Hong Kong, China
About the chef: Vicky Cheng spent three years at New York’s iconic French fine dining haunt Restaurant Daniel before relocating home to Hong Kong and heading up operations for Liberty Exchange restaurant group, overseeing food for three establishments.
Chinese luxury ingredients: At Vea, ‘Chinese x French’ is the philosophy that underpins the cooking. This means sea cucumber and fish maw live alongside truffles and caviar, fortifying some of Cheng’s signature dishes. Specific preparations change seasonally; for example, Cheng might stuff his sea cucumber with a mousse made from local female mud crab.
The dining counter: While Vea counts 46 seats divided between a 25-seat dining counter, three four-seat low tables, and a 10-seat private room, the former is where the action is. When conceiving Vea’s design, the team decided to build semi-circular dining outlets in the counter to make bar-style dining more comfortable for larger parties.
Service, please! 2021 sees Vea’s immaculate front-of-house team rewarded with the Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award. Intuitive but never over-attentive, the staff have the symphony of plates and wine down to a finite art.
A new venture: In 2021, Cheng is renovating the space that used to house the Vea lounge to open a premium Chinese cuisine concept.