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7 dining pop-ups not to miss in November

In-between trying to get your foot in the door at Hong Kong’s hot new openings and trying our editors’ picks of last month’s best dishes for yourselves, you’ll want to save your appetite in the coming weeks for a handful of guest chef menus and exclusive pop-ups around town. From an anniversary celebration at Tenku RyuGin to a taste of Provence at InterContinental and the next instalment of the Friends of Amber series — here are the one-off dinners you won’t want to miss this month.

Chef Seiji Yamamoto at Tenku RyuGin

When: 16–18 November, 6–9:30pm

Price: HK$4,980 plus 10% surcharge per person for 10-course kaiseki menu

Culinary legend Seiji Yamamoto of Michelin-decorated Nihnoryori RyuGin will touch down in Hong Kong this month with his Tokyo team to check in at sister restaurant Tenku RyuGin, as the Hong Kong outlet celebrates its 7th anniversary. In collaboration with Hong Kong chef de cuisine, Hidemichi Seki, the 3-night-only gala dinner sees the two head chefs presenting an elaborate 10-course kaiseki menu showcasing the best seasonal produce from Japan. The creative kaiseki event is bound to be an eye-opening event for gastronomes, with both chefs known for their intricate, meticulous plating and presentations paired with unique flavour combinations. An ode to the fine art of Japanese cuisine, this is one dinner you’ll want to book early for as seating is limited to 40 diners per night.

Tenku RyuGin, 101/F, ICC, 1 Austin Road West, West Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2302 0222

Amber Four Hands Dinner with Chef Luca Fantin

When: 5–6 November

Price: HK$2,688 plus 10% surcharge per person; optional 8-glass wine pairing for HK$1,588. Call +852 2132 0066 or email lmhkg-amber@mohg.com to book.

The Friends of Amber series continues at Landmark Mandarin Oriental as Culinary Director Richard Ekkebus welcomes Italian chef Luca Fantin of Il Ristorante — Luca Fantin in Tokyo for a two-night collaboration event. Taking place on 5th and 6th November, the pop-up collab will draw from the pools of both French and Italian cuisines, with a handful of Japanese ingredients thrown in for good measure. A cross-cultural event, the menu features both classic dishes and new creations from both chefs, as Fantin joins an outstanding line-up of previous Friends of Amber guest chefs, including Singapore’s André Chiang, the legendary Ferran Adrià, and Korean-born chef Mingoo Kang. Highlights of the menu include savoury passion fruit macaron with oyster, greek yoghurt and wakame dust, cold spaghetti monograno felicetti with sea urchin, and celeriac ‘millefeuille’ with granny smith gel celeriac mousseline and in-season white truffles.

Amber, 7/F, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 2132 0066

Italian Cuisine & Wines World Summit Opening Gala Dinner

When: 6 November at 7:30pm

Price: HK$2,500 per person

Started off in Hong Kong a decade ago, spurred by the old crop of Italian restaurant institutions — think Nicholini’s, Divino, Spasso, Angelini and 8 1/2 Bombana — the 10th edition of the annual Italian Cuisine & Wines World Summit will make its glorious return to the Fragrant Harbour this year. An influential meeting of top culinary minds dedicated to exploring quality Italian food, wine and culture — the Summit kicks off this year with a star-studded Opening Gala dinner, featuring 15 master guest chefs in attendance, with a grand total of 25 Michelin stars. Executive Chef Enrico Bartolini and Head Chef Enrico Maritan from Spiga headline the all-star lineup, which features chefs from all regions of Italy, in addition to the special guest chef of honour, Umberto Bombana. The Opening Gala dinner is priced at HK$2,500, with a HK$200 donation going to the Hong Kong Cancer Fund.

Kerry Hotel, 38 Hung Luen Road, Hung Hom Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 3069 9988

Test Kitchen x Ben Waugh

When: 5–6 November

Price: HK$2,688 per person; book here

Another Italian-Japanese mash-up is set to take place at Test Kitchen this month, featuring the acclaimed chef Ben Waugh, Gordon Ramsay‘s protégé who now leads up the kitchen at the celebrity chef’s Savoy Grill in London. Putting his own interpretation on Italian cuisine elevated by top quality Japanese ingredients, the creative and sophisticated menu presented by Waugh in his inaugural Hong Kong cook will be inspired by the seasons, with autumnal ingredients such as foie gras and pigeon weaved throughout the 7-course menu. A delicate shellfish tortellini shows off Waugh’s experienced hands with pasta, while the show-stopping Beef Wellington is a nod to his mentor — known for being one of Ramsay’s signature dishes. The menu rounds out with a selection of rare British cheeses and a refreshing citrus delice to refresh the palate.

