Cream of the crop: New dining experiences in Hong Kong

From dim sum classes and beer brewing in private kitchens, to themed dining rooms or a secret garden soirée.

HK Shangri-La Burgundy Room
Shangri-La's Unplugged programme provides pop-up culinary experiences. Photo Credit:Shangri-La Hong Kong

As Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc for the hospitality industry, restaurants in Hong Kong have re-strategised their business in recent months, with unique dining experiences and team-building activities to draw in the corporate crowd.

Eating into luxury


Conrad Hong Kong Hotel offers bespoke experiences at each of its private dining room venues, using tailor-made menus catered to client preferences.  

“One of our most unique options is the dim sum cooking class at Golden Leaf, an interactive and engaging team-building exercise,” said commercial director, Tina Ma.

Housed at the upscale Landmark shopping mall, Zuma is a stylish venue serving Japanese menus. Occupying two floors, corporates can book the semi-private rooms – Maru and Kasai – for a canape-style dining experience. The latter features a chef’s table for a close-up encounter. The whole restaurant can be booked exclusively for private events. 

Example of a delivery menu at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, curated by in-house award-winning chefs.
Example of a delivery menu at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, curated by in-house award-winning chefs.

Similarly, Tokyo-grown two-Michelin-starred Tempura Uchitsu launched its first overseas debut at Four Seasons Hong Kong last year. The restaurant offers a private dining package welcoming corporates and VIP clients, which can host up to 12 people at a time in its Japanese-style countertop setting. 

Gaining an extra Michelin star in the latest Michelin Guide for Hong Kong and Macau, L’Envol at The St. Regis allows for corporate buy-outs.

Personalised team-building exercises are also an option at The St.  Regis, where its catering team presents ideas and unique experiences for clients. “We hosted a virtual wine-tasting class with our chief sommelier as one of the team-building exercises for a technology company which hosted an annual summit at the hotel," said a spokesperson.

Themed dining rooms can also entice corporate groups looking for an engaging experience. S&S Hospitality Group’s al-fresco Portico terrace features a range of themed private rooms which include a secret garden, and the projector-equipped Roma Room for a unique setting experience. Corporate packages are bespoke. 

Meanwhile, The Peninsula Hong Kong is offering its bespoke services at private meeting and dining venues across the hotel. These include the elegant Salisbury Room, the lavish Hankow I and II, and the private-elevator-led Garden Suite which features an open-air setting.

Dining inside hotel rooms is also proving popular. Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong serves tailor-made packages for corporate clients at its lavish Mandarin Suite, or the presidential suite which houses up to 12 persons for a corporate dinner, with menus curated by award-winning chefs. 

Test Kitchen provides a pop-up kitchen concept for corporate bookings, with hand-on cooking classes or elaborate tasting menus.
Test Kitchen provides a pop-up kitchen concept for corporate bookings, with hand-on cooking classes or elaborate tasting menus.

 

Rent a private kitchen


The private kitchen boom in Hong Kong is niche but has drawn in corporates thanks to its innovative, intimate appeal.

Many are led by award-winning chefs, such as Ta Pantry by chef Esther Sham, which serves creative French cuisine. Her meeting package features the choice of four different menus inspired by different cuisines. Event planners can utilise the rent-a-kitchen service for potential team-building activities.

Led by Lebanese chef Maria Bizri, Pomegranate Kitchen offers bespoke services from set-up to tailored menus. Popular corporate team-building options include on-site cooking competitions and cooking classes that involve teaching and assigning different skills to team members. In light the of the government's evening curfew, all-day packages are also available. 

Test Kitchen, a unique dining movement that invites highly-acclaimed chefs from around the world, provides a pop-up kitchen concept which is also open for corporate bookings. Each experience is bespoke, with highlights such as a sourdough-making masterclass, and an eight-course tasting menu that is eaten across a three-storey venue – meaning each floor can have its own theme.

“Whether its a product launch or cocktail reception, or a hands-on experience with the chefs, our space is multi-functional”, said founder Vincent Mui. Previous clients include Lane Crawford, Celine, Johnny Walker and Google. 

Catering company, RELISH, has also launched unique culinary experiences in the wake of Covid-19. 

“We also curate unique workshops such as beer brewing and cocktail-making geared towards specific groups' individual needs," said founders Evelyn Tonry and Abby Cadman. The company can also cater to corporate clients at their offices if requested. “One of our most unique experiences was a bespoke individual picnic, complete with branded picnic hampers and blankets."

S&S Hospitality Group’s al-fresco Portico terrace offers catering packages delivering its restaurant services and cuisine to clients "anywhere, anytime".
S&S Hospitality Group’s al-fresco Portico terrace offers catering packages delivering its restaurant services and cuisine to clients "anywhere, anytime".



Portable feasts to perk-up virtual meets


Aiming for a remote kitchen concept, Shangri-La Group's Unplugged programme provides a unique catering experience that brings its award-winning chefs into all sorts of kitchens across the city, allowing guests to enjoy a customised dining experience from the comfort of their office or home.

S&S Hospitality is heading towards the same direction. “As a lot of companies now prefer hosting events at their offices or a private premise, we offer catering packages where we can bring our restaurant services and cuisine to them anywhere, anytime," said a spokesperson.



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