December Dining Brings Indian Tapas, Casual Weekend to Hong Kong
Bindaas Bar + Kitchen
A new month, a new spate of restaurant openings. Taking a breather from European and Spanish cuisine, Bindaas Bar + Kitchen is a welcome newcomer—an Indian eatery serving up street snacks and “Indian tapas” alongside well-executed curries and of course, homemade naan. The trendy kitchen takes inspiration from all parts of India, with a family-style vibe that lets you order plate after plate without racking up a staggering bill. While the fusion-leaning “Naanza” pizza mash-up came out a bit rubbery, the tried-and-true combinations do not disappoint, from pork vindaloo to prawn ghee roast and the paneer shashlik skewers. Don’t miss an inventive cocktail list as well as the excellent “paan” cotta flavored with the traditional Indian digestives.
Picnic on Forbes
Chef Philippe Orrico has had a busy year—gaining a Michelin star at ON Dining, subsequently losing one at Upper Modern, consulting on the menu at Tartine and now launching a “casual weekend” concept, Picnic on Forbes. After the lofty fine-dining heights of his other ventures, we’re pretty excited to see Chef Orrico’s culinary genius at work in a more accessible menu, inspired by the laissez-faire essence of French culture. Despite the premise of sunshine and picnics, expect to find the same scrupulous standards across food, wines and cheeses (ON’s resident cheese guru Jeremy Evrard is back) in a menu dominated by hearty roast chickens, “Macaroni Cupcakes” and goodie-laden baskets which you can take away for a real picnic in the park.
With a handful of too-cool-for-school eateries popping up around LKF, at least one restaurant still retains its old-world charm. Perpetually bathed in candlelight and with live musicians setting the mood, Casa Lisboa remains one of the more enchanting dining rooms in Central, and their new seafood tower ($1,880 full, $950 half portion) is ever more reason to plan a visit. This is the only place in Hong Kong you’ll get the real deal flown in from Portugal — and you can believe it’s good, from spider crabs to over-sized scampi to the elusive goose barnacles, painstakingly sourced (the process can be quite hazardous, we hear) and prepared with a deft hand by Chef Edgar Alves. Picking leisurely over the ocean gems with a bottle of Portuguese Vinho Verde sounds like the ideal date night to us—just make sure you’re in good company.