Hong Kong, China
Owner Danny Yip (pictured) with chef Kwok Keung Tung
Built on tradition: Get ready to be transported through 2,000 years of Cantonese culinary history through the dining experience. The restaurant’s cooking style is built on tradition: the seafood is sourced by local fishermen, the sauces are created from scratch in the kitchen and The Chairman’s small farm in Sheung Shui is responsible for curing the preserved meats and even the salted eggs. The restaurant’s philosophy, ‘simple cooking will rule’, shines through every dish, creating a culinary experience like no other.
On the menu: While an à la carte option is on offer, it’s best to put your faith in the superb choices of head chef Kwok Keung Tung and opt for the tasting menu. Thought, precision and time are given to each dish, such as the razor clams steamed with mixed herbs and lemons aged for over 10 years. The baby squid and Szechuan pepper and the crispy pork belly sticky rice cakes are testament to Tung’s modern techniques and use of traditional Cantonese ingredients.
Don’t miss: The steamed flowery crab. On a menu bursting with myriad flavours and textures, it may be surprising that one dish proliferates above so many others. The crustacean is prepared with aged ShaoXing wine, fragrant chicken oil and succulent flat rice noodles and is often a standout feature on the restaurant’s social media. The Chairman prides itself on sourcing the freshest produce – at dawn, the team can be found most days at the local fish market, handpicking the finest crabs for the dish.
From the outside: While Tung’s exemplary cooking will hold his diners spellbound inside, the two-storey townhouse is non-descript from the street outside. The Chairman is a quite literally a hidden gem in the heart of Central Hong Kong.
The owner: Danny Yip is a low-key but much respected food connoisseur who 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.
Trophy cabinet: The Chairman boasts a top-notch record on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants’ list. Crowned The Best Restaurant in China 2020 and 2021, it also added the title of The Best Restaurant in Asia 2021, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, to its long list of accolades in March 2021. Having jumped up 31 spots this year from its No.41 ranking in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019, it also picks up the Highest Climber Award, sponsored by Alaska Seafood.