Michelin-Starred Dining at Hong Kong Hotels

by  James Sturz | Aug 9, 2011
Lung King Heen
Lung King Heen / Photo courtesy of the property

While there are many reasons to visit Hong Kong, one of the biggest is the food. At a sensorial level, the city is awash with flavors, textures, and ingredients that even the most experienced Chinese-food connoisseur will find startling and sublime. At a statistical level, only Paris and three Japanese cities have more Michelin-starred restaurants than Hong Kong. Twenty of Hong Kong’s 60 starred restaurants are in its hotels, and five of those have more than one.

For the traveler, this presents a particular opportunity to combine gastronomy with sloth (or dining with undistracted digestion). Now you really can enjoy the best meal of your life, and then do nothing more than crawl into bed – perhaps scoffing at the chocolates on your pillow, and only possibly pausing to take off your clothes (of course, that depends on what comes next). Consider this crib sheet on how to plan a satisfying and satiating Hong Kong vacation without leaving your hotel:

Begin at the Four Seasons, the only hotel in the world with two Michelin three-star restaurants. Start off with Cantonese fare at Lung King Heen, which was also the world’s first Chinese restaurant to win three stars. From time to time glance out over Victoria Harbour at the Kowloon skyline, but your focus should squarely stay on Chef Chan Yan Tak’s cuisine, including the steamed duck liver flavored with abalone sauce, crispy suckling pig, and steamed star grouper fillet with ginger and spring onions. Then head to Caprice, where Chef Vincent Thierry’s Lozère lamb en croûte and Racan pigeon feuilleté with fois gras make it hard to forget how much Hong Kongers swoon over French food, too. Only a diehard eater would schedule both for the same night, but that’s up to you.

Next, check into the Landmark Mandarin Oriental. True, there’s only one Michelin two-star restaurant there (Richard Ekkebus’s contemporary French, Amber). But all you really need to do is take the elevator downstairs to the Landmark shopping complex for the city’s two-star L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. As short excursions go, this one you can probably do in your socks. Then make your next stop the Mandarin Oriental – only a barbarian or a dieter would confuse the two. Of course, the M.O. folks sell Cantonese food over there too, but if you’re sticking with stars, start at Pierre Gagnaire’s two-star “pied-a-terre” Pierre and then finish up at the one-star Mandarin Grill + Bar.

Your last two stops each offer a duo of one-star restaurants, one French and one Cantonese. The Island Shangri-La may dazzle you with its ornate Restaurant Petrus on its 56th floor, but its Summer Palace will keep your attention with Chef Ip Chi Cheung’s stewed spare ribs in a clay pot. The InterContinental Hong Kong similarly has SPOON by Alain Ducasse, where the visual thrills come from the high-tech open kitchen, the stunning harbor views, and the 550 Murano glass-blown spoons suspended from the ceiling. Likewise, at Yan Toh Heen, you’ll have to choose between the hand-carved jade table settings and Chef Lau Yiu Fai’s baked stuffed sea whelk in its shell. If you really can’t decide between the two, there’s also a very starless NOBU.

For general trip-planning information, see our Hong Kong Travel Guide.

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