I recently spoke to Simon Wilson, a foodie, traveller and the man behind Taste of Hong Kong, which comes to town on 16th March.
Hi Simon! The second Taste of Hong Kong is coming soon. Are you excited and what’s the highlight this year?
It’s hard to pick just one! Taste is 30% bigger this year with 25% more restaurants and lots to see and to do, but more importantly to try! I think one of my big highlights has to be the Japanese producers workshops from Amber where you can learn about the artisan Japanese products used in their menu, and try the dish then and there, while given an expert-led masterclass from the producer and Chef Richard Ekkebus. Also, we have a visiting chef from Paris, Kei Kobayashi, cooking up his signature gnocchi dish – I’m excited to try it.
As a foodie travelling all over the world trying amazing cuisines and restaurants, can you tell us your most memorable dining experience?
I’ve been very lucky to eat some awesome food in some awesome locations, but my pick for the last 12 months has to be at Eleven Madison Park in New York towards the end of last year. I had a very special lunch there with my girlfriend. Following that, my parents visited Hong Kong recently and we had a great meal at Arcane in Central. It’s one of my favourite spots to eat and always my go-to for a special occasion.
What are your top three food cities and why?
Sydney, Tokyo and Hong Kong. All three have fantastic quality at the low end and the high end, Hong Kong and Tokyo specialising in their respective ethnic cuisines, and Australia has some of the best produce in the world, amazing food and wines – I go there once a year to eat (and see family)!
Any suggestions for Jacada Travellers on where to go for street food in Asia? Somewhere that just never gets it wrong.
Burnt Ends in Singapore is one of my favourite restaurants. Period. A must do if you’re passing through.
Getting back to Hong Kong, the dining scene moves so quickly. What’s your two cents?
Hong Kong dining – it’s all ‘grand opening’ and ‘grand closing’, a very transient restaurant scene where places struggles to maintain their launch buzz.
I’m constantly impressed with restaurants with consistent quality. It’s easy to be the new kid on the block, make a splash and attract a crowd, but those restaurants that have been trading over a much longer time period – Yardbird for five years, Zuma and Amber for 10 years – these dining institutions are the backbone of HK dining. They are my go-to restaurants when you have guests in town or it’s a special occasion. I also like restaurants that do the simple things well, and are less based on a gimmick.
Taste of Hong Kong 2017
16th – 19th March
Hong Kong Central Harbourfront
Foodie tours around the world
I’ve handpicked some top culinary destinations across the world to visit this summer. Whet your appetite with these tasty itineraries:
Croatia: Food and Wine, Vibrant Cities and Beautiful National Parks
Flavours of Greece: A Food & Wine Tour
Luxury Argentina and Chile Gourmet Tour
A Gourmet Tour for The Epicurean Explorer in South Africa