9 W 53rd St
New York, NY 10019
Dining date: 9/24/16
This was my first time dining at The Modern, which just re-opened a day prior after a full kitchen remodel. The restaurant’s been abuzz in the last year, as one of the most prominent NYC restaurants to move away from tipping (they call it “hospitality-included”), a pricing model that many others are contemplating. The restaurant also garnered two Michelin stars in the 2016 guide, an elevation from its previous one-star status over the past few years.
The current dining room menu offers four courses for $158 and a $208 eight-course tasting (the bar serves a more casual a la carte menu). I went with the four-courser after having a late lunch at Xi’an Famous Foods earlier in the day.
2065 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
Dining date: 7/1/16
Lord Stanley opened about a year ago and has garnered some high praise in its first year. It received a Michelin star in October and was added to Michael Bauer’s Top 100 Restaurants in the Bay Area list in April after getting 3 1/2 stars from him.
The food is from the husband/wife team of Carrie and Rupert Blease, formerly of Commonwealth and Central Kitchen. At Lord Stanley, they are cooking a refined cuisine described as modern European/Californian. A seven course tasting menu is available ($83), but we went a la carte on this evening.
The Langham Hong Kong 1/F and 2/F
8 Peking Road
Dining date: 3/13/16
While planning meals over the last couple of days in Hong Kong, we wanted to fit one more dim sum lunch in. T’ang Court, a Michelin three star restaurant at The Langham, was just a couple of blocks down from the hotel and had a last-minute reservation available.
Like fellow three-star Lung King Heen, the menu was extensive even for lunch. We planned to go for one of the set tasting menus, but they were only offered for tables of 2 or 4. Oddly, neither could be tailored for a party of 3 so we went a la carte.
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
15 Queen’s Road Central
Dining date: 3/12/16
I’ve enjoyed dining at Joel Robuchon’s various locations around the world and was happy to make a lunch stop here. Hong Kong’s version of L’Atelier is rated three Michelin stars, the only restaurant in the chain to hold this distinction. This restaurant is actually split into two parts – the signature wraparound bar surrounding the kitchen (L’Atelier) and a more formal dining room with tables (Le Jardin). Same menu, same kitchen, just a different type of atmosphere. We dined at the bar for a view of the action.
Lunch is composed of a 3-5 course prix fixe; between my parents and I ordering the 5-course ($858 HKD), we were able to try quite a bit of the menu.
Lung King Heen
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong 4/F
8 Finance Street
Dining date: 3/10/16
Dim sum was one of the things my family and I really wanted to explore while in Hong Kong. How much better would it be in Hong Kong vs. California? My mother’s cousin, who is a frequent visitor to the territory, recommended Lung King Heen as his favorite. The restaurant at the Four Seasons, which is Michelin three-starred and ranked 99th best restaurant in the world, certainly promised to be a different kind of dim sum experience compared to what we were accustomed to.
Window seats provided plenty of views of the harbor.
Tim Ho Wan
Olympian City G/F
18 Hoi Ting Road
Dining date: 3/11/16
Tim Ho Wan might be the most famous Michelin-starred restaurant in Hong Kong. The “hole in a wall” dim sum restaurant gained a star in the 2010 guide, launching it to fame as the world’s cheapest Michelin star restaurant (I’m not sure if it still is, particularly after dining at Ho Hung Kee). The restaurant has leveraged its success for expansion throughout Asia in recent years with outposts currently in Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. This location, at Olympian City, is one of the three Tim Ho Wans that currently hold a Michelin star in Hong Kong.
Two things surprised me about the restaurant from the beginning. First, there was no line (it was a Friday); I had read many reviews talking about some lengthy waits. Maybe we just lucked out. Second, it wasn’t a hole-in-a-wall at all! Maybe this location was just nicer; the original location relocated here in 2013. No complaints though.