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7 dining pop-ups not to miss in October

Summer may be over, but Hong Kong’s dining scene is just warming up. As always, the start of the busy fall restaurant season coincides with a flurry of star chefs stopping by town to showcase their signature, one-off menus. From twin culinary forces at Caprice to a Helsinki-based degustation and celebratory anniversary menus at Le 39V and Mandarin Grill + Bar — these are the pop-up dinners you won’t want to miss this month.

Le 39V Hong Kong’s 1st Anniversary

Executive Chef of Michelin-starred Le 39V Paris, Frédéric Vardon returns to Hong Kong this month.

When: Through 6 October

Price: HK$1,580 plus 10% surcharge for 7-course 1st Anniversary Special Dinner; call +852 2977 5266 to reserve

The executive chef of Michelin-starred Le 39V Paris, Frédéric Vardon, returns to Hong Kong this month to celebrate the 1st anniversary of Le 39V Hong Kong, presenting an exclusive Four Hands Dinner in collaboration with Hong Kong-based chef de cuisine Nicolas Raynal. With the Paris original having been awarded a Michelin star for six consecutive years, the Hong Kong branch adheres closely to the same kitchen philosophy, utilising seasonal ingredients to spin an innovative take on classic French dishes. In honour of its 1st birthday, Le 39V Hong Kong will welcome guests for a special seasonal menu from Vardon featuring premium ingredients such as black truffle, sea urchin and lemon caviar. Highlights include the wild game pie stuffed with foie gras, frog legs with watercress sauce and black garlic, raw scallop with Kristal Gold caviar, and the roasted Bresse pigeon with porcini and figs.

Le 39V, Shop A, 101/F, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2977 5266

“Journeys East: An Evening of Culinary Stars” at Caprice 

Thomas and Mathias Sühring of lauded Bangkok restaurant, Sühring.

When: 5–6 October

Price: HK$2,588 per person for 10-course tasting menu; prices subject to 10% surcharge

A unique culinary collaboration is set to take place this month at one of Hong Kong’s temples of French haute cuisine, as chef Guillaume Galliot of Caprice brings not one, but two sets of talented twin brothers into the kitchen with him in an unprecedented pop-up dinner. The first set of brothers, Jacques and Laurent Pourcel, served as Galliot’s mentors early on in his career at the three-Michelin-starred Le Jardin Des Sens in Montpellier; while chefs Thomas and Mathias Sühring, also twins, have gained notoriety at their eponymous restaurant in Bangkok known for its inventive German cuisine. On 5–6 October, all five award-winning chefs will collaborate on an exhilarating menu based around contemporary European cuisine, showcasing a wide range of cutting-edge techniques, and an insightful juxtaposition of textures and flavours in what’s sure to be a groundbreaking degustation.

Caprice, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3196 8690

Umi x Arbor 

Umi’s sushi master Ryujiro Nakamura (left) and Arbor’s chef Eric Räty (right).

When: 9–10 October

Price: HK$1,988 for lunch, HK$3,888 for dinner; prices subject to 10% surcharge 

Umi’s sushi master Ryujiro Nakamura and Arbor’s Eric Räty will join forces in the kitchen for two nights only in a French-meets-Japanese culinary extravaganza that promises to be one of the most anticipated pop-ups of the month. Showcasing the best of their respective cuisines, the multi-course menu harmonises French cooking techniques with seasonal Japanese ingredients, spotlighting a number of rare ingredients flown in from Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji fish market. With chef Nakamura and Räty working together to elevate the natural flavours of ingredients such as uni, abalone, tuna and more, guests can expect this tasting menu to be chock full of gustatory surprises. 

Arbor, 25/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3185 8388

Mandarin Grill + Bar 

The Mandarin Grill + Bar gears up for a grand celebration this month.

When: 25 October

Price: HK$1,963 per person includes a glass of Champagne on arrival and a keepsake to take home

Since 1963, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong has been one of the city’s iconic landmarks; this month, they celebrate their 55th anniversary with a grand gala dinner at Mandarin Grill + Bar, another Hong kong institution. Taking place on 25 October, the grand gala celebrates the milestone event for the hotel, commemorating the anniversary with an exciting culinary journey curated by the team at Mandarin Grill + Bar.

The special evening will celebrate some of the signature dishes of the sophisticated grill house in a 4-course tasting menu designed by Executive Chef Robin Zavou. Start off with a selection of hors d’oeuvres — think Kumamoto oysters, homemade smoked salmon, Oscietra caviar and foie gras terrine — followed by steak tartare and lobster bisque; plus a choice of Beef Wellington, Lobster Thermidor, or Dover Sole “Veronique”. The parade of classic dishes continues with Crêpes Suzette or Baked Alaska, prepared tableside on a dessert trolley. After dinner, sit back with a cocktail in hand and be transported back in time to the 1960s by the nostalgic tunes of a live jazz band. 

