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4 elevated dining menus to savour this season

From Shanghai to Tokyo to Barcelona – so many destinations on our itinerary have been tragically dashed since the pandemic began. Given these circumstances, we’re putting on our big-kid pants and scouring the city for experiences that will allow us to reminisce the days of flights past. 

Yakinikumafia

Famous for only taking a limited number of bookings – they’re opening 250 slots this month – Yakinikumafia is a treat and a half for those seeking a ceremonious, yet no-fuss, yakiniku dining experience.  

We recommend diving straight into their signature Omakase ($980) boasting six rare cuts of Ozaki beef paired with their decadent wagyu bone broth soup and wagyu garlic fried rice. One of the newest in their chef’s choice line-up is a chilled Hiyashi Somen ($160), refreshing and beautifully presented with slivers of lime. This season also introduces a Japanese Green Pepper Salad ($160), a lightly spiced creation dressed in their zesty in-house Wagyusco concoction, and a Wagyu Carpaccio ($180) garnished with parmesan shavings.  

But what would a Leading Nation experience be without drinks? Pair the meal with their signature Hisato Highball ($150) – aptly named after chef Hisato Hamada, featuring a mineral rich, extra carbonated soda base – before closing off the night with their tart, but delightfully palatable, Shochu Sour Tower ($80).  

What we love: The restaurant is decked out to emulate Copenhagen’s sleek airport, complete with directional arrows and a rotating “Departures Board” by the entrance.  

Yakinikumafia, 2/F Hollywood Centre, 233 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, +852 3105 1250 

La Rambla  by Catalunya

Executive Chef Ferran Tadeo pulls out all the stops with this season’s “Taste of Barcelona” tasting menus. Featuring two options – Tradition, 8 courses at $720 per person, or Festival, 12 courses at $1,200 per person. Dishes are chef-selected each evening, ensuring that guests have a different experience with every seating.  

New dishes that we adore include their Mushroom Mille-Feuille ($180), a savoury update to a typical mille-feuille with a layer of seasonal mushroom sandwiched between two flaky puff pastries, as well as their Slow-Cooked Aragon Lamb Shoulder (HK$620) which requires 12 hours of preparation.  

La Rambla’s Instagram-famous seafood platter, their Del Mar a La Mesa ($850), is a must-have, featuring a selection of seasonal shellfish and crustacean sourced from the rich waters of countries such as Japan, Italy and Norway. For those with a more traditional craving, the Lubina a La Sal ($750), sea bass cooked under a salt-baked shell, is an exquisite offering of both presentation and flavour. Save room for dessert as their homemade Churro Sundae ($90) served with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce is the perfect way to cap off your meal. 

On the drinks side, their Sangria de Cava ($650) was a thirst-quenching, mellow option to pair with our seafood dishes. As the night wore on, we became more partial to their various cocktail options on offer, particularly favouring the Captain Melon ($120), a delightful vodka-based libation shaken up with watermelon, mint, apple and lemon.  

What we love: A full open kitchen allows diners to experience an unparalleled view of their dishes being prepared in the heat of the action. Pair that with a panoramic view of Victoria Harbour… your eyes will be struggling to find a focus.  

La Rambla, 3071-73 Level 3, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, +852 2661 1161 

Ming Court, Cordis

Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant Ming Court teams up with French crystal brand Lalique this season to present their collaborative dining menu titled Nature SauvagePriced at $2,888 for two persons, the ingredient line-up and wine pairing list are certainly not to be scoffed at.  

Starting with an elaborate drunken razor clam dish topped with caviar, the menu only goes from strength to strength throughout the night. We adored the double-boiled abalone, sea cucumber and fish maw soup, while the baked black cod served with dried olives and Yunnan ham was definitely another standout. The highlight of the meal, however, would have to be Chef Li Yuet Faat’s lobster noodles served in a decadent Sichuan-lobster broth. The feast ends on a sweet note with a coconut milk pudding topped with bird’s nest. 

Adding to the experience is the beverage pairing that includes several distinctive Grand Cru labels, as well as an organic sparkling tea from Copenhagen.  

For the non-meat eaters, Ming Court is also one of the first Chinese restaurants in our city to offer a full line up of vegetarian dim sum options in collaboration with Omnifoods.  

What we love: Tasting extraordinary wines with delicate Lalique crystal glasses definitely ups the ante of enjoyment during the meal. The whimsical, nature-themed private room is also one to book in advance.  

Ming Court, Level 6, 555 Shanghai Street, Cordis, Mong Kok, +852 3552 3028 

10 Shanghai 

Tucked away in the corner of Lee Garden Two, 10 Shanghai is one of the city’s pioneering restaurants in Huaiyang cuisine, one of China’s classical culinary greats. The venue, from the brilliant minds of Steve Leung Designers, is a sight to behold. Taking cues from the glittering ballrooms of 1920s Shanghai, diners are greeted with elegant wood curves and arched metal latticed partitions evoking the Chinese Art Deco aesthetic of the period. 

This season sees the launch of 10 Shanghai’s Precious Summer Treasure set menu ($980 per person), an extravagant display of seafood and local, seasonal produce. The appetizers feature some of the classics with a twist such as the smoked soft-boiled eggs with black truffle pearls and chilled duck’s kidney marinated in sesame oil.  

Their double-boiled fish maw soup is served encased in a carved mini winter melon – a delightful presentation that was both impressive and delicious. Another crowd pleaser was the scrambled egg white with sea cucumber and crab meat; a silky-smooth dish with a tang of salinity and an unctuous bite. Despite needing to don gloves to consume, the braised squab proved to be a hit as well with its kick of gaminess paired with crisp tang of the scallions.  

Just when we thought the meal had hit its high note – we were presented with a fragrant stewed rice, served with a whole abalone balanced primly on top. Although we’d whinged about being much too full for more food, this delectable dish was devoured in what felt like seconds.  

What we love: On top of being in a visually exquisite venue, their summer menu is well thought out and incorporates a good range of nostalgic Chinese dishes with an elevated flourish. For those seeking a tipple or more, 10 Shanghai also offers a 2-hour free flow drinks package for only $288 per person upon consumption of the Precious Summer Treasure set menu.  

10 Shanghai, Shop 101, Lee Garden Two, 28 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay, +852 2338 5500 

Sandra Kwong
Features Editor
A perpetually hungry individual paired with an acute dirty martini obsession. You'll catch Sandra waltzing around town from gallery openings to various happy hours. Usually waxing lyrical about her 10-step skincare routine or her latest gadget. Currently missing: long ski runs in Hanazono.