Hong Kong and Macau’s best restaurants honoured in the 2018 Michelin Guide
The biggest surprise of the 10th Hong Kong and Macau guide was that there were no real surprises. Eight restaurants gained their first Michelin star, including a few that have only been open for a few months
Arcane, Imperial Treasure, Yee Tung Heen and Ying Jee Club are among the restaurants that received their first star in the prestigious dining guide, now in its 10th year.
These restaurants along with Kaiseki Den by Saotome, The Ocean, and Rech by Alain Ducasse were also given the culinary honour of one star, along with Tate by chef/owner Vicky Lau, whose restaurant moved to a larger space on Hollywood Road.
Ying Jee Club opened in August this year with chef Siu Hin-chi at the helm. He was previously at Duddell’s that had two Michelin stars last year.
“We are absolutely thrilled that Ying Jee Club has been recognised with a coveted star from Michelin in our very first three months of operation,” says Siu. “It is a great honour for our team to receive a recognition on our dedication to providing an exceptional dining experience.”
Meanwhile Rech, the first international branch of the Parisian seafood restaurant also opened in February in the InterContinental Hong Kong, replacing Spoon by Alain Ducasse. Another French restaurant, The Ocean owned by chef Olivier Bellin in The Pulse was also awarded a star.
“I’m very happy to get a star,” says Chinese executive chef Wong Wing-keung of Yee Tung Heen in The Excelsior Hong Kong. “I have been with the restaurant for three years now and hope to keep the food quality and the star.”
Bo Innovation, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Lung King Heen, 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo-Bombana, Sushi Shikon, and Tang Court retained their three stars, while Amber, Pierre, Caprice, Ryu Gin, Shang Palace, and Tin Lung Heen kept their two-star rating.
Chef/owner Hideaki Sato of Ta Vie, was very pleased to retain the French-Japanese fine dining restaurants’ two stars. “I’m looking forward to next year where I want to take more time to create new dishes and discovering new ingredients,” he says.
The media event was held at the Grand Hyatt Macau in City of Dreams presided by Michael Ellis, director of the international guides.
When asked after the press conference why the only changes to the 2018 guide was the addition of eight one-star restaurants, some of which have only been opened a few months, Ellis says Michelin represents quality and needs to be homogenous around the world.
“Hong Kong is a dynamic dining destination and when we look at restaurants it’s one of two things – error of omission or risk of commission. We don’t want to give a star one year and then have to take it away the next. We prefer the error of omission and we watch the chefs who need three things: talent, ambition and the means.”
He gave Rech as an example of a restaurant that meets these criteria, and in particular having the culinary giant Alain Ducasse involved.
However, there were people questioning why contemporary French restaurant Amber continued to be awarded two stars – for 10 years in a row.
“Richard Ekkebus is a fantastic chef and he’s a very strong two-star chef. But we didn’t have a unanimous vote this year. We used different inspectors, local and international,” he says.
The culinary director of Amber tried to look on the bright side of the situation.
“We are doing our best and trying to evolve – maybe we are evolving too much. It’s been 10 years and two stars. That shows we’re very consistent!” he joked. “Of course we want more, and it only makes me more determined – it’s the ultimate goal for chefs. It’s only a matter of time,” Ekkebus says.
In Macau, Robuchon au Dome, and The Eight continue to have their three stars. Golden Flower, Mizumi and The Tasting Room kept two stars, while Tim’s Kitchen, The Golden Peacock, Wing Lei and Zi Yat Heen retained their one-star rating.
Following the announcement, a gala dinner will be held this evening where six top chefs whose restaurants have a total of 14 Michelin stars, including Alain Ducasse, will be serving dishes to some 400 guests, with dessert presented by singer-actor-turned celebrity chef Nicholas Tse Ting-fung.
Meanwhile, Duddell’s and Ming Court dropped from two stars to one, while Ciak, Golden Valley Tim Ho Wan in North Point and Galaxy Macau’s Terrazza lost their only stars.