Best restaurants that is, in my own humble opinion. Hong Kong is well known for fine dining. It has more Michelin-starred restaurants than most other cities worldwide. Dining at an establishment like The Pawn – you can easily see why. The place oozes elegance. But oh boy, wait till you taste the food.
This is the first of three posts I’ll be blessing you with about the best restaurants in Hong Kong. Lucky you! (And lucky me – I got to eat there).
Housed inside one of the most iconic heritage buildings in Hong Kong, The Pawn reopened in November following extensive renovations, under the direction of Michelin-starred British chef Tom Aitkens.
Located in the Wan Chai district on Hong Kong Island, it’s relatively central, and by the look of this lunchtime crowd, a popular spot for a business lunch. Wan Chai is one of my favourite Hong Kong neighbourhoods – it’s one of the few pockets of Hong Kong that has retained some of the original buildings and with them the neighbourhoods original charm.
From street level, you wind up a narrow staircase to the Botanicals Bar on the first level where you can enjoy a cocktail or two on the balcony. The bar snacks here include spiced pork ribs with paprika yoghurt and barbecue sauce and beef tartar with juniper, coriander mayonnaise and pickled shiitake.
The upstairs dining area is called The Kitchen, an open plan layout with three kitchens (one for each course) where you can sit amongst the pot plants on the balcony, which has a rather colonial feel to it.
We’re here a couple of weeks before Christmas, and so get to taste Tom’s take on a Christmas menu.
Both dishes are incredibly delicate – both to look at and taste.
We also share the duck pate (a signature dish – highly recommended) before moving on to our main course.
For mains, I try the very Christmassy sounding herb-brined and roasted breast and leg of turkey with cranberry stuffing and pigs in blankets (that’s it up the top), while Simon goes for the baked grouper with butternut squash puree and sage.
Followed by Christmas pudding and rum and vanilla brulee.
Oh, and chocolate tart.
I love the relaxed atmosphere at this place – it feels more like a country club than an inner-city restaurant – very stylish but at the same time quite down-to-earth. While you’re here – ask if you can have a peek at the rooftop kitchen garden, where chef Tom Aitkens is cultivating his own fresh herbs and vegetables.