Wine and Dine at Taste of Hong Kong 2016
22 cities, 13 Hong Kong restaurants, 8 Michelin stars… Could this be the finest food festival to hit Hong Kong?
What Is It?
Calling itself the “world’s greatest restaurant festival,” the Taste Festival has successfully launched in 22 cities since opening in London back in 2004. This year the festival arrives in Hong Kong with a bang, featuring 13 of the city’s top tables, along with celebrity chef roundtables, wine and champagne tastings, hands-on workshops, food demos and artisanal food tents. With a jam-packed four-day schedule of gustatory thrills for food fans, the Taste of Hong Kong is set to make a mouthwatering mark on the city’s dining scene.
What To Hit:
Create Your Own “Dream Menu”
The all-star line-up of the founding restaurants kicking off the first Taste of Hong Kong reads like a who’s who of the hottest tables in Hong Kong: Aberdeen Street Social, Amber, Arcane, Bibo, Café Gray Deluxe, Chino, Duddell’s, Serge et le Phoque, The Ocean, Tin Lung Heen, Tosca, Yardbird and Ronin. Create a custom menu with dishes from your favorite restaurants—each has four available—with sample plates ranging from $50-120.
Bosch Taste Theatre
Join Hong Kong’s top chefs at a world-class cooking stage as they whip up signature dishes and favorite recipes. Hosted by Debbie Wong of Food Network, cooking demos will reveal secret cooking techniques and arm you with tips for your next dinner hosting. Our tip: a squeeze of lemon rarely goes wrong.
Chefs from Flint Grill & Bar of JW Marriott Hong Kong and Dynasty Restaurant at the Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotels let foodies in on their signature dishes and drinks. Meet the experts behind the stove and get all your cooking Q&As answered.
Wondering how to kick off a culinary career? Partake in a series of intimate roundtable discussions with the chefs of Taste of Hong Kong to get a look behind the scenes of a Michelin-starred kitchen, get top tips on styling restaurant food at home, and learn how to get a head-start in a career in cooking.
What To Drink:
Wynns Coonawarra Estate “Make Your Own Blend”
Dedicated wine connoisseurs should make their way over to this wine blending workshop, where you’ll learn to appreciate the fragrance and unique characteristics of different varietals. Combine signature bottles of Cabernet, Shiraz and Merlot in your own customized fruity blend, and take home the bottle with you.
Laurent Perrier Champagne Bar
Get giddy on bubbles at this ritzy champagne bar. A dedicated masterclass will teach you about pairing each wine with signature dishes from the Tate of Hong Kong restaurants, with a focus on detecting aromas and taste in glasses of Cuvée Rosé Laurent-Perrier, Vintage 2006, Ultra Brut Laurent-Perrier and the prestigious Cuvée Grand Siècle. Glasses of bubbles start at TKTKTKTK.
Sunday’s Grocery ‘Sake Bar’
Line wine, sake can take a lifetime to learn about the different varieties and nuances, from rice-centric aromas and earthiness to floral scents and cloudy vs. uncloudy sakes. Get a head start at the ‘Sake Bar’, which presents six unique styles of sake from top Japanese producers along with a preview of the history, production methods and flavor profiles.
The Royal Treatment
If you’ve got cash to splash, snag a VIP ticket ($648 weekends) which grants you three complimentary beverages at the exclusive Stella Artois VIP Lounge, in addition to fast track priority entry and $300 to spend on food and drink, activities and artisanal produce.
HK Magazine’s Food Festival Tips
What to wear: Loose pants and a long, billowy shirt. Now’s not the time to think about festival flings (save that for Clockenflap), but rather how much foie gras can you stuff in your face without a visible stomach bulge showing.
What to bring: Your appetite and your camera phone. It’s not a meal until you’ve Instagrammed it (and officially hashtagged #TasteofHK).
Who to bring: Your most gluttonous foodie friend—you know, the one who urges you to order McD’s at 2am and asks for super-sized fries.
Who to ditch: The friend who tries to drag you to CrossFit at 7am the morning after.
How much cash to bring: $200-500 if you want “just a taste”; $500-1,000 if you’re the type who orders EVERYTHING on the menu.
Table Talk with Chef Daniel Doherty:
A regular at Taste of London and winner of the festival’s “Best in Taste” award three times in the last four years, chef Daniel Doherty of London’s Duck & Waffle restaurant brings his quirky British cooking and his famed “Duck & Waffle” dish to Hong Kong. We sit down with him to get an inside look at the inaugural Taste of Hong Kong:
What are you looking forward to on your trip to Hong Kong? I’m not that familiar with Hong Kong’s dining scene, but everyone I know who has been has totally raves about it, stating it as one of the best foodie cities in the world. I can't wait to try everything from street food to the restaurants featured at Taste. I’m also really looking forward to meeting the other chefs too.
Why do you think your signature “Duck & Waffle” dish is such a huge hit? I think its popular due to the fact that it’s a true 24 hour dish. It lends itself to any time of the day, which really encapsulates what Duck & Waffle is all about.
What are you looking forward to trying from the other featured restaurants at Taste of Hong Kong? I couldn't possibly choose - there are too many to pick from! We are hosting a dinner at Aberdeen Street Social on Mar 11 so I’m really excited to see what they have on offer at the event. But to be honest I'm eager to see it all.
Any exciting plans you have in the works? Asia is a huge opportunity for us so we are actively exploring opportunities for Duck & Waffle in Hong Kong and beyond, so stay tuned!
Must-eat festival dish: Chef Daniel’s “Duck & Waffle” includes a crispy confit duck leg sitting on a fluffy Belgian waffle, topped with a duck egg and mustard-infused maple syrup.