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Explore top restaurants at the forefront of gourmet dining

2024.6.12

We enjoyed innovative Chinese cuisine at Hong Kong's WING, which is rising in the rankings of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants

"Roasted baby pigeon smoked with sugar cane and sugar cane juice."




In the latest Asia's 2024 Best Restaurants for 50, WING jumped from 37th place last year to 5th place, winning the "Highest Climber" award given to the restaurant that has risen the most in the rankings. In addition, in the World's 2024 Best Restaurants for 6 announced on June 2024, 50, it was ranked 20th. WING is Hong Kong's most notable restaurant.

 

Vicky Cheng of ``WING,'' who creates new Cantonese cuisine one after another, was originally a chef at a French restaurant called ``VEA.'' He really wanted to try Chinese food, so in 2021 he opened a restaurant called ``WING'' on the 29th floor, downstairs from ``VEA'' in the same building. In order to discover its charm, he traveled all the way from Japan to eat at this restaurant, and here is his report.

 

 

By the way, if you want to know the complete list of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants and the trends for 2024, click here.

 

 

 





Enjoy a premium course meal in a chic setting

 

 

There are only two course menus. This time, I chose the premium course, which includes four appetizers, soup, five main dishes, and dessert.

 

The interior of the restaurant is based on moss green, with marble accents. Of course, it is a chic interior that is not found in traditional Chinese restaurants. It has a French or Italian atmosphere. The staff all give off a welcoming glow, which makes you feel at ease. The costumes are also stylish.
After the welcome Chinese tea, the premium course began with a toast of Pierre Peters Grand Cru Champagne (delicious!).






(Clockwise from top left) Pickled firefly squid, Smoked eggplant in sour sauce, Homemade century egg and Japanese oysters with spicy sauce, South African abalone marinated in Shaoxing wine. (Clockwise from top left) Pickled firefly squid, Smoked eggplant in sour sauce, Homemade century egg and Japanese oysters with spicy sauce, South African abalone marinated in Shaoxing wine.

(Clockwise from top left) Pickled firefly squid, Smoked eggplant in sour sauce, South African abalone marinated in Shaoxing wine, and homemade century egg and Japanese oysters with spicy sauce.

 






First, there are four types of appetizers. ``Please eat clockwise'' from the top left of the photo. I will explain them in order.

The dish we started with was "pickled firefly squid," an ambitious combination of firefly squid, seaweed, and Yunnan chili peppers for flavor. The green is Yunnan chili pepper, and the two brown slices are sea mushrooms, which are apparently harvested in the ocean near Antarctica from New Zealand to Chile. It has a sour and moderately spicy taste, and is complemented by the sticky umami of the firefly squid that is so familiar to us. It's a dish that bursts with intelligence right from the start. It inevitably whets your appetite.
On a more serious note, the fact that the chef uses seaweed as an ingredient gives us a sense of his concern for marine resources.
The wine we were served was the Burgundy white wine "Rully Domaine Vincent Duruil Gential." It has a gorgeous fruity flavor with a rich astringency, which goes well with seafood.

 

 

The long-awaited food arrives. I can't contain my excitement.

 

 

The second dish was "Smoked eggplant with sour sauce." It was an incredible process of weaving smoked eggplant into a thin string. The sour sauce had an apple flavor to it. It combined the sourness of the apple with the sweetness of the apple and the fragrant aroma of the eggplant. While it used Chinese cooking techniques and seasonings, the final dish was done with a French touch. It was easy to eat in one bite, but, to be honest, I wanted to eat about five of them!
The third item is ``South African abalone marinated in Shaoxing wine.'' Shaoxing wine is produced by Yongliwei, which was founded in 1876. In Chinese cuisine, many things are soaked in Shaoxing wine. Shrimp, chicken, goose, pigeon...but abalone is new. It is not so-called "drunken shrimp" but "drunken abalone". Shaoxing wine is seasoned with salt and sugar, and also contains goji berries and star anise. This is a typical Chinese cooking method, but the result is an extremely delicate and richly flavored dish. Of course, the abalone itself has a lot of flavor permeating it, and it's so soft and delicious that it just sticks to your tongue.
He first came up with the idea of ​​soaking abalone in Shaoxing wine, and it's amazing how he turns that idea into a delicious dish using a certain technique.

