurant. Only a couple of months later, Rogan’s one Michelin-starred restaurant Roganic debuted its first overseas branch in Hong Kong to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with its groundbreaking sister. Much like Aulis, Roganic actions a farm-to-table approach by only utilising seasonal ingredients and organic food of the highest quality. From innovative creations such as the seaweed custard served with pike perch, or codfish with amaranth and smoked sauce, down to basics like homemade sourdough bread or fermented butter, Roganic hits the ball out of the park with its gastronomic ingenuity.

Being able to taste the fruits of their labour doesn’t come cheap though, with their tasting courses costing $680–$980 per head. Curious fans of fine dining will be happy to discover, however, that a three-course set lunch only costs $280 per head. For a fine dining restaurant that guarantees a palatal adventure, this kind of deal is not one you want to miss out on!

Takano Ramen
  • Restaurants
  • Ramen
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Hailing from Tokyo, Takano Ramen has seen a lot of change in its 23-year history, going from an obscure mom-and-pop joint to being recommended by the Michelin Guide. Like its progenitor, the Hong Kong branch’s pièce de résistance is its classic shoyu ramen, in which the umami, clear broth tastes spot-on with a perfect ratio of chicken to pork to niboshi. The Chinese-style buckwheat noodles make a lasting impression with their incorporation of four Japanese flour types, two kinds of buckwheat and eggs. What's more, the quality of Takano Ramen shines through in the eatery’s noodle station, where the noodle makers’ expertise and years of experience are on show for all to see. When these elements come together in Takano Ramen’s signature Takano Shoyu Ramen ($128) – which is topped with seared chashu, nitamago (flavoured ramen soft-boiled egg), fermented bamboo shoots and a final touch of scallions – no other dish seems to embody the expression “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” quite as perfectly.

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  • Restaurants
  • Central

Originating in London, this globally recognised institution has finally made its way to Hong Kong. The immense success of the famed foodie mecca has long piqued the interest of many a Hongkonger, making the restaurant among the most anticipated new arrivals to our city this year. The new Hong Kong branch faithfully sticks to its British roots and European influences, with a menu curated by executive chef Daniel Barbosa from the London flagship.

Befitting of the restaurant’s name, the most popular dish on the menu is the signature crispy confit duck leg served with buttermilk waffles, fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup. After being soaked in a simple salt-and-sugar brine for a day and then cleaned and dry-aged for another day, the duck is slow-cooked in its own fat for eleven hours and then deep-fried to order. Combined with the juice of the egg yolk and the subtly sweet mustard maple syrup, the dish exhibits sophistication in its nuanced flavours and harmonious balance of sweet and savoury. When the dish arrives, sink your knife into the crispy duck skin, hear the satisfying crackle, separate the meat from the bone, break the yolk, pour on the syrup and enjoy all of these components together in a single bite. Sounds tricky? Don’t worry, the waiters are happy to show you how it’s done.

Sushi Zo
  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Central

The Michelin-starred sensation that has taken North America and parts of Asia by storm has finally opened its doors in Hong Kong. Located in a secluded spot in the lower levels of the iconic Tai Kwun complex, Sushi Zo has only 14 seats and does two dinner services per night at $2,500 per head for a whopping 18-course omakase set. Helmed by head chef Fumio Azumi, this exclusive omakase joint takes its patrons' tastebuds on a journey across Japan. The sizeable meal comes with sushi as the headliner accompanied by a mixture of appetisers, soup, sashimi, temaki and palate cleansers, all finished off with a dessert.

Boasting a versatile range of rare ingredients, Sushi Zo imports fresh produce and seafood directly from Kyushu, Shikoku and Hokkaido to Hong Kong every morning. Whether your dish includes a slice of Nagasaki fatty tuna topped with black truffle, or squid served with white truffle and uni, Sushi Zo’s thoughtful creations promise a feast featuring the very best that the land of the rising sun has to offer.

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Chatterbox Café
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Deemed as the godfather of Hainanese Chicken Rice, the award-winning Chatterbox originally opened its doors in Singapore's Mandarin Orchard, and has finally opened for business in Hong Kong with its signature dish taking centre stage. Though Chatterbox Café has only been open for two months, the restaurant is perpetually busy. During the café’s busiest hours customers may have to wait nearly an hour before receiving food, but the legendary Hainanese Chicken Rice you’re coming for won’t disappoint. Due to the fact that the restaurant adheres to the original Chatterbox’s tried-and-true methods, the chicken here always reaches juicy, tender perfection. What really breathes soul into the dish, however, is the use of their house-made sauce. Crafted with a blend of garlic, ginger, pounded chillies and soy sauce, the distinctly Singaporean chilli sauce is the cherry on top that sets this Hainanese Chicken Rice apart from its many competitors.

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