Its entrance may be a little discreet, but its food is anything but. In collaboration with Michelin-starred chef Hideaki Matsuo, HAKU is chef Agustin Balbi’s new gig, who previously worked exclusively at the wildly popular The Ocean at Repulse Bay. Moving to Ocean Terminal at Harbour City, the one-month-old resto is a brand new playground for the chef to exercise his creativity with fresh Japanese-inspired fare.
The restaurant seats a comfortable 34 and has a stylish sense of zen. If you can, snag one of the 12 seats that wrap around chef Balbi’s workspace to watch him and his sous chefs cook and prepare dishes right in front of you.
Flavors and freshness is paramount to chef Balbi, but they’re not the only things that matter. He takes special consideration into plating and presentation, as seen in his amuse bouche of pickled beetroot with beet powder, placed delicately within a hollowed out rose. Other beautiful dishes include Japanese oysters with yuzukosho and apple, and creamy lobes of sea urchin layered atop red miso and eggplant on perfectly toasted brioche. Now that’s called art on a plate.
As you dine, you may notice a trend: premium fresh ingredients, prepared in the simplest way possible which is practically HAKU’s philosophy. The restaurant’s menu relies heavily on the seasons – and chef Balbi whims for that matter, so the menu is subject to change every now and then. No matter, this is just another reason to visit HAKU on a multitude of occasions.
Situated on the 101st floor of the International Commerce Centre (ICC), French dining is both literally and figuratively taken to new heights at Le 39V. The Hong Kong version of chef Frédéric Vardon’s original Michelin-starred Parisian restaurant, this is a place to showcase his prowess in neo-classical French cuisine through time-honored family recipes and tradition.
Returning to Hong Kong this past June after serving as Alain Ducasse’s corporate chef, chef Vardon brings reinvented classics such as his signature nicoise-style red mullet and luxurious blue lobster ravioli and herbs in a bisque broth to Hong Kong’s hungry crowds.
Decor at Le 39V is kept simple and contemporary, with a single accent wall that looks to be lined with gold coins. But the feature that’s hard-to-miss is the sweeping view of Victoria Harbour and the rest of the city. Now that’s a feast for the eyes.