Where do top chefs eat? That’s what we ask in our Eat Like A Chef series, where we follow in the culinary footsteps of the world’s top chefs! Next up is Chef Agustin Balbi of one-Michelin starred Spanish x Japanese restaurant Ando in Hong Kong.
From yakitori to fine dining, here’s where chef Balbi likes to treat himself when he’s not in the kitchen:
It’s nearly impossible to live in Hong Kong and not know about Caprice and its chef, Guillaume Galliot. He’s a good friend of mine and I truly enjoy his cuisine, which is both traditional and modern at the same time. The ambience is amazing – beautiful chandeliers, an open kitchen and an amazing view of the Hong Kong harbour. Whenever I go, I usually let the chef choose the food for me – it’s the ultimate show of trust.
Caprice, Four Seasons Hong Kong, 8 Finance St, Central, Hong Kong
Agora is known for the traditional flavours of Spain made with an innovative take. I was so excited to hear that it’d be opened by my good friend, Antonio Oviedo, formerly of 22 Ships. The food is delicious and made with so much passion – go for dinner and enjoy your meal with the view of Tai Kwun, the trees and the twinkling lights of the buildings in the background.
Agora, Shop 14, G/F D Hall, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
Fun fact – I knew about MONO long before it even existed, since Ricardo (Chaneton) is like a brother to me. A truly unique dining experience, they’re known for their Latin American flavours fused with French cuisine techniques, and it reminds me of the flavours of home. Everything happens around the bustling kitchen, and I absolutely love their signature blue tiles and awesome vinyl collection of music.
MONO, 5/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, Hong Kong
Yardbird is a Hong Kong institution famed for its yakitori, energetic vibe and some of the most genuine and caring staff in the city. I have never had a bad meal there in its 10+ years of existence, which says a lot. I even have their stickers on my phone case and laptop! Be sure to order the corn balls, biceps, neck, and tsukune, although everything on the menu is delicious.
Yardbird, Winsome House, 154-158 Wing Lok Street G/F, Shops A and B, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Helmed by chef Richard Ekkebus, Amber is an icon in Hong Kong’s dining scene for its refined and responsible approach to mod European cuisine. With a focus on sustainability, the food does not sacrifice on taste. Plus, the restaurant is beautiful and service, impeccable. I always go for the long tasting menu but I never miss out on their iconic signature uni with caviar dish.
Amber, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
Get more tips from the Big Lychee – nab a copy of the LUXE Hong Kong guide: