Hong Kong, China
Kwok Keung Tung (pictured). Chef-owner Danny Yip
What’s the deal: Despite Hong Kong’s concentration of star-spangled Chinese kitchens, for the last decade some of the city’s best cooking has been coming out of a non-descript two-floor townhouse in Central. Here, patrons bring their best bottles to sip alongside Chef Kwok Keung Tung’s excellent, produce-driven, seasonal Cantonese cookery.
How to order: While The Chairman offers à la carte dining, the best way to experience the restaurant’s Cantonese plates is to let the team build a bespoke menu based on the time of year and guests’ past dining experience. For example, owner Danny Yip will likely suggest the flower crab as an entrée for first-time customers, but for those who have already tried the dish, he may suggest the steamed grouper head with fermented chili and Chinese pickled olives.
That flower crab: Scroll through The Chairman’s Instagram tags and the dish that proliferates (pictured in every angle imaginable) is Chef Tung’s steamed flowery crab, served in a shallow broth of nutty, aged Shaoxing wine, with chicken oil and slippery flat rice noodles. While other chefs in Hong Kong have tried to replicate this signature dish, the umami-rich version here remains unbeatable.
The owner: Danny Yip is a low-profile food cognoscenti who favours quality, local and seasonal produce over fancy ingredients, as evidenced by The Chairman’s culinary philosophy. Prior to launching The Chairman in 2009, Yip owned restaurants in the Australian capital, Canberra.