Hong Kong, China
Kwok Keung Tung (pictured) with owner Danny Yip
What’s the deal? While Chinese cookery is often wed 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 earned The Chairman this year’s award for The Best Restaurant in China, sponsored by Cinco Jotas.
What to order: The perennial favourite is Chef Kwok Keung Tung’s steamed flowery crab in aged Shaoxing wine and chicken oil with flat rice noodles.
On forgotten ingredients: Over the last year, the chef, along with owner Danny Yip (more on him below), have developed a fresh range of seasonal dishes inspired by forgotten luxury ingredients from sourthen China. After making pilgrimages to remote villages, the team has procured unsung products like 20-year-pickled lemon, sugar-roasted chrysanthemum and elusive fresh mini water crabs.
The owner: Danny Yip is a low-profile but much respected food cognoscenti 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.