Cover The ravioli codfish is the signature dish exclusive to Pici Kennedy Town (Photo: Pirata Group)

The food and drink happenings that you should know about this week

As the early summer heat continues to bear down upon us, learn to embrace the season with new omakase menus around town that put summer on a plate with hyper-seasonal ingredients, or decamp to the cavernous underground space that is Mott 32 for some refreshing Rieslings. Whatever you choose, we have the latest F&B happenings below to keep you in the loop.

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After Quarantining, Sushi Chef Hiroki Nakanoue Launches A 19-Course Omakase Menu At Sushiyoshi

Tucked away in Tsim Sha Tsui's The Otto Hotel, omakase restaurant Sushiyoshi has been reunited with its chef-patron, Hiroki Nakanoue, who is one of the first sushi chefs based abroad to visit Hong Kong during the pandemic. Having braved a 21-day quarantine after a months-long stint in nearby Taiwan, Nakanoue is marking his return with an ambitious 19-course omakase menu that crystallises the experiences that he has undergone in the past year away from Hong Kong.

Nakanoue's playful approach extends from his shock of bubblegum-pink hair to the culturally fluid, boundary-pushing manner in which the omakase is prepared and served. Opening with a gougère pastry made with uni powder and served alongside a slice of sakura-masu salmon, the meal bounces between cultures, representing Nakanoue's Japanese roots with Edomae-style nigiri like Chiba kinmedai, 'thousand-cut' squid, and black abalone from Shimane prefecture; and exhibiting his creative flair with unconventional serves like bonito sashimi served à la Peking duck with a garnish of kombu and chives, creamy uni scrambled egg with Sturia caviar, and deep-fried Hokkaido scallop. 

Priced at HK$3,480 per person, this menu is certainly not cheap, although those with deep pockets and an appetite for the novel will certainly appreciate Nakanoue's bending of the rules in his favour.

Sushiyoshi, 1/F The Otto Hotel, 8 Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong; +852 2657 0280

Rise By Classified Expands To Kowloon

Following the opening of its first location in Central's Exchange Square last December, Rise by Classified has hopped across the harbour for its second location at H Zentre in Tsim Sha Tsui. Apart from the usual line-up of black and white coffee drinks made using Classified's signature house blend by Urban Coffee Roaster, the cafe also offers a range of viennoiseries and French pastries like chocolatines, Paris-Brests and mille-feuilles, as well as the croffle (a hybrid of a croissant and waffle) exclusive to this store only. Protein-infused smoothies and cold-pressed juices are also available for those looking for healthier beverage options.

Rise by Classified, Shop 05, G/F, H Zentre, 15 Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Related: The Peninsula Boutique & Cafe Opens, Offering A Contemporary Alternative To The Historic Afternoon Tea

Haku's New Head Chef Rob Drennan Debuts With A Seasonal Omakase Menu

Taking over the helm of the much-loved Haku, newly-appointed executive chef Rob Drennan is putting his mark on the restaurant with a new seasonal omakase menu for the summer. Trained by way of three-Michelin-starred Oslo restaurant Maaemo and progressive Portland, Oregon restaurant Castagna, the Oklahoma native is staying true to Haku's ethos of contemporary omakase that blends diverse global influences, as expressed in new dishes such as Japanese fish soup served with asparagus, radish, and curry leaf oil; lobster with salmon roe, smoked fennel, and tomato; and Kagoshima A4 wagyu with tamarind and sweet potato. The dishes will change constantly with the season to ensure the optimal freshness of each ingredient. The 11-course menu is priced at HK$1,880 per person and comes with two optional wine pairings.

Haku, Shop OT G04B, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 17 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong; +852 2115 9965

Mott 32 Launches Sommelier Sessions

Famed for its elevated Cantonese cuisine and Joyce Wang-designed interiors, Central mainstay Mott 32 is shining the spotlight on its three in-house wine experts this season with the introduction of the Sommelier Sessions. Slated to take place every Monday and Tuesday evening, the sessions will allow diners to enjoy a 50 percent discount on a selection of bottles from the restaurant’s wine list, with the guidance of the restaurant's three sommeliers: Noma and El Bulli alum Marie-Paule Herman, Hong Kong-born Ben Mok and long-term staffer Rin Mohamad. 

The sessions will also allow the sommeliers to draw the attention of diners towards different producers and grape varietals, such as in June when the restaurant celebrates Wines of Germany's Riesling Weeks, where four Rieslings will be offered by the glass and by the bottle.

“We’ve put together a carefully curated wine list at Mott 32, and the Sommelier Sessions is a chance for diners to taste a of few of these and explore how they enhance our food,” says Herman. “Pairing Chinese food and wine is a challenging art, but incredibly rewarding when a customer values my recommendations and feels my information is useful," continues Mok.

Sommelier Sessions are available at Mott 32 from 6pm-10pm on Mondays and Tuesdays and applies to all wine bottles up to HK$2,000. 

Mott 32, Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Road Central, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2885 8688

See also: How To Drink More Consciously In The Age Of Covid-19

Julien Gourmelon Joins Island Shangri-La As Executive Pastry Chef

A 15-year veteran of the culinary trade, Julien Gourmelon has joined Island Shangri-La as the executive pastry chef. Holding qualifications in chocolaterie and pastry-making, Gourmelon has notched his experience at Kerry Hotel and Aberdeen Marina Club in Hong Kong, and before that, at The Dorchestor and Ladurée in London. To mark the occasion, Gourmelon is unveiling 12 new cake creations available from the Island Shangri-La's Island Gourmet patisserie. These range from the puff pastry-based Saint Honoré Mocha chocolate sponge cake and the Clementine Mont Blanc almond sponge cake, to the Mango Coconut cake, comprising of aromatic mango jelly, coconut mousse and coconut dacquoise—all of which are available in pastry format, too.

Island Gourmet, Level 5, Island Shangri-La, Pacific Place, Supreme Court Road, Admiralty, Hong Kong; +852 2820 8550

Pici Arrives In Kennedy Town

Ever popular for its handmade pasta and agreeable prices, Pici has opened up its sixth and newest branch in Kennedy Town. This latest addition joins existing locations in Central, Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui, Lai Chi Kok, and Sha Tin, as well as two delivery kitchens in Quarry Bay and Wong Chuk Hang, all of which serve almost 2,000 guests daily. Mirroring the neighbourhood-friendly design of the original flagship on Star Street, the Kennedy Town location opens up to the street with its large French windows, allowing guests to be seated both indoors and out. Alongside longtime favourites like orecchiete ‘nduja, hand-cut pappardelle lamb ragu, and cacio e pepe, Pici Kennedy Town will also feature a new exclusive dish, the ravioli codfish with capers, olives, and silky potato mousse.

Pici, G/F, 45-55 Cadogan Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong

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