3 New Restaurants to Try in Hong Kong

  • The casual dining room at Fish School.

    The casual dining room at Fish School.

  • Tom Aikens at his new swine-centric outpost in Causeway, The Fat Pig.

    Tom Aikens at his new swine-centric outpost in Causeway, The Fat Pig.

  • Asador-baked brie at The Optimist.

    Asador-baked brie at The Optimist.

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Amid the swirl of the city’s ever-evolving dining scene, this trio of newcomers stands out from the pack.

By Chris Dwyer

The Optimist
The latest addition to the burgeoning array of restaurants at 235-239 Hennessy Road in Wan Chai, this sleek three-floor venue is inspired by Spain’s asador grills, with a touch of Barcelona chic thrown in for good measure. Serious steaks from Galicia and hefty Spanish prawns are just some of the options cooked over smoldering coals, but the mariscada platter of raw seafood is also a showstopper, piled high with crab, oysters, lobster, mussels, and more. Try to save room for the classic arroz con leche, a creamy rice pudding spiced with cinnamon (G/F, 239 Hennessy Rd., Wan Chai; 852/2433-3324).

The Fat Pig
Tom Aikens, once the youngest British chef to hold two Michelin stars, is now overseeing his second Hong Kong venture following the success of The Pawn in Wan Chai. At The Fat Pig in Causeway Bay, the feel is more relaxed and less fine-dining across a menu that celebrates every part of the noble swine and involves no fewer than 17 cooking methods. Scotch eggs come with a punchy sauce gribiche, while excellent rillettes are lifted by sour apple chutney. Pork belly, loin, hot gammon, and Cumberland sausages are among the enticing mains, and Aikens’ version of the classic Cantonese barbecued-pork bun is sure to impress any char siu bao connoisseur (11/F, Times Square, 1 Matheson St., Causeway Bay; 852/2577-3444).

Fish School
Sai Ying Pun to the west of Sheung Wan is arguably the city’s most dynamic restaurant locale of the moment, and Fish School, which opened in October, brings some serious culinary class to the existing lineup of bistros, izakayas, and noodle shops. Young chef Chris Ma has impressive Michelin experience on his résumé and plates beautiful seafood dishes with fish sourced from small, family-owned fishing boats. Sea cucumber with oxtail and porcini makes for an impressive combination of flavors and textures, while the monkfish liver and foie gras pressé is a revelation, especially when served alongside aged tangerine peel and roselle, a type of hibiscus (100 Third St., Sai Ying Pun; 852/2361-2966).

This article originally appeared in the December/January print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Hong Kong’s Latest Hits”)

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