Adventures in Alcohol

A few surprises for Hong Kong and Macau restaurants in latest diners' choice awards

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 April, 2014, 12:03pm
UPDATED : Friday, 04 April, 2014, 12:03pm

The latest restaurant awards may prove nothing except that it’s a funny old world and there’s no accounting for taste.

Hong Kong and Macau, sadly, perform rather poorly in the latest list out, with a high mention for Amber at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental and Joel Robuchon’s legendary three-star operation in Macau. And absolutely no one else. What’s interesting about Elite Traveler’s survey is that it’s based on the opinions of readers dining out on their own dollar and not professional inspectors or restaurant critics.

Sometimes those tastes coincide – experimental Alinea in Chicago tops the list here and is ranked 15 on the more famous Restaurant magazine’s World Top 50. Diners are also on trend with the critics in liking Spanish restaurants. Heston Blumenthal does well both for his historically inspired Dinner restaurant and his more far out Fat Duck. Blumenthal’s metaphorical cousin in molecular gastronomy Alvin Leung, although rated by critics and Michelin inspectors, doesn’t make the Elite Traveler list.

Then again, he’s in good company – Alain Ducasse, French chef with 20 Michelin stars across 26 restaurants and revered within his profession, only has one mention on this list.

Survey participants don’t seem to be aware that if the pundits are right, they should have fallen in love with Peruvian gastronomy.

If you were to take Michelin stars and media buzz as the benchmark, you would also argue that Bangkok, Sydney, Melbourne and the entire nation of Japan were underrepresented.

But as this list is based on the opinions of a self-selected group of people who read one magazine and can be bothered to vote in a survey, perhaps the results are best taken with the proverbial pinch of salt.