As we kick off the start of Hong Kong Arts Month, those with a penchant for fine food and wine will want to look out for another annual event happening in March: Taste of Hong Kong presented by HSBC (TOHK), the year’s biggest food festival. Back for its fourth iteration and bigger than ever, Taste sees the city’s top restaurants setting up at Central Harbourfront for four days of gourmet wining, dining and food-filled festivities from chef panels to whisky workshops and more. The dates to mark are 21–24 March this year, with a 75% new line-up of the city’s top restaurants promising an action-packed festival. Below, we highlight everything you need to know about this year’s edition.
Creating the perfect plate
Gourmands are likely already well versed with TOHK; expert festivalgoers will know by now how to best navigate the plentitude of small plates and gourmet eats served up by some of the hottest new restaurants in the city. This year sees close to 20 restaurants showcasing their signature creations at the festival, with each serving four dishes including a festival-exclusive creation.
Whet your appetite with lobster har gow at the boundary-pushing John Anthony, then nosh on sun-kissed Greek fare from spanakopita to pork souvlakis at Artemis and Apollo. Over at Jiangnan restaurant Old Bailey, guests can sate their appetites with ma la xiao long bao, while Vietnamese eatery Chôm Chôm nails the street food category with pho rolls and short rib lettuce wraps. Returning festival favourites also include Japanese restaurant Zuma (don’t miss the Kumamoto tuna tartare) and Kappo-style tasting counter Haku, as well as pasta bar Pici peddling steaming plates of sausage orecchiette, classic lasagna and tiramisu. Dishes start from HK$50 per plate; see the full restaurant list here.
A thirst-quenching affair
An outdoor food fest isn’t complete without tipples aplenty — TOHK is catering to all this year, be it beer lovers, natural wine enthusiasts or gin & tonic devotees. For those who fancy an ice cold brew, head straight to the Goose Island tent, where the brewery will be pouring their top-selling IPAs and hoppy ales, in addition to offering fun games (yes, there’s beer pong involved) and special souvenir gifts to win. Alternatively, cool off with their creative IPA-infused sorbet created in partnership with 2/3 DOLCI GELATO. Fan of Belgium beer? As the official partner of Taste, Stella Artois is keeping the rich malts flowing while also hosting the World Draught Master competition (Friday evening, 22 March), where visitors can get in on the action and discover how to craft the perfect pour.
Meanwhile, Nespresso will be providing a necessary jolt of caffeine all weekend; while over at the Fever Tree stand, it’s DIY highball cocktails featuring gin, whisky or vodka splashed with the premium tonic and natural botanicals. Whisky lovers will want to make a beeline for Johnnie Walker’s ‘Whisky Room’ which lets visitors uncover the art of the perfect blend by crafting their own Johnnie Walker Black Label Highballs. Finally, London-based perfumer Miller Harris makes its Asia debut with an exploration of its rich range of fragrances paired with craft cocktails at a pop-up bar.
Cookies and tunes
Cap off your weekend at the Wolf Theatre, where you can get up close and personal with the high-profile Hong Kong chefs, witness chef demos and participate in workshops. Craving sweets? Stop by the Cookie DPT for a freshly baked chocolate chip or macadamia nut cookie; or, make a pitstop at Gelato Messina for a frozen treat. One of Australia’s top gelato shops, you won’t want to miss their creative combinations made with top-notch ingredients (we’re partial to the Hokey Pokey, with honey gelato and chocolate covered honeycomb).
The weekend caps off with a live music line-up running throughout the festival from the Virgin Australia Sound Stage, as well as eclectic beats courtesy of Ichu Peru‘s resident DJ and music director Hallex M. Before you head out the door, make sure you make a final stop at The Gourmet Market for a token souvenir: The retail market is back again this year with an extensive range of food and drink products from fine wines to premium chocolates, manuka honey to all varieties of truffle products from more than 60 artisanal purveyors.
Tickets range from HK$120 for basic entry up to HK$498 for the Feast VIP Package including fast track festival entry, exclusive access to the VIP enclosure, 3 dishes of your choice and 2 complimentary beverages. Tickets are now on sale here.