I know a place: Wine merchant Jason Ginsberg has a taste for adventure

Andrew Sun

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 October, 2013, 10:41pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 October, 2013, 10:55pm

Jason Ginsberg is a partner in Wine Merchants Asia


My wife, Mandy Chan, and I are from Toronto. We came here four years ago to set up our business in the fine and rare wine market of the ever-booming Hong Kong wine industry. We love diversity in wine and in life.

Without question, where we take serious wine drinkers for a big night is Amuse Bouche (22/F The Hennessy, 256 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2891 3666). The owner, Kent Wong, and his team provide amazing food with wine service to match. They do great seasonal, typically French-inspired cuisine. One of my favourite dishes there is the truffle pasta with chicken gravy. It will blow your mind.

I love all things Japanese and Hong Kong does a good job with this cuisine. Our favourite spot is Sushi Shin (Wing Hing Court, 110-114 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tai Hang, tel: 2398 8000). It's tiny, so book well ahead.

Everything is like art on a plate. The fish, brought in fresh every day, is the star attraction with perfectly accompanying dips, sauces or herbs, which accent everything from oysters to unagi (freshwater eel).

Tai Hang is my favourite area to explore. The streets are pedestrian-friendly, the restaurants are cosy and, in some places, you can eat alfresco. It's a lot of fun and the food is of high quality.

My guilty pleasure is getting together with a good customer on a random weekday evening to crack open a few old bottles of wine.

Usually around midnight hunger kicks in and we head to As You Like Restaurant (Fasteem Mansion, 307-311 Jaffe Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2891 2787). This place has the best spicy chicken soup base I've had, with the perfect combination of heat, fragrance, flavour and depth. The razor clams will knock you out. They are seriously hot and equally fun. Be warned: the lines continue well past midnight.

As wine merchants we entertain a lot. There is no shortage of good restaurants but it can be more challenging to find one with an independent and well-curated wine list. I really like The Principal (9 Star Street, Wan Chai, tel: 2563 3444). They have a terrific breadth of wine, both in price and quality. You won't be disappointed.

We travel regionally a few times each year. These days, I have the most fun eating at local street markets and food halls.

In Taipei I love the night markets, in particular the stinky tofu stands or the grilled chicken yakitori-style barbecue places. In Japan nothing beats wandering around for hours in the basement-level food halls of big department stores, such as Isetan in Shinjuku (3-14-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022).