And here we are: mid-November. Halfway to Christmas! Feeling the holiday rush? Maybe a visit to West Kowloon’s newly opened M+ museum will give you some space to breathe. Maybe trawl through the last remnants of this year’s Singles’ Day sales for a lone discount? Otherwise, there’s food. Food is always a great diversion. These are this week’s New Eats.
28 November: Six-hands charity lunch at 22 Ships
Seven weeks on, the small Spanish island of La Palma continues to be devastatingly impacted by the Cumbre Vieja volcanic eruption that begun on 19 September, its first since 1971. Today, it has covered over 380 acres of land, destroying over 200 homes and forcing over 6,000 to evacuate.
In an effort to raise funds for the region, 22 Ships will be joined by JIA Group’s Andō and Mono for a special, one-day-only charity lunch. Chef Antonio Oviedo, along with chef Ricardo Chaneton and chef Agustin Balbi, has created an seven-course collaborative menu of Canarian cuisine with all proceeds donated to World Central Kitchen (WCK). Standouts from the meal include a Sopa de Millo appetiser by Chef Ricardo of corn soup and grilled avocado with Nomad caviar; Langosta en Salpicon by Chef Antonio, a sharing dish of lobster, pimiento Palmera and pochas; and Arroz Caldoso by Chef Agustin –– his signature bomba rice with grilled carabineros and chistorra.
Reservations for the 22 Ships x La Palma lunch (HK$1,588/ person) can be made here.
World Central Kitchen (WCK) is a non-profit governmental organisation founded by celebrity chef Jose Andres to provide meals to those affected by natural disaster.
22 Ships, 22 Ship Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Weekends Tapas Brunch at Murray Lane
If you needed another reminder of travelling and our current lack of it, Murray Hotel’s Murray Lane is transforming its lofty lobby into sunny Barcelona every weekend until 5 December. No sign of the iconic Gaudi architecture here, though there are banquet tables full of delicious tapas prepared by Spanish executive chef Edgard Sanuy. Much like a tapas bar tucked away in rustic trattorias, the weekends-only tapas brunch is made for sharing and begins with a complimentary glass of sangria, then a free-flow stream of your favourite wines and cocktails, should you so please. There will be cold-cut spreads upon platters of cheese and baked treats, a carvery section with crispy suckling pig and ribeye roast, along with a colourful menu of 15 tapas including chilled gazpacho soup with watermelon, prawns ajillo-style and octopus galleta, made with smoked paprika and boiled potatoes.
Reservations for Murray’s Lane Tapas Brunch (HK$498/person with additional HK$248 for free-flow), available until 5 December, can be made via +852 3141 8888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. See the menu here.
Murray Lane, LG/F, The Murray, 22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3141 8888
Fabien Vergé joins ÉPURE as new chef de cuisine
Revered French establishment ÉPURE welcomes Toulouse-born Fabien Vergé as the new chef de cuisine, joining executive chef Nicolas Boutin at the one-Michelin-starred venue. Raised in Africa’s Ivory Coast, Vergé, previously trained under chef Yannick Alléno of three-starred Le Meurice, is noted for a distinct worldly influence that he expertly distills into French cuisine, including Basque, Catalan and Nikkei (Peruvian and Japanese). He abides by three core concepts, which he shares are “Essentiel“, to respect the natural qualities of an ingredient; “Voyager“, the influence of multi-cultural exposure; and “Partage“, or “sharing”, of comforting, delicious food, similar to his own childhood experiences.
Since opening Le Cocotte in Taipei, which earned its first Michelin star in 2018, Vergé arrives to Hong Kong’s ÉPURE. Here, he explores new additions and twists to the classic menu, inspired by seasonal ingredients. Visiting guests will be able to sample the likes of toothfish served with chevril emulsion, caviar and broccoli pureé; pan-fried scallops with beetroot and Sichaun pepper in chicken stock; and pigeon, roasted whole on the bone, garnished with fig and served with fig tartare.
ÉPURE, Shop 403, 4/F Ocean Central, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 3185 8338
Little Bao’s homecoming in Soho
Missed this cosy spot in Soho? Well, it’s back! Little Bao reopens in the Central neighbourhood at Shan Hing Street, cosied up with Coa, La Cabane and Censu with a brand new interior that pays subtle tributes to friends that have supported the franchise over its eight years, with notable details of Kith&Kin, UniteUnit, Washi Jeans, Kapok and Levi’s sprinkled throughout the sleek design.
Along with classic venue favourites –– that lamb tartare! –– new additions fill the menu at the Shan Hing post, now also sporting a new beverage program of beer, ciders and cocktails. The menu also includes a mixed seafood ceviche, skirt steak beef tataki and Crab Bao, composed of a panko-coated crab cake made with cajun and a thousand island dressing twist, named “Hong Kong Island dressing”, within the signature white fluffy bao.
Little Bao, 1-3 Shan Hing Street, Central, Hong Kong
Aqua Restaurant Group’s aqua and Hutong rehome to HZentre
If you missed previous news of the relocation of Aqua Restaurant Group’s aqua and Hutong: they have changed their address line from 1 Peking Road to HZentre, still comfortably in the busy Tsim Sha Tsui neighbourhood.
We can also share a teeny bit more. The new aqua will sport snazzy new interiors conceptualised by London designer Robert Angell, drawing inspiration from the brand new venue’s sparkling Victoria Harbour view. Guests will be welcomed with a stunning photogenic mirrored walkway that leads into a dining room bordered by panoramic views and an extensive Italian-Japanese menu newly revamped by the group’s London-based executive chef Andrea Mura. Newly added is the al fresco garden terrace bar, touted as the perfect spot for sundowners.
While at Hutong, refreshed interiors are detailed with delicate hand-crafted Chinese lanterns, meticulously embroidered after those still strung in place within the palace of Beijing’s Forbidden City — the inspiration of the venue (“Hutong” is named after busy alleyways of old Beijing). This is also a dedication to the newly ideated Chinese apothecary bar, which extends into an outdoor terrace decorated with plush opium bed sofas.
aqua, 17/F HZentre, 15 Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 3472 2288
Hutong, 18/F HZentre, 15 Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 3428 8342