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8 dining pop-ups not to miss in March

This is the month for Hong Kong’s creative set to convene to discuss arts, culture and literature — and what better place to do that than at the dinner table? From the arrival of two NYC superstar chefs — Marc Forgione, the man behind the eponymous restaurant, and Nick Kim of Shuko — to fantastic wine pairing dinners at Le Bistro Winebeast and the InterContinental Hong Kong, here are the places to head this month to sate your appetite for good food and good conversation around the dinner table.

“DUO on the Eighth” at Conrad Hong Kong

Chefs Cyril Bonnard and Marie Wucher return to Brasserie on the Eighth at Conrad Hong Kong.

When: 3–12 March 2017

Price: Four- and six-course dinners priced at HK$880 and HK$1,130, respectively; additional charge for wine and Champagne pairings. Set lunches and brunch on Saturday and Sunday are also available.

After introducing local diners to the food of the Alsace region in France last year at Conrad Hong Kong, the husband-and-wife team Cyril Bonnard and Marie Wucher are returning to the hotel for a second run, this time with a concept titled “DUO on the Eighth”. The creative menu will once again shine a spotlight on the hearty and German-influenced flavours of Alsace, while exploring more philosophical concepts such as “Him vs. Her” and “Traditional vs. Contemporary”. Savoury dishes from chef Cyril include two types of duck foie gras — one with winter fruit chutney and kouglof, and the other pan-seared with orange and dragees candies — while chef Marie will be working her magic in the pastry kitchen, culminating in her signature Black Forest Cake presented two ways.

Brasserie on the Eighth, 8/F, Conrad Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong; +852 2822 8803, conradhotels3.hilton.com

Marc Forgione Pop-Up at Lily & Bloom 

When: 22–25 March 2017

Price: HK$880 for a five-course menu (6–8pm seating), HK$1,280 for a seven-course menu (8.30–11pm seating); includes a welcome glass of Champagne.

The acclaimed Next Iron Chef winner Marc Forgione is heading to Hong Kong for the first time to present signature dishes from his eponymous restaurant based in New York. Teaming up with Lily & Bloom’s head chef Chris Grare, Marc will showcase dishes such as his Chilli Lobster with Texas Toast, and Halibut en Croute with Hazelnuts and “Sauce Proposal” — a creamy caper and raisin emulsion. Known for his bold, exciting flavours and innovative ingredient combinations — not to mention his signature mohawk hairdo — chef Forgione is sure to make a splash when he hits Hong Kong’s dining scene this month.

Lily & Bloom, 5/F-6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2810 6166, lily-bloom.com

Chef Ngan Ping Chow at Mandarin Oriental, Macau

When: 3–5 March 2017

Price: MOP$1,880 per person.

No plans this weekend? Head to Mandarin Oriental, Macau, where guest chef Ngan Ping Chow will be showing off his molecular techniques with food during a three-day pop-up event at Vida Rica Restaurant. The head chef of Tapas Molecular Bar at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, chef Ngan is all about interactive and theatrical dining, preparing his bite-sized plates right in front of diners while explaining the concept behind each dish and finishing off the plates with a wisp of smoke or a torch of the flame. There will be two seatings per night, each limited to 12 diners and priced at MOP$1,880 per person.

Vida Rica Restaurant, Mandarin Oriental, Macau, Avenida Dr Sun Yat Sen Nape, Macau; +853 8805 8918, mandarinoriental.com/macau

Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau Dining Series

Michelin superstar chef Yoshinori Ishii from Umu in London presents his world-class fare at Altira, Macau this month.

When: 27–28 March 2017, chef Umberto Bombana showcase; 29 March–1 April 2017, chef Yoshinori Ishii showcase.

Price: Chef Yoshinori Ishii Showcase: Early bird MOP$1,800 through 5 March​; MOP$2,000 thereafter.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate and Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau are teaming up to provide a series of exclusive dinners this year to spotlight those honoured in the Michelin guide, including both local and international acclaimed chefs. Each dinner will feature one of the world’s best chefs or a rising star in the industry, with an exclusive tasting menu paired with pours from acclaimed wine experts Robert Parker. This month, discerning diners can head to three-Michelin-starred 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo for an exclusive five-course Italian feast from chef Umberto Bombana; alternatively, plan an overnight trip to Altira, Macau from 29 March–1 April to check out the innovative gastronomy from chef Yoshinori Ishii of the two-Michelin-starred Umu in London.

Chef Umberto Bombana Showcase: 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Shop 202, Landmark Alexandra, 18 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2537 8859, ottoemezzobombana.com; ticket details TBC.

