Hong Kong, China
Why visit? Though Dutch-born chef-director Richard Ekkebus sets the culinary dial firmly to Western, he capitalises on his location in one of the world’s great ports to access fine ingredients from all over Asia as well as Europe and Australia, creating a unique cuisine framed by courtly Eastern service. Amber closed at the end of 2018 and reopens in 2019 with a new menu, renovated dining room and kitchen and an ever-growing focus on sustainability.
Decadent décor: A chandelier that adorned the ceiling of Amber with 4,000 bronze rods has been removed to make way for a revamped room. The new design includes a spacious entrance and a long, thin dining area with curved walls separating tables into cosy, private booths.
On the menu: Amber’s new menu is still under wraps, but previous iconic dishes included Hokkaido sea urchin, one of the most Instagrammed dishes in Hong Kong, and a signature of Miyazaki wagyu beef strip loin barbecued with dulse and red cabbage slaw with oxalis, horseradish and pepper berry emulsion.
The wine list: Hong Kong is by some measures now the wine-trading centre of the world, and Amber is well-placed to make the most of it. John Chan, one of the most respected sommeliers in Asia, oversees a list of 1,100 labels. For those saving the full dining experience for another time, the small holding bar by the restaurant’s entrance is a popular rendezvous for savvy wine lovers.
All about sustainability: Ekkebus is increasingly committed to his responsibility to the planet, and has eliminated plastics from the restaurant. He is also a champion of female chefs and insists on a balanced kitchen by providing women with flexibility, fair pay and a 10-week maternity leave.