Cover The team at Chaat celebrate their first Michelin star (Photo: Chaat)

The Michelin Hong Kong and Macau Guide announced nine new one-star restaurants, including Mono, Whey and Hansik Goo, while little changed at the upper strata of the list

Another year, another digital awards ceremony due to Covid restrictions. The 2022 Michelin Guide to Hong Kong and Macau was announced today (19 January) online, with chefs from both cities dialling in to wave at hidden audiences and pose with little Michelin star placards for the one-hour presentation, before having to return to service as dinner dine-ins still remain banned. 

This year, Hong Kong upped the number of one-star establishments, with nine new additions in total—though two of them, including IM Teppanyaki and Sushi Wadatsumi, were restaurants that managed to keep their stars after moving locations. Many of the significant new openings of 2020-2021 that we felt were snubbed in the last edition were finally commended on the one-star front, including Chaat, Hansik Goo and Mono. Belon regained the star it lost following the departure of Daniel Calvert and their move to new premises, with new chef Matthew Kirkley now at the helm. A notable addition to the one-star list is the formerly two-star Sushi Saito; one of their chefs, Kenichi Fujimoto, left the restaurant last year and will open his own sushi bar in Central next month.

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There were wins for some Chinese restaurants, including the newly minted Seventh Son and Yong Fu—the latter serving unique, intricate Ningbo dishes—though six of them from the 2021 list were erased completely including Ah Yat Harbour View, Celebrity Cuisine (the hotel that it resides in is now a quarantine venue), Lei Garden Kwun Tong, and Tim Ho Wan Sham Shui Po. Guo Fu Lou and Tim’s Kitchen have since shut, so were also removed.

On the two-star list, there were two upgrades: Octavium and Yan Toh Heen. Golden Flower dropped off as well following the departure of veteran chef Liu Guo-zhu, with new executive chef Zhang Zhi-Cheng only joining last October. Kashiwaya also shut and therefore dropped off the two-star list, but chef Teruhiko Nagamoto just announced that he will be opening his eponymous restaurant in Central next month. Sichuan Moon, oddly, retains two stars despite the departure of chef Zor Tan in mid-2020 (who is opening a new restaurant, Born, in Singapore) and, according to our sources on the ground, for much of 2021 the restaurant was mostly hosting guest chefs from around China. At the time of writing, the website still indicates that the restaurant is currently closed until further notice, though Andre Chiang has returned this month to guest chef himself. 

The three-star list remains yawningly untouched, and the ceremony closed off with the announcement of Amber as the latest Green Star restaurant—an accolade that is, in our opinion, a year overdue for the sustainability-forward restaurant.

See also: F&B Sustainability Champions Named in the Food Made Good HK Awards 2021

What’s missing?

Of course, every year we have thoughts—Bâtard and Wing are both obvious new omissions from the list, considering the high quality execution of the food by chefs Aven Lau and Vicky Cheng. David Lai’s Neighborhood and Shinya Goshima’s Godenya both continue to elude Michelin’s inspectors, despite serving some of the city’s most creative contemporary European cuisine and Japanese kaiseki that is no less impressive than those found in Tokyo.

While we’re pleased for the likes of Roganic, The Chairman and VEA, the fact that they still remain in one-star territory is truly baffling. Yardbird’s sister restaurant Ronin still doesn’t get a look in, while China Tang and Howard’s Gourmet are two other omissions on the Chinese fine dining front. 

The full list of stars is below for reference (those with an asterisk are new additions): 

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