Hong Kong is gearing up for its largest annual food festival, Taste of Hong Kong presented by Standard Chartered, part of the global Taste restaurant festivals, which will take place in 24 cities around the world this year. Appearing in Hong Kong for its third edition from 22–25 March at Central Harbourfront, this year’s event is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet, with a slew of new restaurants, international pop-ups and Taste Festival exclusives that have been announced since the initial line-up was released back in December.
With 60-plus dishes available from some of the city’s top restaurants (including more than 20 festival-exclusive dishes), as well as the addition of two well-known international pop-ups and more exclusive events and chef’s panels this year, you’ll want to plan your weekend ahead of time to hit all the key highlights of this year’s festival. Here’s what not to miss at Taste 2018.
One-off dishes from Hong Kong’s hottest restaurants
Taste of Hong Kong presented by Standard Chartered has previously attracted many of the city’s most well-known, classically trained fine dining chefs — think culinary heavyweights such as Vicky Lau of Tate and Fung Man Ip of Duddell’s — but what we’re most excited about is this year’s spotlight on independent, homegrown restaurants and chefs that have been quietly and deliciously expanding the diverse range of multiethnic cuisines in our city. This year’s line-up is composed of 75% new restaurants, and trust us when we say that they’re some of the best around. We can’t wait to savour the offerings from restaurants such as Sai Ying Pun’s BlackSalt, Okra by the talented chef Max Levy, and New Punjab Club, which brought us a modern spin on Indian fare last year. It’s set to be a mouthwatering journey through the culinary back alleys of Hong Kong, with everything from Scandinavian to Indian to Thai cuisine showcased in the impressive restaurant line-up.
BlackStar Pastry and Bubbledogs
For the first time in Hong Kong, the festival is bringing two international additions into the mix — both names that will be familiar to travelling foodies. Available throughout the 4-day event, guests can have a taste of gourmet hot dogs served from London’s Bubbledogs — led by the talented chef Sandia Chang with her husband James Knappett — as well as pastries from Sydney’s Black Star Pastry, helmed by Christopher Thé. At Bubbledogs, sink your teeth into gourmet hot dogs in an array of creative toppings, topped off with glasses of bubbly; while at Black Star Pastry, tuck into the famous Strawberry Watermelon Cake (we’ve had it before and can attest that it’s truly delicious) — the signature dish which catapulted the mom-and-shop pastry shop to IG fame. Meanwhile, Hong Kong will be holding up its own end of the sweets spectrum with Tate’s Vicky Lau leading the festival’s only dessert restaurant, Poem Patisserie, which will coincide with a creative sensory installation.
A gathering for wine and spirits lovers
With all that delicious food, you’ll need plenty of wine and whisky to wash it down. Whisky lovers will not want to miss the 360-degree multi-sensory whiskey tasting experience featuring The Singleton of Glen Ord Single Malt Scotch Whisky — a 15–minute journey transporting guests to the Scottish Highlands and birthplace of The Singleton to discover the sights, sounds and expressions of The Singleton Single Malt. Meanwhile, guests after a casual tipple can choose to sip on high balls from Johnnie Walker, Champagne from Maison de Grand Esprit, beer from Peroni, wine from La Cabane, or gin and tonics from the Fever Tree bar. For those interested in expanding their educational horizons, you’ll want to sign up for the Treasury Wine Estates 90+ points club wine tasting sessions, where you can tap into your inner sommelier to learn more about fine wines from the best in the trade.
A family-friendly affair and live entertainment
While offering exclusive opportunities to mingle with chefs and expand your culinary horizons, Taste isn’t just for sophisticated gourmands — it’s also set to be plenty of fun for the kids, particularly with this year’s addition of family-friendly events and activities. Kids 16 and under go for free this year, while on Saturday and Sunday, popular family members club Maggie & Rose will be hosting fun activities to keep all the little ones entertained — while adults take advantage of the whisky and Champagne bars, no doubt. Adding to the lively outdoor festival feel, Taste guests will also be able to enjoy live music from an exciting line-up of local and international bands taking to the Sound Stage throughout the festival.
General Entry tickets are priced at HK$120 this year (HK$96 for Standard Chartered customers), excluding Ticketflap booking fee. New packages that include dishes and drinks are available, so Taste is better value than ever. Reserve tickets here.
For a full list of participating chefs and restaurants as well as this year’s Taste Festival exclusives, visit the website here.