Taste Hong Kong
Have you ever dreamed of going on a 5-day all-inclusive culinary trip of a lifetime to Hong Kong? Well, one very lucky Canadian social media influencer, Emma Choo (Vancouver Foodie) had the opportunity to experience that exactly this past month. Out of seven finalists across Canada, Emma was voted into being the Social Media Ambassador for the Chinese Restaurant Awards (CRA). Her trip included a round trip business class flight on the latest YVR-HKG direct route via Hong Kong Airlines, a 4-night stay at the stunning new Kerry Hotel in Hung Hom, extravagant dinners at Michelin-star restaurants (as well as meeting the chefs in person), an adventurous Hong Kong Foodie tour, and even a private dim sum making class. Through this unique foodie experience, Emma had the front row seat to engage with the new visionaries of Chinese cuisine beyond the borders of Canada and discover the gems of Hong Kong.
Founded in 2008, the Chinese Restaurant Awards has been the longest-running Chinese culinary awards event in the world. They are rooted in two challenging yet humble goals: to discover the new visionaries of Chinese culinary excellence in Metro Vancouver and around the world. This year, they launched Taste HKG, which became the first contest to offer a Canadian social media influencer the rare opportunity to dine at the best of the best restaurants in Hong Kong and meet highly acclaimed chefs that have culinary backgrounds of a whole new level.
Click through to see her incredible culinary adventures as the first Taste HKG Social Media Ambassador! Let’s eat!
As the newest member of the Shangri-La group, Kerry Hotel is an urban lifestyle resort that has the largest outdoor and indoor space in any hotel located in Hong Kong. Many locals choose to take “staycations” at Kerry Hotel, as it is an accessible getaway from an otherwise congested city. At the same time, tourists can find themselves getting a taste of the authentic Hong Kong experience at the Hung Hom harbour and enjoying local eats at the Hung Tong and Dockyard Café. Their brand-new facilities such as their state-of-the-art gym and infinity pool give guests every reason to enjoy their leisure time. Their restaurant, Red Sugar has the most mouth-watering wagyu beef dish! The marbling of the fat just melted like butter at the touch of the tongue.
Dining at the 2-Michelin star restaurant, Shang Palace, is fit for a Chinese emperor/empress. Speaking of which, Executive Chef Mok Kit Keung has cooked for King Mohammed VI of Morocco and the president of Russia. Chef Mok goes the extra mile to use purposeful ingredients that put a unique and elevated spin on classic Chinese dishes, such as the deep-fried taro roll with water chestnut and chicken liver. Emma got to go into the kitchen to have a sneak peek at the action that goes on behind each dish. Shang Palace is bringing the royal treatment to Chinese cuisine!
Chef Alvin is best known as the fierce judge on MasterChef Canada, but also the big boss of the 3-Michelin star restaurant, Bo Innovation. Bo Innovation is also known as “the Hong Kong story”, as the incredibly detailed wall art and meticulously prepared 20 course meal unravels the political and social events that have taken place in Hong Kong over time. Chef Alvin shared that he wants to present not just one, but both sides of the coin. He wants to invite his guests to know the Hong Kong story in all its victories and battles. With his background in engineering, he is able to bring the refined technicalities to his cooking methods. It was a sensory filled dinner experience: sight, smell, touch, and sound. There was a curiosity and wonderment that each dish evoked. After the meal, Chef Alvin Leung gave a tour of the restaurant that had political underpinnings all around. He truly is a rockstar – both on television and in the kitchen!
Located in Central, Mott 32 is an approachable, modern take on Chinese cuisine. They are most known for their melt-in-your-mouth Peking Duck and Iberico Pork Char Siu glazed with Yellow Mountain honey. To put things into perspective, they sell at least 50 ducks for dinner and 20 during lunch hours. The Executive Chef, Lee Man Sing is a soft-spoken chef who holds much respect for his restaurant and kitchen staff. Behind his humble persona is a friendly guy who simply loves to cook with the best ingredients for his guests. Emma had the wonderful opportunity to interview him, so keep an eye out for the release on her YouTube Channel!
Yan Toh Heen
The day started off with a private dim sum making class with Yan Toh Heen‘s Executive Chef Lau Yiu Fai. Within the first hour, the dim sum basics were taught. These included five different ways to wrap Spring Rolls, Har Gow, and Siu Mai. After the dim sum making class, Emma had the pleasure of tasting unique creations from the Chef’s selection menu planned specifically for her. Emma’s favourites were the dim sum starter with the Steamed Scallop with Black Truffle and Vegetable Dumpling, Steamed Lobster and Bird’s Nest Dumpling with Gold Leaf, and the Steamed King Crab Leg Dumpling with Green Vegetables. A major highlight of Yan Toh Heen is their in-house sommelier, Kelvin! Yes, your meal can be perfectly paired with teas that Kelvin purposefully curates. If you are a guest at the Intercontinental Hotel and call in advance to make a booking, you can also have a private dim sum making class with Chef Lau Yiu Fai.
Little Bao / Happy Paradise
If you’ve recently gone to Hong Kong and asked your friends about must-try restaurants, Little Bao would definitely be on that list. Why? Because Chef May Chow has been named Asia’s Best Female Chef of 2017 and is totally turning up the culinary food scene in Hong Kong! Emma had the joy of getting a behind-the-scenes look at what exactly goes down at the famous Little Bao. Emma learned that the concept behind Little Bao had surfaced from a conversation that Chef May had with a friend about making “Asian burgers”. By switching it up from the traditional Gua Bao, Chef May could go beyond the limits of working with the basic ingredients that Gua Baos are only associated with. Her latest restaurant venture is called Happy Paradise, which is a neo-Cantonese restaurant. Surprise, its located just around the corner from Little Bao.
Hong Kong Foodie Tour – Sham Shui Po
The Hong Kong Foodie tour is perfect for tourists who have never been to Hong Kong and want a taste of all the best local food finds. From the classic pineapple bun (which does not taste like pineapple at all!) to a freshly made bowl of tofu pudding, one will find themselves rubbing their bellies after the six or more food stops. Luckily, the tour includes a good chunk of walking time in between each stop. Moreover, the tour guide will bring the group to shops where locals often flock to. These shops can range from cooking utensils to sewing tools. Emma recently documented her Hong Kong Foodie Tour experience in Sham Shui Po – take a look!
About Emma Choo