Last year, a significant change swept through the restaurants at Wynn Palace in Macau. The beloved master Chef Tam Kwok Fung relocated to the former site of Sichuan Moon andunveiled a brand-new conceptual restaurant named Chef Tam’s Seasons. This new layout allows Chef Tam greater freedom to express his culinary art, offering diners the chance to experience his private kitchen dishes.
China’s Northeast region boasts the country’s best abalone, sea cucumbers and sea urchins, mostly harvested from the cold, clean waters off the northeastern coast. However, for a long time, the notion of Northeastern Chinese cuisine was largely associated with a hearty medley of meats and vegetables cooked in a giant iron wok. The situation has changed since Fengtian Restaurant opened in Shenyang and redefined Northeastern cuisine. A little over a year ago, Fengtian Restaurant launched its new outlet FANHUA in Shenzhen, proving that Northeastern cuisine has the power to warm the hearts of diners even in the southern heat.
The new generation of chefs has begun to embrace their own land. They have learnt Western techniques, but have decided to unleash their talents on the canvas of Chinese cuisine. After winning a Michelin star for Ling Long Beijing, Jason Liu, at the age of 30, once again garners a star for the restaurant’s new venue in Shanghai, the most challenging city for top-notch restaurants in China, after opening only for few months. In my mind, the two spots are not on the same level any more.
China's thousands of years of history have nurtured a diverse and beautiful cultural treasure. With the refinement of Chinese cuisine, the catering industry is stillexploring how to present Chinese aesthetic, which cannot be achieved fortnight and for some people, it is a lifelong endeavour. This year's newly-awarded Michelin one-star Sichuan cuisine restaurant in Guangzhou – Yong – is a pioneer in this regard. In its first year of operation, Yong has not only developed its own style but also created a memorable dining space where Chinese culture is perfectly interpreted through the art of food.
Chef Li's cooking philosophy is rooted in Chinese ingredients and culinary culture, while also incorporating the essence of Western cuisine, injecting a fresh vitality and creativity into the ingredients. The variety of Chinese ingredients continues to expand, with seafood and various vegetables gradually elevating in quality.
Chef Xu Jingye showcases understated elegance of Cantonese cuisine in every dish at 102 House, which, within just one year of its establishment in Shanghai, was awarded two Michelin stars, making a remarkable debut. But Michelin is both pressure and motivation. This year, the spring menu demonstrates even greater stability with precise execution and graceful flavouring.
Yong's cuisine is based on a variety of soups with highlights of charcoal grilling. Chinese flavours, or more specifically Sichuan flavours, are the charming mainstay but techniques like deep-frying and grilling bring a touch of Japanese kaiseki. Were we in Guangzhou or Chengdu? I almost couldn't tell. Here, I see the meaning of heritage. After a hundred years, Yong has restored this historical building to its natural patina and past glory.
Refer has all the qualities of a top-notch restaurant. With competence and confidence, Chef has insisted on doing a trifold menu that encompasses a vast range of ingredients, but each dish is dealt with utmost care and exquisite technique. The ability to combine perceptions, cooking skills and the art of plating with subtlety and elegance requires meticulous craftsmanship.