Fine Wine

Cheese fondue at ThinkWine, Zoku’s Okinawan menu and more

It’s Monday! It’s also Day 4 of the 6pm dinner ban. How’s it going? Still hanging in?

Maybe you’re a glass-half-full kind of person and took the two-week, no dine-in rule as a chance to eat healthier. It is January, after all. But one weekend later, you’re sick of staying in and testing new recipes. Go ahead, put on pants, it’s time for a meal out. This week New Eats include: a limited-time fried chicken burger from The Baker & The Bottleman, Saigon specials at Cô Thành’s new location, cheese fondue at ThinkWine and Okinawan specialties at Zoku.

Dinner plans? Fried chicken burger at The Baker & The Bottleman

In case you haven’t heard, Simon Rogan’s latest venture The Baker & The Bottleman has opened its doors on Lee Tung Avenue. So when you do head over for an afternoon cuppa — don’t forgot a side of that ginormous chocolate chip cookie that will change your life — you can also get dinner conundrums sorted at the bakery-cum-wine-bar which creates a limited-time Buttermilk Chicken Burger to curb hungry appetites in the area. Available for takeaway only starting from today till 15 January, the loaded comfort stacks together a spiced buttermilk-marinated chicken, red cabbage slaw, pickled cucumber and chilli mayo all together between house-made brioche buns. We’re requesting a permanent spot on the menu for this, please.

They’re set to sell out, so pre-order here to avoid disappointment.

The Baker & The Bottleman, Shop G14-G15, G/F & 1/F Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Sebastian Lorenzi to become Arcane’s new chef de cuisine

Hong Kong-native Sebastian Lorenzi is not a new addition to the Arcane kitchen — he’s been working alongside chef-founder Shane Osborn for the last four years. Hong Kong born and raised, Lorenzi takes over Michael Smith’s role as chef de cuisine at the one-Michelin-star restaurant as Smith moves to run The Arcane Collective’s Moxie since last August. Lorenzi adheres to Arcane’s unpretentious, ingredient-first cooking and brings his French-trained technique to the restaurant, which he’s has expertly honed in countless notables experiences including Italy’s two-starred Uliassi, London Knightsbridge’s two-starred Dinner by Heston and the reputed three-Michelin-star L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, here in Hong Kong.

“I am so proud to have worked my way up to Chef de Cuisine at Arcane over the last four years. The team here are like family to me and Shane has become a mentor – he makes everyone in his kitchen feel so supported and has created an amazing community where we learn every day. After years spent in high-end French kitchens, I’d gotten used to very theatrical and complicated ways of cooking, but under Shane, I’ve learnt how to pair things back, to give ingredients their time to shine. This has really opened my eyes – and in a sense it has taught me how to ‘really’ cook – there’s no hiding when you can’t rely on frills and fanciful plating.”

“Arcane is very different from most establishments in that everyone in the kitchen has a say – this is inconceivable in a lot of the more traditional kitchens where everything is led from the top. I love this approach and I want to continue this now as Chef de Cuisine. I want to have a collaborative process, with a lot of discussion from junior team members. Our menus change weekly and bouncing ideas with the ingredients in season helps everyone stay creative and invested.” 

Sebastian Lorenzi, Chef de Cuisine at Arcane

Arcane, 3/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2728 0178

Cô Thành departs Kau U Fong for Pacific Place

To those who know it, the rustic ground-level tuck-shop is an integral part to the Cô Thành experience. The raw concrete walls, plastic stools and fold-out tables, and perhaps the most telling, the flimsy wooden board that doubled as the front door of the Vietnamese post — a full reflection of the restaurant’s home-style serves with authentic recipes from Saigon’s famed The Lunch Lady herself.

Now, the Kau U Fong mainstay is relocating to an unexpected new home: The sleek lobbies of Pacific Place. While the atmosphere may be a little different, Cô Thành promises that the venue’s Bún bowls and Bánh Mì is the very same iteration you know and love, with the latter made as a close replica of the original with ingredients flown in from Vietnam and the bread and vermicelli noodles made fresh daily. There will be new additions to the menu too, in particular, Patê Sô, a patê-stuffed puff pastry typically found in Vietnamese bakeries, a selection of new noodle soups and cold noodle salad topped with betel leaf beef rolls (Bún Bò Lá Lốt) and caul-wrapped pork sausages (Bún Mỡ Chài).

Cô Thành, Shop 123, Level 1 88 Queensway, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong, +852 7073 7735

Cheese Fondue Night (lunch for now) at ThinkWine every Monday to Wednesday

If you didn’t manage to get your hands on a raclette machine, don’t despair. Here’s a better alternative, all without the clean-up: Cheese Fondue Night (lunch, during these dining restrictive times) at ThinkWine, which brings the authentic Swiss culinary experience to the city with an all-you-can-eat potato, truffle ham, Bayonne ham, coppa and sauccion. Forget the low-20’s weather, perhaps this is what we really need to get cosy in a winter mood.

Otherwise, ThinkWine will also be hosting a Restaurant Takeover series with a handful of the city’s favourite restaurants from January to March. Together with the wine hub’s exceptional roster of fine wines, there will be a pairing menu of five to six exclusive dishes concocted by respective restaurants. The schedule is as follows:

  • 12 January: Chef Yong Soo Do of DAM:A Noodle Bar
  • 27 January: Chef Joe Chan of AWA AWA
  • 9 February: Chef Esdras Ochoa of 11 Westside
  • 23 February: Chef Satoru Mukogawa of Sushi Kuu
  • 16 March: Chef Shun Sato of Censu
  • 30 March: Chef Corey Riches of Bedu

Reservations can be made via or calling +852 2886 3121

ThinkWine, 2/F, LL Tower, 2 Shelley Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2886 3121

Gastronomic Travels: Okinawa flavours at Zoku

It’s no secret: We’re a city sorely missing Japan. And if the very first thing you’re longing for is the delectable cuisine, then make the trip to The Hari’s Zoku for a near-authentic take of a meal in sunny Okinawa. Ideated in collaboration with the Japanese island, expect six courses that highlight flavours from the region, including Shikuwasa spicy ceviche, mixed with seasonal fish, mozuku seaweed and tomato; Kukuni, served with braised pork belly and Okinawa pumpkin; and Okinawa Soba — prawn sauce, chilli oil and egg yolk swirled jet-black strands of squid ink soba. The menu, available from 14 January to 11 February, also comes with Ryukyu cocktail pairing, created in collaboration with Mizunara Hong Kong, with the likes of Awamori Highball, Plum New Fashion — Umemizuki plum liqueur and Japanese gin — and Painappuru, a sweet, tropics-like blend of Yaesen pineapple wine, sweet probiotic milk as well as pineapple, cranberry and lime juice.

Reservations for the Okinawan menu at Zoku (HK$888 / person with additional HK$288 for cocktail pairing) can be made here.

Zoku, 2/F, The Hari, 330 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2129 0338

Header image courtesy of Cô Thành

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