While you definitely won’t want to miss the all-star lineup of new restaurants debuting in Hong Kong this month, you’ll also want to save some space in your calendars for the fantastic guest chef menus and pop-up dinners adding another dimension to the dining scene this month. We’re talking about a MasterChef Australia star breezing into Alibi at Cordis, a funky pop-up dinner with a Californian bent at SoHo favourite Ho Lee Fook, and a Korean chef adding a bit of fermented spice to the Michelin-starred kitchen at Amber. Here are the pop-up dinners you won’t want to miss this month.
Ashley Davis at Alibi – Wine Dine Be Social
When: 4, 6 September, 7pm
Price: HK$988 plus 10% service charge; call +852 3552 3232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book
Cordis, Hong Kong will welcome MasterChef Australia‘s Ashley Davis to the award-winning Alibi – Wine Dine Be Social this month for two nights only on the 4th and 6th of September. Executive chef and owner of Australian Good Food Guide’s One-Hat restaurant Copper Pot Seddon, Davis will collaborate with Alibi’s Chef de Cuisine, James Oakley, for a sumptuous 5-course modern European menu showcasing some of the finest ingredients and produce from Australia, matched with a selection of hand-picked wines.
Start with the Angasi oyster, followed by roasted scallops with celeriac velouté and tarte flambé with crispy native Australian saltbush. Mains showcase king prawns from Queensland, with red vein sorrel and Shark Bay scampi caviar; Hiramasa kingfish, paired with shiitake mushroom and lemongrass emulsion; and juicy Cape Grim beef eye fillet. Dinner ends on a crowd favourite: crème brûlée — presented with Davis’ modern makeover — and passionfruit and macadamia nougat.
Alibi – Wine Dine Be Social, 5/F, Cordis, 555 Shanghai Street, Mongkok, Hong Kong, +852 3552 3028
Giando x Kin’s Kitchen
When: 12–26 September
Price: HK$728 plus 10% surcharge for 6-course tasting menu
It’s not everyday that an Italian restaurant joins forces with a Cantonese kitchen, which is what makes the upcoming collaboration between two Hong Kong favourites this month extra enticing. The East-meets-West collab features hearty Italian eatery Giando teaming up with inventive Cantonese restaurant Kin’s Kitchen for a two-week affair featuring the best of both cuisines. Chef Gianni Caprioli of Giando and chefs Lau Kin-Wai and Lau Chun of Kin’s Kitchen will present two inventive menus — available at both restaurants during the promotion period.
The menu celebrates the inherent similarities between both cuisines, from noodles being a staple of the everyday diet, to using umami as a flavour-enhancing technique, and the shared focus on local and seasonal ingredients. Highlights include cantaloupe melon soup with spices, crispy ham, pistachio and Sichuan pepper; fried Sicilian prawns and calamari in Asian spices; stir-fried tagliolini noodles with smoked chicken broth and Italian truffles; and salt-baked sea bass with mixed herbs.
Giando, 9 Star Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2511 8912
Kin’s Kitchen, 5/F, W Square, 314-324 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2571 0913
‘Food from God’ at Test Kitchen
When: 26–30 September, 7pm & 8:15pm seatings
Price: HK$880 for 8-course tasting menu, plus HK$380 for wine pairing; book here
Love Malaysian food? Then you’ll want to make a booking for Test Kitchen’s latest pop-up this month, featuring the innovative cuisine of chef Darren Teoh from Kuala Lumpur’s lauded restaurant Dewakan. Combining European techniques with methods such as fermentation, smoking and grilling, Dewakan (a portmanteau of the Malay words dewa, meaning ‘god’, and makan, meaning ‘to eat’) is all about celebrating the bounty and harvest of the local region, with the majority of ingredients sourced from local farmers and fishers. Teoh will be hauling these prized ingredients over to Test Kitchen for four nights only, showcasing the beauty of Malaysia’s indigenous produce such as sweet mangoes, banana hearts and Bears Keladi, a type of hill rice harvested by the Lun Bawang people in Sarawak.
