Tokyo and Sydney had Noma, and Melbourne received The Fat Duck. And here in Hong Kong, we experienced the brilliance of El Celler de Can Roca, the award-winning restaurant run by the Roca brothers Joan, Josep, and Jordi, during their 6-day stopover in Asia.
We kicked off the first day of their tour with an exclusive, invite-only masterclass presented jointly with BBVA and Miele, at the Miele Private Lounge in Causeway Bay, where Joan and Jordi revealed some of the secrets behind four of the dishes created specifically for the Hong Kong tour. Among them, guests were most enthralled by Jordi’s twist on crema Catalana that saw mandarin-flavoured flan set into the shape of a mooncake, with the Chinese characters for ‘brother’ embossed on top (the pastry chef had a mould specially made via 3D printer for the occasion).
Among the guests present at the Roca brothers masterclass were some of Hong Kong’s leading young chefs, including Hong Kong Tatler’s Best New Chef of 2016, Agustin Balbi and sous chef Son Pham of The Ocean, Edgar Sanuy of Mercedes Me, Max Levy of Okra, Joey Sergentakis of Mr and Mrs Fox and The Continental, James Cornwall of Seafood Room, Vicky Cheng of Vea, Gabriele Milani of The Drawing Room, May Chow of Little Bao and Second Draft, and Victoria Chow of The Woods and The Walrus.
Questions flew after the chefs’ demonstrations, and culminated in the chefs asking their audience for Hong Kong restaurant recommendations, and we were happy to see the gang heading down to Little Bao and The Woods the following night based on our recommendations.
Rocas at Little Bao
Jordi and Joan Roca digging into baos at Little Bao.
Roca brothers at Little Bao
"There is a dress code at our restaurant."—May Chow
Roca brothers at The Woods
After filling themselves with bao, the team went eastwards to Victoria Chow's creative cocktail bar The Woods.
Team Tatler with the Rocas
Happy faces after an exceptional dinner at the brothers' pop-up at The Peninsula.
The brothers stayed at The Peninsula, which also provided the majestic backdrop for their exclusive, invite-only dinners for three nights this week. We were fortunate to be invited to the gala, which kicked off with plates of jamon and Tio Pepe fino sherry followed by an extravagant 14-course meal. Josep Roca, El Celler’s maitre’d and sommelier, was also present and provided exceptional wine pairings for every course throughout the evening. For the highlights of the meal, don’t forget to check out this week’s edition of The Digest!