Hong Kong, China
Owner Danny Yip (pictured) with chef Kwok Keung Tung
What’s the deal? While Chinese cookery is often wedded to longstanding recipes from the past, The Chairman follows an original ingredient-driven – and concept-inspired – path. Traditional skills shape carefully sourced seasonal ingredients, but ultimately yield wholly new contemporary Cantonese dishes. The explosive result has earned The Chairman the No.1 spot in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021, winning the joint honours of The Best Restaurant in Asia, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna – a first for a Hong Kong restaurant – and The Best Restaurant in China.
What to order: The perennial favourite is Chef Kwok Keung Tung’s steamed flowery crab, a prized delicacy from the South China Sea renowned for its sweet taste. In The Chairman’s recipe, it is steamed with 15-year-old Chinese wine, chicken fat and claim juice, and served alongside fragrant chicken oil and flat rice noodles.
The owner: Danny Yip is a low-key but much respected food connoisseur who much prefers to let the restaurant and its cuisine do the talking. He used to own restaurants in Canberra, Australia, before he returned to Hong Kong to open The Chairman in 2009.
On forgotten ingredients: In 2019, Tung and Yip developed a fresh range of seasonal dishes inspired by forgotten luxury ingredients from southern China. After making pilgrimages to remote villages, the team procured unsung products like 20-year-pickled lemon, sugar-roasted chrysanthemum and elusive fresh mini water crabs.