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I know a place: Jason Atherton

Vanessa Yung

 

Jason Atherton was a chef at Gordon Ramsay's Maze. He now runs 22 Ships in Hong Kong, along with restaurants in London, Singapore and Shanghai.

 

"I like all different styles of cuisine. I just like good food - whether it's Chinese, British or Italian, it doesn't matter. I eat absolutely anything. For instance, I hate durian, but I'll keep trying until I like it.

What makes a good restaurant for me is good food, good drinks and the right ambience. I hate restaurants that are boring, and those that have waiters who speak in pidgin French.

Yardbird (33-35 Bridges Street, Sheung Wan, tel: 2547 9273) is one of my favourite restaurants in Hong Kong. I just think it's so much fun. The food is great. I think Matt [Abergel] did a really good job. My favourite dish is the KFC - Korean fried cauliflower. That's delicious, man.

I also love Din Tai Fung (3/F Silvercord, 30 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2730 6928) purely because it's good Taiwanese food. It's very traditional.

208 Duecento Otto (208 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, tel: 2549 0208) serves really good contemporary Italian food.

And I love the cheese trolley at Amber (7/F The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen's Road Central, tel: 2132 0066). They do a really beautiful tasting menu. He's a very talented chef, Richard Ekkebus.

In Singapore, I go to Tiong Bahru Bakery (56 Eng Hoon Street, tel: +65 6220 3430) and I like Waku Ghin (Marina Bay Sands, The Shoppes, Atrium 2, L2-02, 10 Bayfront Avenue, tel: +65 6688 8507), which is Tetsuya Wakuda's fine-dining restaurant. Also, Restaurant Andre (41 Bukit Pasoh Road, tel: +65 6534 8880) is fantastic.

For local food, I go to the original Lei Garden (Orchard Shopping Centre, 321 Orchard Road, tel: +65 6734 3988). Crystal Jade Palace (391 Orchard Road, tel: +65 6735 2388) has good Peking duck. Min Jiang at One-North (5 Rochester Park, +65 6774 0122) has a good duck tasting menu.

Shanghai is more difficult, because I was only there for a short time. I liked Mercato (6/F Three on the Bund, 3 Zhongshan Dong Yi Road, tel: + 86 21 6321 9922), Jean-Georges Vongerichten's new place. I also went for local food at Jesse (41 Tianping Lu, tel: +86 21 6282 9260), which has good Shanghainese that uses less oil.

I went to Tokyo last March for the first time. I was so blown away by the quality of the ingredients. Everything - the dairy, the fish, the meat - is just incredible. It must be impossible to find a bad restaurant in Japan. Even at Disneyland, the food is good.

[Eating at different places] gives me inspiration. When you're eating, cooking, and living with food all the time, you're always trying to find new ideas."

vanessa.yung@scmp.com

 

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