It’s been another whirlwind year for Hong Kong foodies. As we say goodbye to 2015, here’s a summary of all the dining trends that have made a splash.
There has been a revived interest in Southeast Asian cuisine this year, with both major restaurant groups and indie restaurateurs hopping on the trendwagon. From Le Garçon Saigon to Com Banh Mi to Siam 28 to TRi to the soon-to-open Mak Mak, you can now try everything from high-end Balinese to trendy Vietnamese street food without ever leaving the city.
Green tea is the new chocolate, at least according to all the trendsetting establishments in Hong Kong. You’ll start to see matcha lava pouring out of fondants instead of your usual Valrhona (try The Steak House Winebar + Grill and KOKO); and chances are soft-serve shops will offer a green tea flavor on top of the original variety (go to I-Cremeria or Honey Creme). Then there’s also Nakamura Tokichi straight from Kyoto, dishing out everything from green tea jelly to matcha udon.
From fried chicken to bar snacks to desserts, this year has been a solid win for Korean cuisine. There’s Chibee and Seoul Bros taking battered poultry to the next level, Jinjuu jazzing up the scene with fancy Korean fare, and Nun finally opening that third branch on Hong Kong island to offer waffles and soft-serve — just to name a few.
Macarons have had a good run, but eclairs are slowly taking over. Offered by local companies like Eclair! to international brands like L’Eclair de Genie, the cream-filled choux pastries are totally the next big thing. Even hotels are getting in on the trend, with Palm Court and Ebb & Flow serving the airy treats in their afternoon tea specials.
Go big or go home, goes the saying, and restaurateurs are taking note. Venues like Mr & Mrs Fox, The Optimist, CE LA VI and VEA Restaurant & Lounge all take up multiple floors and consist of a standalone bar as well as a dedicated dining area. The idea is diners can check in to one spot for the whole night, getting both the pre- and post-dinner drinks as well as a full meal all sorted.