[UDATE Rech by Alain Ducasse at the InterContinental Hong Kong has been awarded one star in the Hong Kong and Macau 2018 Michelin Guide.]
Legendary chef Alain Ducasse’s first foray into food was not a runaway success. As a child growing up in France he would watch his grandmother cooking and aged about 11 he decided to make a chocolate roulade himself. “My grandmother let me attempt this, although I was not up to the task,” Ducasse recalls. “Chocolate ended up everywhere and in the end the cake did not resemble a roulade at all!”
Luckily for the culinary world Ducasse was not put off by his early endeavour. Last month saw the opening of his 25th restaurant worldwide. He has chosen Asia for the first international outpost of Rech Alain Ducasse, a French seafood restaurant replacing his Spoon concept at the Intercontinental hotel in Hong Kong.
Chef Umberto Bombana is the recipient of Asia’s Best Restaurants’ Lifetime Achievement Award 2017
[UPDATE: Never let it be said that Chopstix isn’t prepared to admit changing our minds from time to time. On our recent return visit to 8 and a half Otto e Mezzo Bombana we were pleasantly surprised at the vast improvement in service. There seems to be a high ratio of staff to customers and the whole operation is now very slick. We’re still not sure about the 3 Michelin stars but nonetheless less, bravo Bombana. Read on for our original review.]
Pierre Gagniere in Central, Hong Kong
[UPDATE: Chef Pierre Gagnaire’s will visit his Hong Kong restaurant from October 24th to 30th 2019 to Hong Kong to launch his autumn tasting menu. The five-course menu will be available for lunch and dinner from 24 to 30 October 2018 at HKD1,998 per person.]
Hong Kong is set for another influx of Western celebrity chefs as Yannick Alleno’s long awaited bistro, Terroir Parisien, is slated to open in Central this summer, Bjorn Frantzen has opened Frantzen’s Kitchen and Jean-Georges Vongerichten has returned to the city with Mercato. David Thompson and Wolfgang Puck are also thought to be searching for sites here. But Asian expansion doesn’t mean guaranteed success: Mario Batali’s Carnenvino has closed in Hong Kong, Gordon Ramsay shut his restaurant in Tokyo and both Guy Savoy and Jason Atherton shipped out of Singapore. So what makes some international restaurants thrive in foreign markets while others falter?
If you’re in Hong Kong for October 1st make sure you have a room with a view – of Victoria Harbour for the National Day fireworks.
View of the fireworks in the harbour from the Intercontinental hotel
The Interconti is perched right on the harbour’s edge giving it some fantastic views from many of its guests rooms where you feel you’re right on the water and the rooftop Presidential Suite as well as the Lobby Lounge and Harbourside restaurant plus Alain Ducasse’s Spoon and Nobu if you can bag a window table.
All the restaurants have special menus planned for October 1st including a six course tasting menu at Alain Ducasse and an eight course omakase menu at Nobu.
Pierre Gagniere is introducing his now customary lighter summer menu at Pierre at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong on July 14th.
The three course dinner menu will change every few weeks, starting off with dishes such as Marinated mackerel, grilled octopus, shizu paste and lime granita (above); Grilled John Dory; and Ice Cream Burrata, white balsamic vinegar, raspberry meringue with coulis honey olive oil basil (below).