Hong Kong’s Amber moves up in annual list of world’s 100 best restaurants

But no Hong Kong restaurants joined the list that weren’t on it last year

Adam Martin and Agencies


Richard Ekkebus in 2013. Photo: Landmark

In its fourth year on Restaurant magazine’s annual list of the world’s best restaurants, The Landmark hotel’s Amber moved from no 36 to no 24. It was the only Hong Kong establishment among the elite top 50, and the new position made it the list’s fourth-highest ranked restaurant in Asia.

But while the judges clearly favoured Dutch-born chef and culinary director Richard Ekkebus’s French fare, they did not hold the rest of the city’s offerings in the same esteem. All of the four Hong Kong restaurants on the top 100 list were there last year, including Lung King Heen, now at 66; Caprice, now at 85 and BO Innovation, now at 97.

The Danish restaurant Noma, headed by chef-owner Rene Redzepi, 36, topped the increasingly influential list as the world’s best restauarant, taking the position from Spain’s El Cellar de Can Roca, which slipped back to second. Noma had earned the top spot in 2010 through 2012, with its menu of original dishes such as sea urchin toast, beef tartar and ants, and pear and kale.


Seabream glazed with stewed mizutzko and seasonal vegetables. Photo: Landmark

The entry on Amber described Ekkebus’s food as “fundamentally French, but also modern, imaginative and tinged with influences he has picked up over his globe-trotting career.” Ekkebus, who has run Amber since 2005, has also worked in Holland, France, Mauritius and Barbados.

Restaurant praised his cuisine as “successfully playing on Hong Kong’s position as an east-west crossroads, as a trading hub and a former British colony.” And it singled out his “sea urchin in lobster jelly, with cauliflower, caviar and crispy seaweed waffle” as a favourite.

But while the British magazine’s list, which started in 2002, rises in influence to rival the long-established Michelin Guide, it has also gained criticism locally for being unimaginative.

“The judges seem like a conservative bunch,” wrote Mischa Moselle in his South China Morning Post blog. “Elsewhere in Asia, they name only three restaurants in Japan – all of them in Tokyo. Singapore had five mentions and Bangkok and Shanghai two apiece. Is there nowhere on Bali or in Kuala Lumpur, Penang or Mumbai worth a mention?”

Moselle noted that, “indeed the only surprise in the Pearl River Delta is that there are no Joel Robuchon restaurants on the list. the French chef’s Macau place dropped off this year. It seems odd that Macau restaurants such as Jade Dragon and The Tasting Room didn’t tickle the judges’ palates.”

Unlike the Michelin Guide, which compiles its entries from reports by its own “famously anonymous” inspectors, Restaurant creates its list based on votes from “The Diners Club World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 900 international leaders in the restaurant Industry,” according to its press materials.

Additional reporting by Reuters

The world’s top 100:

1. Noma; Copenhagen, Denmark
2. El Celler de Can Roca; Girona, Spain
3. Osteria Francescana; Modena, Italy
4. Eleven Madison Park; New York, USA
5. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal; London, UK
6. Mugaritz; San Sebastián, Spain
7. D.O.M; Sao Paulo, Brazil
8. Arzak; San Sebastian, Spain
9. Alinea; Chicago, USA
10. The Ledbury; London, UK
11. Mirazur; Menton, France
12. Vendome; Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
13. Nahm; Bangkok, Thailand
14. Narisawa; Tokyo, Japan
15. Central; Lima, Peru
16. Steirereck; Vienna, Austria
17. Gaggan; Bangkok, Thailand
18. Astrid y Gastón; Lima, Peru
19. Fäviken; Järpen, Sweden
20. Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico
21. Le Bernardin; New York, USA
22. Vila Joya; Albufeira, Portugal
23. Restaurant Frantzén; Stockholm, Sweden
24. Amber; Hong Kong
25. L’Arpège; Paris, France
26. Azuermendi; Larrabetzu, Spain
27. Le Chateaubriand; Paris, France
28. Aqua; Wolfsburg, Germany
29. De Libreije; Zwolle, Netherlands
30. Per Se; New York, USA
31. L’Atelier Saint-Germain de Joël Robuchon; Paris, France
32. Attica; Melbourne, Australia
33. Nihonryori RyuGin; Tokyo, Japan
34. Asador Etxebarri; Atxondo, Spain
35. Martin Beragategui; San Sebastian, Spain
36. Mani; Sao Paolo, Brazil
37. Restaurant Andrew; Singapore
38. L’Astrance; Paris, France
39. Piazza Duomo; Alba, Italy
40. Daniel; New York, USA
41. Quique Dacosta; Denia, Spain
42. Geranium; Copenhagen, Denmark
43. Schloss Schauenstein; Furstenau, Switzerland
44. The French Laundry; Yountville, USA
45. Hof Van Cleve; Kruishoutem, Belgium
46. Le Calandre; Rubano, Italy
47. The Fat Duck; Bray, UK
48. The Test Kitchen; Cape Town, South Africa
49. Coi; San Francisco, USA
50. Waku Ghin; Singapore
51. Combal.Zero; Rivoli, Italy
52. Septime; Paris, France
53. Relae; Copenhagen, Denmark
54. Blue Hill at Stone Barnes; Westchester, USA
55. St John; London, UK
56. Le Louis XV; Monte Carlo, Monaco
57. Tickets; Barcelona, Spain
58. Ultraviolet By Paul Pairet; Shanghai, China
59. Biko; Mexico City, Mexico
60. Quay; Sydney, Australia
61. In De Wulf; Dranouter, Belgium
62. Manresa; Los Gatos, USA
63. Hedone; London, UK
64. Momofuku Ssäm Bar; New York, USA
65. Hertog Jan; Bruges, Belgium
66. Lung King Heen; Hong Kong
67. 8½ Otto E Mezzo Bombana; Hong Kong
68. Nomad; New  York, USA
69. Saison; San Francisco, USA
70. Momofuku Ko; New York, USA
71. White Rabbit; Moscow, Russia
72. The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français; Franschhoek, South Africa
73. Bras; Laguiole, France
74. 41 Grados; Barcelona, Spain
75. Alain Ducasse Au Plaza Athénéé; Paris, France
76. Mr & Mrs Bund; Shanghai, China
77. Zuma; Dubai, UAE
78. Tim Raue; Berlin, Germany
79. Maaemo; Oslo, Norway
80. Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, USA
81. La Petite Maison; Dubai, UAE
82. La Grenouillere; La Madelaine sous Montreuil, France
83. Die Schwarzwaldstube; Baiersbronn, Germany
84. Iggy’s; Singapore
85. Caprice; Hong Kong
86. Les Amis; Singapore
87. The Clove Club; London, UK
88. L’Epicure; Paris, France
89. Taubenkobel; Schutzen, Austria
90. Dal Pescatore; Canneto Sull’oglio, Italy
91. Boragó; Santiago, Chile
92. Pierre Gagnaire; Paris, France
93. Marea; New York, USA
94. Restaurant Diverxo; Madrid, Spain
95. Malabar; Lima, Peru
96. Landhaus Bacher; Mautern, Austria
97. Bo Innovation; Hong Kong
98. Jean Georges; New York, USA
99. Ishikawa; Tokyo, Japan
100. Jaan; Singapore

PUBLISHED : 29th April, 2014



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