Mandarin Grill + Bar, 5 Connaught Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2522 0111

Test Kitchen x Chef Kozeen Shiwan

Test Kitchen presents its first all-vegetarian pop-up from chef Kozeen Shiwan.

When: 17–19 October

Price: HK$880 for 9-course Vegetarian menu, plus HK$380 for wine pairing; book here

Vegetarians are in for a treat as culinary talent incubator Test Kitchen gears up for its first all plant-based pop-up, spearheaded by Helsinki-based chef Kozeen Shiwan. Known for his artistic, often abstract plating and intriguing use of rare ingredients, chef Shiwan will be serving up a memorable 9-course tasting menu rooted in the joys of vegetarian cooking, with dishes inspired by the stories of his multicultural background.

From growing up in the Kurdish city of Suleimania in Iraq, to moving to Finland and cutting his teeth at the Michelin-starred kitchens of Helsinki, chef Shiwan’s diverse background shines through in his Scandinvian-influenced plating and use of bold Middle Eastern flavours. Each course draws the diner into a visual and sensory journey, from the ‘King Potato’, baked in a salt crust and served with roasted yeast emulsion and smoked butter sauce; to the classic Middle Eastern dish of dolma, or wrapped vine leaves, bursting with the freshness of cucumber, tomato, onion, dill, mint, lemon zest, parlsey and ginger. As per usual, the Test Kitchen pop-up is affordably priced at HK$880 for the 9-course menu, with an optional wine pairing available for HK$380.

Test Kitchen, Shop 3, 158A Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 9032 7628 

Chef Joey Sergentakis at CÉ LA VI

CÉ LA VI Singapore and CÉ LA VI Hong Kong join forces this month.

Price: HK$688 plus 10% surcharge for 6-course menu

 Chef Joey Sergentakis from the flagship CÉ LA VI in Singapore will land in Hong Kong for a special guest appearance this month, joining Hong Kong’s own chef Jason Au to curate a 6-course menu showcasing the best of the mod-Asian restaurant’s signature dishes. With Serventakis bringing over some of the signature dishes from Singapore, both chefs will utilise their favourite ingredients and products as the inspiration for the menu, delivered just in time for the start of the fall season.

Settle back in CÉ LA VI’s stylish Central digs and indulge in dishes such as scallop, uni and oyster ceviche, rice flake-crusted langoustine with pomelo salad and ginger reduction, courtesy of chef Sergentakis; and lo soi poached foie gras served with braised lentils and hazelnuts from chef Au. The menu culminates in one of CÉ LA VI Singapore’s show-stopping desserts: the best-selling rose and watermelon petit gateau layered with sponge cake, fresh watermelon and sweet meringue.

CÉ LA VI, 25/F, California Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3700 2300

World Pasta Day x Foodlink Foundation

CIAK’s homemade fettucine with veal shank white ragout in celebration of World Pasta Day.

When: 25–31 October

Price: À la carte

Pasta lovers, get ready for an epic feast: This month, carb mania is set to descend on Hong Kong as a whopping 22 restaurants around town serve up limited-edition pasta dishes in celebration of World Pasta Day on 25 October. Prolonging the festivities for a whole week, the city’s top restaurants will serve their creative pasta dishes from 25–31 October, with 10–20% of proceeds going towards the Foodlink Foundation, which works to ensure all Hong Kongers have access to hot, healthy meals every day.

Options for satisfying your comfort food cravings while supporting a good cause are endless: from the luxurious homemade fettuccine with veal shank white ragout at CIAK in the Kitchen (HK$280); to homey pappardelle with braised beef chefs at Italian cafe Ciao Chow (HK$148); ocean-inspired lobster macaroni splashed with brandy and white wine at Fishsteria (HK$688 for sharing); and the linguini carbonara with pork cheeks, Parmigiano and cream at Repulse Bay beachside destination, Fratelli.

Browse the full list of participating restaurants here.

Leslie Yeh
Editor in Chief
Having worked as a lifestyle editor for almost 10 years, Leslie is thrilled to be writing about the topic she loves most: wining and dining. When she's not out pounding the pavement for the latest new restaurant opening or tracking food trends, Leslie can be found at home whipping up a plate of rigatoni vodka and binge-watching Netflix with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in hand.