Hong Kong’s best restaurants: Australia’s finest chefs are dazzling the Northeast Asian food scene


In the midst of all of it can be a chef that’s neither Chinese nor Lebanese. James Harrison comes from Melbourne, and like a great number of Australians, he’s most from home where cultures intersect.

He’s inside a vanguard of young, talented Australian chefs clustered surrounding the cool SoHo area in Hong Kong Island’s Central district, turning everything they touch to culinary gold. Name for restaurants that’s hot at this time, and it’s probably there are an Australian chef behind the pans. A food safari through their various speciality restaurants adds another chapter to Hong Kong’s vast compendium of foodie adventures.

We start at Maison Libanaise, on Shelley Street, near the famous Mid Levels escalator and amid the hip stores, cafes, galleries, street food stalls and miscellaneous intoxicating clutter of Central. It’s inspired using a traditional Lebanese house and clearly one properties of a wine buff, since the entire wall has the most effective Lebanese drops. Grab this chance to understand more about an old and excellent region that’s underrepresented for all of aussie. After you’ve fallen for your deep, brooding Chateau Musar Rouge 2000 or perhaps a crisp Chateau St Thomas Obeidy, created using the region’s native grapes, you’ll be either searching for a supplier or planning up coming jaunt to Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

Save some passion for the solids, though, because Maison Libanaise encourages you?to be promiscuous. Favourites are swiftly chosen and after that supplanted just like you explore the share-style menu of hot and cold mezze plates and “something bigger”?dishes. Initially I’m about the pan-fried, honey-glazed haloumi having its soft, sweet doonah of dates, then swayed with the pungent heat of spicy harissa roasted cauliflower, next the creamy/sharp delights of the sole fillet en papillotte, smothered in tahini and fried almonds and baked in sumac and lemon. Then Harrison blows away our previous allegiances by offering a showstopper of the cheesecake, made using labneh and honey.

As we feast, he describes the layers of meticulous care bestowed upon each ingredient in every single dish. For eggplant fattoush, the lucky eggplant visits the kitchen same in principle as a spa; it’s salted on an hour, soaked, dried and tenderly brushed with confit garlic and toasted coriander before being deep-fried. The tomatoes travel from Israel (probably top notch) being roasted with orange blossom salt and sumac. The insufficient croutons are house-made from pita that’s over-baked then fried and tossed with sumac, salt and zaatar. The radish, Harrison concedes, is simply as it comes.

He learned his from-scratch approach growing up as part of his grandmother’s kitchen in rural Victoria, before applying it to Middle Eastern cuisine below the guidance of Melbourne mentor and Lebanese maestro Greg Malouf. Harrison’s passion for making everything himself

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