Test Kitchen, Shop 3, 158A Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 9032 7628
Mister Jiu’s x Ho Lee Fook
When: 19 September
Price: HK$488 plus 10% surcharge per person
Always good for a night out on the town, modern Canto diner Ho Lee Fook is set to shake up the dining scene for one night only on 19 September, presenting a pop-up dinner in collaboration with chef Brandon Jew of Mister Jiu’s in San Francisco. Jiu’s first time cooking in Hong Kong is set to be a 8-course banquet-style affair, with the James Beard-nominated chef showcasing his inventive approach to Chinese cooking, utilising modern techniques and peak Californian produce to tweak traditional Chinese dishes with a modern twist — much in the same manner as HLF’s chef, Jowett Yu. Highlights of the menu include raw geoduck with fermented bean powder and pickled celery; chilled beef tendon with slow-roasted tomatoes and chilli oil; smoked oyster ‘you tiao’ with avocado; and carrot and flower crab shui mai with crab roe.
Ho Lee Fook, G/F, 1 Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2810 0860
Tairroir and Mixology Salon x Haku
When: 21–22 September
Price: HK$2,480 plus 10% surcharge for 9-course menu with cocktail pairing; book here
In a a rare six-hands collaboration dinner on 21–22 September, chef Agustin Balbi of Haku will welcome chefs Kai Ho of Taïrroir Taipei and Shuzo Nagumo of Mixology Group Tokyo to the Kappo-style restaurant for a memorable 9-course meal complete with creative cocktail pairings. The one-Michelin-starred Tairroir is best known for its creative use of indigenous produce, reinventing Taiwanese cuisine with eye-catching presentations and inventive flavour combinations.
Like Balbi, Ho uses French techniques and Asian ingredients to excellent effect, as demonstrated in dishes such as ‘Les Poisson du Jour’ with fish skin, Haku’s house-fermented miso, Hokkaido potatoes and leeks; and ‘The Creole Duck’ paired with hibiscus celery, shishito-hoisin and ‘flat pancakes’. Adding to the excitement of the night is a creative cocktail pairing courtesy of Shuzo Nagumo of Mixology Group, a 20-year industry veteran whose futuristic cocktails — include the foie gras wine cocktail and the signature ‘teatails’ — have landed the group’s Mixology Salon a #40 spot on Asia’s 50 Best Bars list.
Haku, Shop OT G04B, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2115 9965
Mingles x Amber
When: 17–18 September
Price: HK$2,288 per person, plus HK$1,133 for 6-glass or HK$1,888 for 10-glass wine pairing; advance booking required by calling +852 2132 0066.
In the ongoing ‘Friends of Amber’ four-hands dinner series, chef Richard Ekkebus of the Landmark Mandarin’s two-Michelin-starred flagship joins hands with Korean chef Mingoo Kang of Mingles (#11 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants), the prestigious Seoul restaurant best known for its traditional-meets-contemporary approach to modern cuisine. Joining other venerable chefs who have stepped into the Amber kitchen including Singapore’s André Chiang and the legendary Ferran Adrià, Kang is set to bring his distinct Korean culinary point of view to the classical French restaurant, cooking in Hong Kong for the very first time.
With both Ekkebus and Kang known to create harmony on the plate using contrasting elements, the menu is set to be a meeting of two culinary greats, with Kang showcasing dishes such as steamed abalone and cabbage mille-feuille and blackthroat seaperch stuffed with mixed vegetables; while Ekkebus dabbles in Asian ingredients in the uni and ikura roe over crispy potato with horseradish, and raw Hokkaido scallops with shaved button mushrooms and cold clarified celeriac bouillon. A wine pairing menu features a few select Korean alcoholic beverages with wines carefully chosen by Amber’s Head Sommelier John Chan and Mingles’ Sommelier Minsung Kim.
Amber, 7/F, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 2132 0066
Basta Pasta at Mercato
When: 3 September–28 October
Price: Each pasta priced at HK$188 plus 10% surcharge
The most beloved of Italian staples, pasta, is being ushered into the limelight this season for Mercato’s ‘Basta Pasta’ campaign: featuring two months of comforting pasta dishes showcased by different chefs at Mercato on a rotating basis, staring 3 September. Spotlighting the whole Mercato family, chefs from all rungs of the ladder will each put their best food forward to come up with a unique pasta dish, meant to reflect their individual heritage and backgrounds. Tuck into demi chef Naomi Raagas’ cappellini pasta in ‘Sinigang’ broth with braised pork belly, based on her Filipino upbringing; or chef de partie Sunny Tam’s rigatoni with buttered shrimp and salted egg sauce, which is inspired by his childhood growing up in Hong Kong. Executive chef Anthony Burd will also be debuting a brand new creation: pork liver mousse agnolotti with house-made char siu, inspired by his recent trip to Shunde in China. Each pasta is priced at HK$188 (available on the chef’s specials board) with dishes rotating every week.
Mercato, 8/F, California Tower, 32 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3706 8567