Cover Wagyu with fermented grapes at Castellana

These days, it seems like everyone in Hong Kong is either travelling abroad, or at least planning to in the next month or two. Whether you're preparing for your first overseas trip in years, or holding off until quarantine is completely gone, here are some F&B happenings these coming weeks that are sure to stoke the wanderlust in you

Two in One

Arriving at Central's Manning House in early June are two sister concepts from the AP Place restaurant group. The first is Kicho, a premium kappo-style yakitori joint hailing from Tokyo that specialises in the free-range Kuro Satsuma chicken from Kagoshima. Its signature 16-course omakase menu comprises yakitori skewers grilled over charcoal, as well as starters, soup, slow-cooked chicken, vegetables, a main dish and dessert. 

On the same floor is Ushidoki, a Michelin-recommended wagyu-centric kaiseki restaurant from Singapore that serves A4-grade Odagyu beef from the Oda Chikusan ranch in Kagoshima. These cows are pampered with a rice and barley-led diet and bedding of fir and cypress to produce beef that is known for its melt-in-the-mouth consistency and umami flavour. At Ushidoki, head chef Yoshiyuki Kikuchi serves a 10-course menu of stewed dishs, shabu shabu, wagyu sandos, and more. Kicho is slated to open in early June, followed by Ushidoki later in the month. 

Kicho and Ushidoki, Shop 2A-B, 1/F, Manning House, 38-48 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong; kicho-ushidoki.com.hk

Read more: Decree by T Ups the Ante on Creative Omakase at Sophisticated New Location in Central

An Ode to Travel

Between Coffee has collaborated with French photographer Karl Hab for a limited-time pop-up at its Tai Kwun location. Taking inspiration from Hab's 24H urban photographer book series, Between is serving three sandos—pulled pork, char siu and egg, and ham and cheese—that take after Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and Paris respectively. Visitors also have the chance to purchase a very limited run of 24H as part of the activation.

Between, 2/F, JC Contemporary, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong

Sea Change

As the world's climate plight grows ever more stark, World Oceans Day (June 8) is a timely reminder of the role of our species in acting as custodians of the seas. To this end, the Hong Kong Sustainable Seafood Coalition (HKSSC) has rallied over 30 restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau to serve responsibly sourced seafood between June 6 to 12, in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable seafood consumption. Participating restaurants are a who's who of top restaurants in the region, including Andō, Arcane, Amber, Cuisine Cuisine, KIN Food Halls, Mono, Mora, Roganic, Petrus, and more. For the full restaurant list and their offerings, click here.

Related: Why We Should Be Eating Ethical, Not Sustainable, Seafood

Birds, Bees and Bubbly

Coinciding with Art Month, Perrier-Jouët has partnered with Austrian design studio mischer’traxler for the Embodied Nature pop-up at Pacific Place running until June 13. The booth features an interactive art installation where the mirror image of visitors is rendered in a profusion of flora and fauna. Champagne masterclasses will also be held to induct participants into the world of bubbly, while a number of creative workshops covering everything from crafting mahjong tiles to crêpe paper flowers will be held in collaboration with local artists like Karen Aruba and Jinno Neko. Book your session here.

A Piece of Piedmont

Big moves are underway at Castellana, where new joiner Romeo Morelli is revamping the restaurant's culinary programme. A native of the northern Italian region of Piedmont, Morelli was most recently the executive chef at Relais San Maurizio, as well as being a Wood*ing Wild Food Lab-accredited Master Forager. At Castellana, he is debuting a spring tasting menu that reinterprets Piedmontese produce in new and exciting ways; highlights from the six-course menu include a homemade puff pastry filled with quail, cardoncelli mushrooms and cream cheese; tagliolini al caffe made using spent coffee grounds; and wagyu beef with fermented grapes.

Morelli's arrival coincides with Castellana's imminent move from Causeway Bay to new premises on Central's Duddell Street. Castellana's final day of service will be on June 26, while its reopening is slated for this September.

See also: This Summer, Black Sheep Restaurants & Tatler Recreate a Slice of Greece in Tai Kwun

Optimism Please

First opened with much fanfare in 2015, The Optimist has been given a new lease on life with the appointment of new executive chef Víctor Caballé Molina. A native of the Catalan region, Molina's career spans Spain, Argentina, Japan, United Kingdom and Singapore, bringing with him a wealth of experience to reinvent the a la carte menu at The Optimist. Bringing a contemporary twist to northern Spanish cuisine, new signatures include locally-sourced stingray with fermented beans and house-made romesco sauce, Secreto Iberico pork with apple and lime purée, and a churro bao dessert with salted caramel sauce inspired by Molina's time living in Singapore's Chinatown. 

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