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

“La Provence D’Alain Ducasse” 

When: 6–8 November

Price: HK$1,188 for 5-course menu, HK$1,588 for 6-course menu; prices subject to 10% surcharge

One-Michelin-star restaurant Rech by Alain Ducasse will continue its Gala Dinner series this month with another culinary talent from sister Ducasse restaurants around the world. In “La Provence D’Alain Ducasse”, the restaurant welcomes guest chef Frédéric Garnier from Alain Ducasse’s 1-Michelin star La Bastide de Moustiers, nestled in the heart of Alpes de Haute Provence. Known for his innovative cooking rooted in the provençale style of the region, chef Garnier’s menu for Rech will showcase fine produce from the Mediterranean, from seasonal fish to ingredients such as gamberoni, Banon goat cheese and regional olive oil, all displayed over a 5- or 6-course tasting menu. Other fresh-from-the-garden dishes include butternut squash with hazelnut seaweed, purple aubergine with bitter herbs and Peking-glazed octopus, and a confit apple and quince dessert.

Rech by Alain Ducasse, G/F, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2313 2323

PIO CESARE Wine Dinner at Steak House Winebar + Grill

When: 29 November

Price: HK$1,488 plus 10% surcharge per person

Also taking place at the InterContinental Hong Kong this month is an exclusive wine dinner at Steak House Winebar + Grill, in partnership with the illustrious PIO CESARE Winery from Barolo, Italy. One of the most highly regarded wine producers of Piedmont, PIO CESARE tells a story of the traditions and unique terroir of the region, and remains a family-run winery after more than a century in operation. Owner Pio Boffa will be on hand personally at the hotel’s signature steakhouse on the evening to introduce his family’s wines, paired alongside a gastronomic 4-course feast created by head chef Chiu Ming Chiu.

Along the way, diners will have a chance to sample six wines from PIO CESARE, including the famous Barolos that the region is known for, made from the prized nebbiolo grapes. The menu incorporates other ingredients which speak to the terroir of the region, from yellowtail king fish carpaccio with cured baby ham to roasted free-range Normandy chicken with foie gras risotto; beef short rib with mediterranean vegetables, and Scamorza cheese lasagna and peppercorn sauce. A tiramisu fancied up with citrus and grapefruit segments ends the meal on a high note.

Steak House Winebar + Grill, B/F, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2313 2323

MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau International Chef Showcase

When: 9–10 November

Price: HK$1,888 per person, add HK$800 for wine pairing; prices subject to 10% surcharge; book here.

The next round of the MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau Dining Series International Chef Showcase takes place at The Tasting Room in Macau this month, following the same four hands formats as the prior world-class dinners. Bringing together some of the best culinary talents on the planet, this month’s episode features French chef Fabrice Vulin from the 2-Michelin-starred The Tasting Room and chef Roberto Cerea, from the 3-Michelin-starred Da Vittorio in Bergamo, Italy, for a unique collaboration dinner showcasing the best of French and Italian cuisines.

Presenting a 9-course dinner tasting menu for two nights only, the signature dishes from both restaurants are paired by rare wines handpicked by Robert Parker Wine Advocate. From Da Vittorio, homemade family recipes have been passed down from generations, from confit cod with tripe ragu to chestnut risotto and crispy pork belly; while from The Tasting Room, we can expect to see Vulin’s classically trained, intricate compositions in work in dishes such as poached Brittany lobster with watermelon and yuzu vinaigrette, slow-cooked sea bass with shellfish and champagne sauce, and beef tenderloin and vegetables pot au feu. The meal culminates in a live presentation of the eye-catching final dessert, ‘Cannoncini and Gioconda’.

The Tasting Room, 3/F, Crown Towers, City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, Macau, +853 8868 6681

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.