Hong Kong: a whistle-stop tour with chef Jason Atherton

Words by Steve Beale

30 June 2020

Asia is a special place for British super-chef Jason Atherton. His wife is originally from The Philippines and Jason has spent a lot of time building his restaurant business and realising dreams across the region. He seems to have all bases covered: Success, in the form of a prolific chain of upmarket London eateries with The Social Company; credibility from being the chef chosen to launch outlets in Ian Schraeger’s EDITION hotels, and, recognition with his GQ Chef of the Year award, AA Rosettes, Michelin stars, and even a few TV guest appearances.

While in Asia, we caught up with the busy entrepreneur for a whistle-stop insider tour of his favourite ways to experience Hong Kong, where many of our Quintessentially members live, work and play.

Quintessentially: Where do you stay when you visit Hong Kong?

Jason Atherton: The Upper House.

Which item of clothing do you always pack when you visit?

JA: If I’m working, then chef whites; if it’s for leisure then it’s modern classics from The Armoury.

Where’s the best place to grab a coffee?

JA: Knockbox, if I’m in Kowloon, or Cupping Room on Hong Kong Island.

Where’s the hot spot for dancing come restaurant closing time?

JA: This is not so much a place for dancing, but if I’m going for a late drink or nightcap, I love M Bar on the 25th floor of the Mandarin Oriental.

Where would I pick up some quirky gifts for the squad?

JA: The jade market in Yau Ma Tei, and Jade Street, which is right next to it. Jade is a lucky charm for the people of Hong Kong; it’s important in their culture. So, it makes a great gift – if what you buy is jade, of course.

Where’s the best vantage point for a marvellous view of Hong Kong?

JA: Victoria Peak, an obvious choice maybe. But it’s so easy to jump on the Peak Tram to get to it, and the view is great.

Where do you go to relax and lounge?

JA: I’d probably make use of the hotel pool to clear the mind. Once you’re out and about in Hong Kong, it’s hectic!

And the best place to lose yourself for a couple of hours?

JA: Any of the food markets because you’ll always find something unusual and interesting. Tong Chong Street Market is worth a look, as there are lots of independent farmers, coffee roasters, up-and-coming chefs, and bakers to discover and taste…

A local delicacy that you love and would recommend?

JA: Roasted suckling pig - and then egg tarts.

What’s your most effective insider tip for visitors to Hong Kong?

JA: Research your restaurants first. There are so many here that it can be overwhelming, and you may miss some real gems.

Read more about some of Hong Kong’s top restaurants such as 'The Flying Elk' by Björn Frantzén, 'Ecriture' by Maxime Gilbert.

For the insider’s guide to Hong Kong’s top restaurants, bars, boutiques and cultural attractions, please contact your lifestyle manager. For expert guidance on the finest hotels and member benefits, get in touch with our travel specialists at [email protected]

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