Hong Kong is blessed with a huge array of restaurants, so it can be overwhelming when you need to choose somewhere memorable for a celebration or to impress. If you’re looking for a special occasion venue in Hong Kong, these restaurants should fit the bill.
Café Gray Deluxe
It’s almost impossible to fault Café Gray Deluxe. The view is the first thing that assaults you, where, from the 49th floor of The Upper House at Pacific Place, you have an unfettered vista over Hong Kong out to Kowloon. We opted to make the most of the mesmerising view with a leisurely pre-dinner drink, a Hong Kong Highball cocktail in the Café Gray Bar.
Once seated, we then experienced a meal that was perfect in every sense. Our first dish was a chilled watercress and pea soup. Any ideas that chilled soups can be a bit bland can be banished here, with the addition of lemon espuma and pata negra creating a flavoursome dish. Next up was a luxe tortellini, stuffed with porcini and ricotta and served with a truffle veloute, the perfectly judged portion ensuring the dish was not too heavy before the arrival of the main.
My husband opted for the roasted pigeon for his main course, which had regional accents of pomegranate and Sichuan pepper, making it a memorable way to present this delicate bird. I chose the lamb, which arrived perfectly pink and deliciously sweet.
Dessert was a cleverly plated passionfruit soufflé, and just when I thought the meal could not be any more perfect, a dish laden with the finest chocolate arrived to accompany coffee and dessert wine.
– MELISSA STEVENS
L/49, The Upper House Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty upperhouse.com/en/restaurants-bars/cafe-gray-deluxe
When you’re celebrating a special occasion, it’s nice when you choose a restaurant that gets the special touches just right. Porterhouse, located in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong, did just that on our visit. Not only does it serve up great food, but it also offers a level of service that elevates it from being just another steakhouse.
After a drink on the terrace, we moved into the dining area, which is a classy, intimate space. I started with the seared Hokkaido scallops, which were nothing short of sensational. I felt obliged to share with the birthday boy, but I must admit, I really wanted to keep them all for myself! We also shared the lobster and scallop ceviche, which had some interesting flavours.
For mains, we ordered the Australian Mayura, an award-winning 100 percent full-blood wagyu porterhouse. This was big enough to share, and the meat was tender and deliciously flavoursome. A nice touch was the selection of salt and pepper that was offered. We chose the Himalayan pink salt and black lava pepper, which enhanced the flavours beautifully.
We also shared the Colorado lamb “shepherd’s pride”, which was perfectly cooked. For sides, the standout for both of us was the truffle mash. Not that we needed it, but we ordered dessert: chocolate pavlova, which was good, and the After Eight, a chocolate lava cake with mint ice cream that proved the hands-down winner.
– DANIELLE HIGGINS
7/F, California Tower, 30-36 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong porterhousehk.com/en
ALTO It’s always a good sign when you can’t decide whether you enjoyed your entrée or your main more, but that was the case for me when I dined at ALTO. This restaurant is a great choice if you want to impress, with its sophisticated Tom Dixon interior complemented by a striking view of Hong Kong from the heart of Causeway Bay. Even better, the restaurant has a rooftop bar where you can enjoy a pre- or post-meal tipple and enjoy a perspective of the city from the Island side.
Sashimi-style fish and avocado are one of those classic flavour combinations that you can’t go wrong with, and the ALTO version, served as an Ahi tuna tartare, had me in entrée heaven. My dining companion, meanwhile, decided to find out what all the fuss is about when it comes to the Impossible meat plant-based substitutes being served at many HK eateries, including at ALTO. The Impossible beef picadillo was given an enthusiastic thumbs-up.
When it came to the main, we opted to share the Butcher’s Board. I had always thought of myself as an unwavering wagyu fan – until this Argentinian grass-fed beef challenged all my existing perceptions; the generous platter also included US hanger steak and a to-die-for dish of bone marrow.
The decadence continued with a chocolate tart, which was a nice end to a very satisfying meal.
– MELISSA STEVENS
31/F, V Point, 18 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay diningconcepts.com/restaurants/alto
Rech by Alain Ducasse
Located in the InterContinental, Rech is undeniably impressive. The airy space is chic and contemporary; think cool, minimalist St Tropez style. The expansive view of Victoria Harbour delivers the “wow” factor and sets the scene for an unforgettable dining experience.
Rech is the epitome of haute cuisine, having earnt a Michelin star, plus four stars from Forbes Travel Guide among other accolades. The menu showcases fresh and seasonal dishes, full of flavour and fun. The sensational raw seafood platter – including oysters, scallops and langoustines – was a light yet impactful introduction to the meal. Starters of grilled octopus salad and salmon koulibiac were beautifully textured and perfectly portioned.
Next, we tried the seared monkfish fillet, which was fluffy and tasty, accompanied by crunchy, colourful summer vegetables. Departing from the seafood theme, we sampled the beef chateaubriand; a tenderly juicy cut, cooked to perfection, encased in flaky brioche.
For dessert, we chose from a trolley of whimsical and inspired creations, such as red fruit cheesecake and hazelnut soufflé, and we couldn’t resist the signature Crêpes Suzette, handmade at the table. The zingy crêpes were exquisite and a novel ending to a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
With all of this and a large wine selection, including a private-labelled champagne, I count Rech as one of my favourite foodie venues in Hong Kong.
– AOIFE MACKENZIE
Lobby Level, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com/en/dining/rech-by-alain-ducasse
Best of the rest
This restaurant in the so-hot-right-now newly refurbished Murray Hotel has all the attributes to be a firm favourite for a special occasion venue. Hit the rooftop bar for a pre-dinner drink and then head inside to enjoy the fine-dining menu in the venue’s beautiful interiors.
22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central niccolohotels.com/en
This has long been a stalwart of Hong Kong’s fine-dining scene. The menu takes inspiration from Chinese and European dishes, and the venue boasts a great view from the Prince’s Building in Central.
25/F, Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central sevva.hk
With a reputation as one of Hong Kong’s best Chinese restaurants, the award-winning Hutong has that dynamite combination of fantastic food, a fabulous fit-out and a sweeping vista over Victoria Harbour.
28/F, One Peking, 1 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui hutong.com.hk
Gough’s on Gough
The interiors of this restaurant alone justify inclusion on the list of any special occasion restaurants, but they are matched by the quality of the menu presented by head chef Aaron Rhodes.
15 Gough Street, Central goughsongough.com
Aqua is a Hong Kong institution, with its combination of views from the 19th floor of The One building in Tsim Sha Tsui, to its option of two kitchens with Japanese and Italian menus.
29/F, 1 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui aqua.com.hk
Located in historic Duddell Street, dining at Duddell’s has the feel of being in the home of a private art collector. Its Michelin starred menu is the best of haute Cantonese cuisine.
L/3, Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell Street, Central duddells.co
Mott 32 is one of the most awarded restaurants in Hong Kong – for both its design and its food. The interior is a collab between Joyce Wang and Maximal Concepts, blending New York industrial and Chinese imperial. Meanwhile, its Peking duck is legendary.
Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Road, Central mott32.com
This French haute cuisine restaurant is located in The Peninsula hotel. Open since 1953, it has been the scene of many a memorable meal. The opulent dining room and refined European menu make it a must to experience while in Hong Kong.
Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui peninsula.com/en/hong-kong/hotel-fine-dining/gaddis-french-restaurant
See more in our wine & dine section
This article first appeared in the October/November 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.