 

 

The last appetizer was "Homemade century egg with Japanese oysters and spicy sauce." The fact that the chef made the century egg himself shows his extraordinary passion for food. Because it was homemade, it had a pure taste without any unpleasant odor. In Chinese cuisine, century egg is usually served with tofu, but combining it with oysters was very innovative (a while ago, century egg was served with milt instead of oysters). The seasoning was reminiscent of Sichuan cuisine, with the spiciness of chili oil and the slight numbness caused by the Sichuan peppercorns, but there was also one European flavor that I couldn't figure out. Of course, it was wonderfully delicious. By the way, Hong Kong people can handle spiciness but don't like numbness, so the amount of ingredients is calculated so that the numbness disappears in about 10 seconds.

 

As you can see from the appetizers and subsequent dishes, the ingredients are sourced not only from Hong Kong, Macau, and nearby China, but from all over the world. Even from this point of view, it is clearly different from so-called traditional Chinese cuisine. You can't help but feel the chef's enthusiasm for new foods. Not only is the combination of ingredients new, but the flavor and taste are also extremely innovative.
If this is an unusual creation, it's not all that surprising. It's a completely new dish, but it definitely feels like Chinese food. And, most importantly, it's delicious. Or, should I say, shockingly delicious.
And I can also say this. Even if you eat WING's food without any prior knowledge, it will be extremely delicious, but the true value of the food will vary depending on the depth of knowledge and experience of Chinese cuisine that the eater has. You'll enjoy it even more if you understand what's changed, what's new, and how it's structured.

 

 

You will be overwhelmed by the sudden and shocking taste.

 

 

After the cold dishes came a hot "more mushroom and lamb soup." The broth was made from double-boiled lamb. It was clear like consommé. Boiled lamb pieces were placed inside the more mushrooms, and green beans added a refreshing touch.

 

 

From here, five consecutive main dishes come pouring in like a raging wave.
The wine is a red Burgundy wine called "Côte de Nuits Villages." It is powerful, complex and delicate, with a long aftertaste.





"Steamed Macau sole with soy sauce." "Steamed Macau sole with soy sauce."

"Steamed Macau sole with soy sauce."











First, "Steamed sole of the tongue from Macau with soy sauce." Steamed natural sole of the tongue is poured with soy sauce and hot oil, and topped with fried green onions, gray onions, green onions, and coriander. Steamed garupa (grouper) is often seen as a haute dish, but the only things that are sprinkled on top are white onions and coriander. Moreover, Chinese people usually don't eat veranda because it has a lot of bones. However, in this dish, both the fillet part and the gelatin-rich edge part are served. Serving the veranda itself is a sign to the guests, saying, ``You know this part is delicious, right?'' And the 4 types of garnishes are good. Fried green onions are sweet. It would have been really delicious if I poured the soup over white rice, but I couldn't stand it.

 





"Sea cucumber spring rolls" "Sea cucumber spring rolls"

"Sea cucumber spring rolls"






The first dish, "Sea Cucumber Spring Rolls," has an interesting presentation. The dried sea cucumber is pictured on the right of the photo; this huge dried product from Australia is rehydrated and cooked for 10 days, with the water constantly being changed. Of course, you only eat the crispy spring roll on the left. The waiter cuts it in half on the spot and serves it on a plate topped with sauce. Inside is a sea cucumber with a nice bite to it. When eating, you put some green onions inside the spring roll and eat it together. As expected, this dish offers the pleasure of texture: the crispy skin and the squishy sea cucumber. Hong Kong people especially love the squishy texture.

In Chinese cuisine, rehydrating dried seafood requires a great deal of experience and skill. Chef Vicky learned this skill from a famous local chef who was impressed by her passion.

