The Hong Kong Tattle Guide To Crazy Rich Dining
In celebration of the release of Crazy Rich Asians, we detail the most lavish haunts that would likely feature in the dining guide of fictional society bible Hong Kong Tattle. Because, sometimes, a takeaway from the Hong Kong Country Club just won’t do.
The Island Shangri-La’s fine dining temple gets one of the first restaurant cameos in Kevin Kwan’s novel, where it is described—via the character Astrid Leong—as “Hong Kong’s fanciest French restaurant”. Sure, it might be the setting for her husband Michael’s suspected infidelity, but in the book’s opening chapters, Kwan references a lavish, HK$3,812 meal featuring Côte d’Or Burgundy wine and a warm bitter chocolate souffle with, oddly, a “frosted lemon cream”. The reality is far more appealing, with a dessert of passionfruit souffle with tropical fruit sorbet on the current menu, joining chef Ricardo Chaneton's fine contemporary French cooking.
Dinner for two with wine: HK$4,000
Petrus, 56/F, Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong, Supreme Court Road, Admiralty, Hong Kong; +852 2820 8590
8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo is arguably Hong Kong's most famous Italian restaurant, but the truly in-the-know head to Octavium—Umberto Bombana's more intimate restaurant in the One Chinachem Central building. This is the place where Bombana tests out new dishes and presents private kitchen-style cooking—the smaller menu is thoughtfully curated, the environs more discreet with just 32 seats, and—more importantly—reservations are far tougher to come by. Snag a seat for lunch and your deal is pretty much sealed.
Dinner for two with wine: HK$4,500
Octavium, 8/F One Chinachem Central, 22 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2111 9395
A months-long waiting list and legendary status makes a seat at this newly opened sushi bar in the Four Seasons one of the most coveted in Hong Kong. Of course, the truly minted would just take their private jet to dine at the original Sushi Saito in Tokyo, but who’s judging?
Dinner for two with wine: HK$8,000
Sushi Saito, 45/F, Four Seasons Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong
Wing Lei Palace
In Crazy Rich Asians, the insufferable playboy Bernard Tai checks into Wynn Macau, where he has VVIP status and his favoured Cristal champagne flows freely. Questionable morals aside, Tai’s got it right when it comes to his choice of opulent accommodations—and his clan might also be inclined to head to the brand new Wynn Palace on Cotai, no doubt to sample the culinary fireworks of newly appointed Tam Kwok-fung at Wing Lei Palace. Previously of T.Dining’s Top 20 Best Restaurants Jade Dragon and Pearl Dragon, chef Tam is known for his refined Cantonese food and is the chef of choice for well-heeled food lovers who will jet into Macau just to sample his cooking.
Dinner for two with wine: HK$3,500
Wing Lei Palace, G/F, West Esplanade, Wynn Palace, Avenida da Nave Desportiva, Cotai, Macau; +853 8889 3663
With fresh local gems coming into the pantry on a daily basis (from gooseneck barnacles to threadfin butterfly fish), it’s not uncommon for special guests to receive intriguing off menu items at Vicky Cheng’s sophisticated French-Chinese restaurant—making a meal here all the more alluring for those who already have everything. We suspect even Eleanor Young, a stickler for tradition, would be impressed by Cheng’s take on dumplings: pigeon and foie gras crystal bun with XO chilli jam, crispy leek and shiso.
Dinner for two with wine: HK$4,500
VEA, 30/F, 198 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2711 8639
French windows, sparkling chandeliers, sumptuous fabrics and delicate dinnerware—Howard’s Gourmet parlays old world charm and labour-intensive cooking into a destination restaurant for Hong Kong’s upper echelon of society. The CCB Tower restaurant is the favoured haunt of both it girls and tycoons, who make this their regular canteen for items such as crispy sea cucumber and fish maw on rice. The eponymous Howard Cai has a massive following in mainland China; if you even have to ask ‘who’s Howard?’, perhaps you really shouldn’t be eating here.
Dinner for two with wine: HK$5,000
Howard's Gourmet, 5/F CCB Tower, 3 Connaught Road Central, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2115 3388