I know a place: Antimo Maria Merone, chef

Vanessa Yung

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 July, 2013, 10:20pm

Antimo Maria Merone is the chef de cuisine of one-Michelin-star L'altro in Central. He has been living in Hong Kong for a year


I'm quite adventurous but I have this barrier - if I smell something I don't like, I'm not going to try it. In Thailand I tried to eat insects but it was a bit too much for me. I can't single out one favourite cuisine. I like fresh food where you can recognise all the flavours and that is not overcooked or too elaborate.

One of my favourite Chinese restaurants is Shanghai Jade (shop 402, 4/F Exchange Square, 8 Connaught Road, Central, tel: 2180 7288) because the atmosphere is relaxing and it has a European flair. The food is good and I enjoy being there with friends.

I love to go to Sushi Shin (Wing Hing Court, 110-114 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, tel: 2398 8000). It serves some of the best fish I've ever had. It only sells sushi and sashimi. It's not too elaborate but the quality of the food is unbelievable. The best I've had there is the raw Japanese sea urchin. The other thing I love is the seared tuna belly.

There is also Tung Po (2/F Java Road Municipal Services Building, 99 Java Road, North Point, tel: 2880 5224). It's very local and the atmosphere is interesting. The owner drinks with [his customers]. They serve beer in a bowl. It's quite famous so you need a reservation. The razor clam and squid-ink noodles are tasty. I also do something with squid ink [at L'altro] but I enjoy what they're doing, too.

I'm a fan of xiao long bao and I try it everywhere. But the best I've had is from Loshan Snow Garden (2/F China Taiping Tower, 8 Sunning Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2881 6837). The dumplings never break and they're full of juice. I always order one basket for me and another for sharing.

I enjoy the French food at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (shop 401, 4/F, Landmark, 16 Des Voeux Road Central, tel: 2166 9000). Chef Olivier Elzer is very experienced. He treats me well when I go there. I've already been four or five times.

I'm not a big fan of Italian restaurants because it's not that interesting for me. If I want it, I cook it myself. But I would suggest Motorino (14 Shelley Street, Central, tel: 2801 6881). I like to eat pizza that is not [cracker-like] with a burnt crust. They use very good mozzarella and tomato so the flavour and smell is nearly the same as the pizza in my hometown, Napoli.