 

 

Exquisite taste and texture, highlighting the techniques of a top chef

 

 

After "Alaskan King Crab with Chili Sauce," we had "Roasted Baby Pigeon Smoked with Sugarcane and Sugarcane Juice" (top photo). They gave me some simple gloves, so I picked it up with my hands and munched it down. The baby pigeon was dried, aged a little to remove moisture, and then smoked. First, the sweet aroma entered my nostrils, tickling my appetite. The skin was nice and crispy. Even though the moisture had been removed, the juices were so rich that they dripped out as I bit into it, which was surprising. The skin and meat of the baby pigeon would normally be considered a rustic dish, but the moderate sweetness of the sugarcane made it into a very refined dish. Before serving, the waiter asked me if I wanted to eat the head. Of course the Chinese do. I ate the scalp, brain, and cerebrospinal fluid, or rather, I sucked them out. Well, they weren't all that tasty as parts of the body (wry smile).

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"Stir-fried salt pork kailan". "Stir-fried salt pork kailan".

"Stir-fried salted pork and kailan."






``Dried fish swim bladder, flower glue, yellow ear rice, and abalone sauce.'' ``Dried fish swim bladder, flower glue, yellow ear rice, and abalone sauce.''

``Dried fish swim bladder, flower glue, yellow ear rice, and abalone sauce.''







The last main dish is ``Stir-fried salt pork and kailan'', but this salt pork is not average. It is sprinkled with shrimp sauce made from salted krill, so the salty flavor is very rich and deep. Even if you try making traditional Chinese dishes, the twists give them a sharp edge. After biting into a piece of salted pork, I enjoy the crunch of my favorite green vegetable, kailan. It's a really good combination.

 

 

Once our mouths had been refreshed, the final dish of the meal was served.
The dish was "Rice made from dried fish swim bladders (flower glue) and yellow ear with abalone sauce." The swim bladder (flower glue) of the yellow croaker is supposed to be flavorless, but it is sticky and rich. It's fun to feel it digging into your teeth. Yellow ear is a type of white fungus, which has a crunchy texture. It is eaten with rice cooked in abalone broth. Both dishes are a combination of rich flavors with a hint of lard. It felt like the course had come to a grand finale.






``Coconut sorbet and snow glue dessert.'' ``Coconut sorbet and snow glue dessert.''

``Coconut sorbet and snow glue dessert.''






And the final dessert, "Coconut Sherbet and Snow Mushroom Dessert," was amazing. Snow mushroom is a type of mushroom that grows on mountains over 3000 meters above sea level, and when heated it becomes like a bird's nest. It is said to have anti-aging and immune-boosting properties. Wood ear mushrooms are said to be the "commoner's bird's nest," and snow mushrooms are similar to wood ear mushrooms and are the most luxurious of the two. The snow mushrooms, which have become like a transparent gelatin, are eaten with coconut sherbet. It is a very elaborate, refreshing and delicious dessert with a light sweetness.

Chef Vicky basically values ​​local ingredients. However, if you look to the side, you can see that there are a variety of ingredients and cooking methods in the vast continent of China, and that you can find them all over the world. The various ingredients obtained in this way are applied to a solid base of Cantonese cuisine and French cuisine. I can't wait to see what new dishes they will come up with.
(In writing this manuscript, I received a great deal of guidance from Miyuki Kume, a photographer who has lived in Hong Kong for 30 years and is well-versed in Chinese cuisine.)






Inside WING Inside WING

Inside WING. On business days, the chef is busy traveling between the 29th and 30th floors.







WING

198F, The Wellington, XNUMX
Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2711-0063
Closed: Sunday
Tasting course HKD1980, Premium course HKD2980
Online reservations only (reservations accepted from 28 days in advance)
*Alcohol is not included in the course price.

 





Text: Toshizumi Ishibashi
Toshizumi Ishibashi

Joined Bungeishunju after completing a master's degree at the Department of French Literature, Faculty of Letters, Keio University. He has served as editor-in-chief of ``Claire Traveler'', ``Claire'', and ``Special Edition Mook Editorial Department'', and finally became an editorial committee member. He has made numerous overseas gourmet trips with his own funds, and during his five-year stint as ``Clare Traveler,'' he traveled to more than 30 countries to enjoy the best food. If I had to name seven restaurants that shocked me through my public and private food experiences, they would be Mirazur in Menton, France, Epicure in Paris, El Seger de Canroca in Girona, Spain, and Torre del Saracino in Sorrento, Italy. ”, Hong Kong’s “Daibararo” and “Amber”, Tokyo’s “Sezan”. Currently, he is an editor and writer on topics ranging from food, hotels, and inns to history, medicine, and business.

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