Chef Yoshinori Ishii Showcase: Tenmasa, Atira, Macau, Avenida de Kwong Tung, Macau, +853 2886 8868, altiramacau.com; purchase tickets here.

Chef Nino Di Costanzo at Grissini

When: 9–11 March 2017, 7–10pm.

Price: HK$1,180 plus 10% surcharge per person.

Join Grissini on an artistic culinary journey this month with Nino Di Costanzo, chef-owner of Danì Maison Restaurant in Italy, which received two Michelin stars just four months after opening. The acclaimed “silent artist” will be presenting his signature dishes in a six-course tasting menu featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients from his hometown. The meal kicks off with red prawns with organic mandarins from Ischia, followed by quail slow-cooked with scampi and chickpeas. Fresh pasta includes tortellini filled with beef and provola cheese, as well as a variation on carbonara made with orzo and bacon. An herb-infused lamb is the main event, served alongside eggplant parmigiana and a bite-sized escarole pizza. To cap off the meal, chef Nino will serve a three-chocolate mousse with passion fruit sorbet.

Grissini, 2/F, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; +852 2584 7722, facebook.com/grandhyatthongkong

Le Bistro Winebeast

When: 14 March 2017

Price: HK$800 per person plus 10% surcharge; purchase here.

Love your vino? Head to French bistro, Le Bistro Winebeast to experience an intimate pairing dinner on 14 March, hosted by TVB anchor and wine expert Alan Wong. The wine lover has joined hands with one of Hong Kong’s best loved bistros to spoil diners with an eight-course menu of chef Johan Ducroquet’s wonderful French tapas, paired with four wines from Bordeaux handpicked by Wong. Combinations include a sea bass tartare with citrus that’s paired with a 2010 Château Carbonnieux Blanc with a fruity, floral intensity; and grilled iberico pork shoulder with pear and celeriac, paired with a 2000 Vieux Chateau Certan featuring notes of black currants, blackberries, caramel and mocha. The meal ends with a cheese platter and roasted pineapple and passion fruit dessert, capped off with a sweet 1997 Château Rieussec.

Le Bistro Winebeast, 141 Thomson Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; +852 2782 6689, wine-beast.com/le-bistro

Shuko NYC Pop-Up at Ronin

When: 14 March 2017, two seatings from 6–9pm and from 9:30pm–midnight.

Price: HK$2,200 plus 10% surcharge per person, beverage pairings extra; purchase tickets here.

Recently inducted to the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, contemporary izakaya-bar Ronin is welcoming chef Nick Kim of Shuko in New York City for a special pop-up dinner to coincide with Taste of Hong Kong. On 14 March, the Ronin bar is set to be transformed into a sushi counter with chef Kim at the helm, offering an exclusive tasting menu showcasing his modern interpretations of Japanese fare and some of his signature dishes at the renowned Shuko. While savouring chef Kim’s intricate and complex tasting menu, guests can explore the vast library of Japanese whiskies and sakes available at Ronin, available for ordering à la carte.

Rōnin, G/F, 8 On Wo Lane, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong; +852 2547 5263, roninhk.com

Wine Dinners at the InterContinental Hong Kong

When: 9 March 2017 at Nobu; 10 March 2017 at Yan Toh Heen.

Price: Eight-course Nobu dinner priced at HK$1,238 per person, additional wine pairing at HK$350 per person; six-course Yan Toh Heen dinner priced at HK$1,888 per person, including wine. For reservations,  call +852 2313 2323 or email fb.hongkong@ihg.com.

Wine lovers should convene at the InterContinental this month, as the hotel hosts two special wine pairing dinners to celebrate two prestigious family-run wineries in Europe, one from Germany and one from Italy. The first takes place on 9 March and will be presented by Nik Weis, the third-generation winemaker of Weingut St. Urbans-Hof Winery. Weis will showcase eight of his winery’s Riesling wines, paired with premium Japanese ingredients prepared by Nobu’s executive chefs Sean Mell and Kazanari Araki. The second dinner, held the following night at two-Michelin-starred Yan Toh Heen, spotlights Masi Agricola Wines from Venice, Italy — run by Sandro Boscaini with the help of his children and brother. During this six-course dinner, guests will savour dishes such as crispy cod fish in black truffle sauce and wok-fried wagyu beef with mandarin zest from the Yan Toh Heen kitchen, paired with a series of intriguing Italian wines.

InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong; +852 2313 2323, hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com

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.
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