Hong Kong, China
Chui Wai Kwan (pictured) with head chef Chan Kwok Wai
What to expect: Elegant, traditional Cantonese dishes in a gold and opulent setting, celebrating the history of southern Chinese cuisine with ingredient-focused feasts that include dim sum, small plates and sharing platters.
Family history: Head chef Chui Wai Kwan comes from a family of celebrated Chinese cooks – his father is the founder of respected Cantonese restaurant chain Fook Lam Moon. The youngest of seven siblings, Kwan apprenticed under his father, then took over as master chef of the chain at the age of 20 when his father retired. After revamping and expanding the family business, in 2013 he opened his first solo restaurant in Shanghai, followed by six more successful openings in across China, Hong Kong and Japan.
On the menu: Seventh Son offers an extensive choice of Cantonese dishes, including many that are difficult to find elsewhere. A meal may start with dim sum – such as beautifully plated shrimp dumplings and barbecued pork pastries – and continue with classics such as crispy pork belly, deep-fried frog legs with garlic and chilli, or stuffed duck. The suckling pig is said to be among the best in Hong Kong.
The experience: Traditional Cantonese cuisine is made to be shared, and Seventh Son is popular among groups, but the smooth and well-oiled service ensures that every customer is looked after with individual attention.
Bonus point: After his father’s retirement, Kwan struggled to keep the Fook Lam Moon business afloat, but a chance encounter with a famous Chinese gourmand, Wat Shu Heung, who praised his cooking, encouraged him to continue. The rest is history.