Hong Kong’s best new restaurants for 2016

Hong Kong CNN  — 

Once again Hong Kong is proving itself as a leading player on the global restaurant scene with a dizzying array of new restaurant openings, from Michelin-starred fine dining to hole-in-the-wall takeaways.

Here are some making culinary waves across the city to try in 2016:

Mercedes Me

Mercedes Me: Is the service as fast as the decor?

The Mercedes F1 race car (sometimes the safety car) parked in Mercedes Me shows that this new restaurant is high octane.

Opened this fall, the luxurious and laid back place is already packed out at lunch, dinner and for evening drinks – given Spanish chef Edgar Sanuy’s hand at the stove, it’s clear why.

The San Sebastian classic kokotxas (a Basque delicacy of hake throats) are here served from salmon instead.

The classic Catalan “bikini” sandwich of sobressada (cured, paprika-heavy sausage) and mozzarella has few if any rivals in town.


Beefbar brings with it serious meat knowhow through its branches in destinations including Monaco, Mexico City and Moscow.

At the elegant interior in the heart of Central, world-class beef is the draw.

Its meats are broiled at extremely high temperatures and then char grilled, meaning the carnivore double whammy of exterior crisp and crust, before interior tenderness. 

Its mashed potato and raw bar of sashimi shouldn’t be overlooked, too.

Le Garcon Saigon

Hong Kong has witnessed a boom of refined Vietnamese cuisine in recent years.

The latest opening from Black Sheep restaurants heads west from Hong Kong to Vietnam for serious flavors and roll-your-own fun.

The interior of Le Garcon Saigon is more Parisian brasserie than street food, but diners quickly get down and dirty with skewers accompanied by rice paper rolls, fresh herbs, pickles, vermicelli and dipping sauces.

The banh xeo brings chorizo, bean sprouts and prawns to be wrapped in lettuce and dipped in nuoc mam fish sauce.

Desserts are inventive and to be jealously guarded.


Vea on the top floor of The Wellington Building unites two talented names from the Hong Kong dining scene, namely chef Vicky Cheng and mixologist Antonio Lai.

Over marble tabletops and bronze fittings, modern French cuisine is served in an eight-course tasting menu that changes weekly.

Each course comes with a matching cocktail (they’re thankfully not very big) while local seafood and other produce is celebrated wherever possible.

The Ocean

Restaurants at The Pulse, a new beach side venue in Hong Kong, boasts an unbeatable view.

Repulse Bay on the south side of Hong Kong Island was arguably 2015’s hottest dining destination through the opening of The Pulse, a large beach side venue featuring more than a dozen new restaurants.

The Ocean takes pride of place – and the best view – on the top floor.

No prizes for guessing that seafood is the order of the day in beautiful, inventive plates including a breathtaking wild mushroom tortellini (we had no idea tortellini can be breathtaking, too) with lobster bisque.


Nowhere on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong has a better view than at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in the city’s highest skyscraper.

Up on the 102nd floor of the International Commerce Center, the Ritz Carlton’s new seven-seat Almas venue serves caviar and champagne.

Alongside the pricy but very special “black gold” on the menu is Balik salmon, as originally served to Tsar Nicholas II.


The airy and spacious setting of Koko is a rare commodity in town.

New Japanese spot Koko comes with star power in the form of Japanese soccer legend Hidetoshi Nakata.

Nakata partners with Kee Club in this izakaya style venue boasting that rare Hong Kong commodity, a large terrace.

Rock shrimp tempura with wasabi peel and king crab with uni hotpot are two of the highlights.

But drinks are a big draw through a sake collection including Nakata’s own N sake made from the highest-grade Yamadanishki rice.

KOKO, 5/F, 77 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2109 1777

Mr and Mrs Fox

The latest opening from Swire Hotels is typically sleek, targeting the media hub of the city’s Quarry Bay district.

Laid out over three floors, Mr and Mrs Fox’s ground floor space is a relaxed bar with dining, while the second floor is the restaurant proper.

Quality steaks and inventive seafood are parts of a global menu with numerous Asian touches and ingredients.

Desserts come recommended too, especially the retro baked Alaska.

The Fat Pig

Tom Aikens' second restaurant in Hong Kong uses locally sourced pork.

British chef Tom Aikens oversees his second Hong Kong restaurant The Fat Pig with this celebration of the noble swine.

Locally-sourced pork comes in countless ways from charcuterie to baked, roasted, barbecued, pulled, pickled and more.

Local brewery Moonzen also offers the Fat Pig Bacon Red Ale, if you haven’t quite reached your pork quota.

Viet Kitchen

Chef Peter Cuong Franklin was born in Central Vietnam, moved to the U.S., graduated from Yale and worked in investment banking before pursuing his passion in the kitchen. 

His latest venture in the city is Viet Kitchen.

One of the signatures is grilled Kurobata chops glazed with fish sauce and pork jus.

Manila clams are cooked perfect with lime butter sauce, basil and lemongrass under a tangle of coriander.

Both are cooked fast on a very high wok heat to achieve a subtle note of smokiness.


The food at Tri looks almost as good as the Balinese interior.

Indonesian cuisine is taken up a notch at Tri in Repulse Bay, a beautifully fitted-out space celebrating the underrated food of Bali, with views over the beach to match.

Sambal Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans, chili and crispy cauliflower served with thin peyek crackers.

The beef short rib is another standout. 

Dadar Gulung, for dessert, are cute little Balinese pancakes with a riot of coconut and mango, the perfect finish.

Tri, Shop 302, 3/F, Lobby C The Pulse, Repulse Bay, Hong Kong +852 2515 0577  

El Mercado

A restaurant celebrating Japanese and Peruvian cuisine is not as odd as it seems, given the countries’ historical ties.

Helmed by Jose Manuel Meza, who worked at Lima legend Astrid y Gaston, bright new spot El Mercado impresses with its generous lunch bento box with excellent ceviche, salad and sushi.

Dinner promises larger plates with seafood as the star.

Chris Dwyer is a Hong Kong-based communications consultant and food writer. His restaurant reviews, chef interviews and more can be found at finefooddude.com.