Laurent Tourondel is known for his BLT restaurant empire, which includes BLT Steak, BLT Fish, BLT Prime, BLT Burger, BLT Market, LT Burger in the Harbor and LT Signature in Panama. Most recently, he opened the Arlington Club Steakhouse in New York City. The French chef is often flying around the globe to check in on existing restaurants and opening new ones. He recently visited Hong Kong, where he has both BLT Burger and BLT Steak concepts. “One of the most striking things about Hong Kong is the soaring skyscrapers that make up the skyline. Someone once told me that Hong Kong has more than twice the number of skyscrapers than New York,” says Tourondel. “It’s one of the most vertical places on earth and such a dense city. I also love that Hong Kong is a city of so many faces with a mix of old and new food—you can have authentic, incredible Chinese food and modern, refined European cuisine just a few doors down.”
Tourondel was also impressed with the city’s great design. “Hong Kong’s restaurants are known for the importance they place on design and for complying with feng shui,” he says. “ You can see they spend time and energy on creating a unique, special environment. It is common to see very expensive chandeliers and paintings and ornate, showy interiors in restaurants.”
Here, he shares highlights from his trip.
Lung King Heen
“Chef Chan Yan Tak was the first Chinese chef to earn three Michelin stars. He prepared the best Peking duck I’ve had to date at this famous Cantonese restaurant. It’s so good it’s like eating candy. It is located in the Four Seasons, which is known by locals and tourists to be very trendy and I definitely saw a very posh, hip crowd here.” 8 Finance Street, Central, 852/3196-8888, fourseasons.com
Yung Kee Restaurant
“This restaurant, also recognized by Michelin, is located in the middle of Central and right near the Lan Kwai Fong bar district. They serve a traditional and famous roast goose that is so delicious.” 32-40 Wellington St., Central, 852/2522-1624, yungkee.com.hk
Din Tai Fung
“I liked the dim sum and dumplings at this famous restaurant. You must order the xiao long bao, which are steamed soup dumplings filled with pork. People say that it’s a foreigner-friendly atmosphere, but I just liked the food.” 30 Canton Rd., 852/2730-6928, dintaifung.com.hk
“This restaurant is located in one of the most exclusive clubs in Hong Kong, inside the iconic Old Bank of China building. The entertainment and décor is worth a trip alone. The interiors look like a traditional Chinese tea-house with lots of modern art on the walls.” Bank St., 13th and 14th flrs, 852/2521-888
“They serve traditional Chinese food (Peking/Northern style) at this restaurant, which is designed to look and feel like the ancient hutongs of China. It is located on the top two floors of the One Peking Road building in Tsim Sha Tsui, with direct views across the Harbor to Central and Hong Kong Island. Every night at 8pm there is a magnificent light show that illuminates the Hong Kong skyline, and this restaurant offers front row seats and perfect views to see the skyline light up.” 1 Peking Rd., 28th floor, Tsim Sha Tsui, 852/3428 8342, hutong.com.hk
W Hotel Hong Kong
“The W is located in West Kowloon and just a quick ride (ferry ride or one MTR/tube/subway stop) away from the Central district. The hotel is right near a large mall with great shopping and West Kowloon is right on the water of Victoria Harbour, which is just beautiful. The hotel overlooks the water and has great views straight across to Central and of Hong Kong’s famous skyline. Right next to the W is the International Commerce Center (ICC), which is the tallest building in Hong Kong and it has the highest hotel in the world (the Hong Kong Ritz Carlton) inside.” 1 Austin Road West, 852/3717-2222, Kowloon, starwoodhotels.com
From my trip to Hong Kong I took a liking to black vinegar and steamed eggs in the morning. I love it now!