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, 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 24-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.
Don’t miss the cocktails: Hong Kong’s king of cocktails, Antonio Lai – who commands many of the city’s top bars, including Quinary (No.10 in Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2019), and newer additions Room 309 and Draft Land – is a partner in Vea, and heads up the bar programme, crafting sophisticated, worldly-inspired libations, often decorated with playful garnishes.