Before you hastily wave goodbye to 2021, celebrate with good friends and a grand feast for a proper sendoff to a wildly underwhelming year.
You know, 2021 was supposed to be the year where everything went Back to Normal. It didn’t. How naive we all were. Instead, we sat through a rollercoaster ride of border restrictions — opened up (yay) before quickly shut again (boo) — 14, then 21 days of quarantines at home and hotels, and lots and lots of QR scans and temperature checks.
But what we did discover while anchored in the city is that new restaurants were the one thing that got us through. They never stopped opening! We went beyond the two usual stops on the Island Line to explore new venues and cuisines far and away from home. So with a final goodbye to 2021, and a hopeful look-ahead to 2022 (please, let us go somewhere; anywhere!), celebrate New Year’s Eve with a memorable dinner at the many venues that helped sate our appetites this last 12 months.
Where to dine and celebrate New Year’s Eve:
Price: HK$4,888 / person.
To mark an occasion as rare as the welcoming of a new year takes one very special location indeed. New Year’s Eve only happens once a year! And that’s a location like two-Michelin star Écriture where stunning views are only rivalled by an even more stunning array of dishes prepared by chef Maxime Gilbert and chef Heloïse Fischbach. The seven-course New Year’s Eve dinner menu is a complete showcase of the restaurant’s refined take on contemporary French cuisine, and includes roasted giant Brittany langoustine, Brittany live sea urchin prepared like an egg cocotte with caviar, Normandy scallop shaved with winter black truffle and a whole roasted rack of beef that’s finished off over smoky binchotan.
Écriture, 26/F, H Queens’ 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2795 5996
Price: HK$1,500 / person.
Chef Mario Paecke of Margo prepares an eight-course dinner of decadence in bidding adieu to 2021. The modern European brasserie serves up a classic menu coupled with delightful contemporary twists the likes of a Fukuoka snow crab cocktail concocted with green asparagus and seaweed brioche, roasted pork belly with Brussel sprouts, muscat grapes and violet mustard and an Alexandre Polmard beef tartare topped with cep & white onion purée. To finish, chef ends on a sweet note with a German holiday tradition: bratapfe — baked apples served with vanilla custard.
Margo, Shop 6, G/F, The Galleria, 9 Queens Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2130 7731
Price: HK$888 / person (seating at 6pm).
If counting down to the New Year is typically done in a seaside locale of some sort, the lack of travel this holiday season means very inventive alternatives. Osteria Marzia is one such location, evocative of coastal Italy with airy interiors and sea-fresh produce which includes Seppia, cuttlefish prepared with pistachio di Bronte, Fine de Claire oysters and a dedicated Catch of the Day, set to stun and surprise with bright Italian flavours. The meal rounds out with a decadent Foresta Nera Flambé — a fabulous way to see out the end of the year, I’ll say.
Osteria Marzia, G/F, The Fleming, 41 Fleming Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 3607 2253
Price: HK$2,000 / person (seating at 9pm).
The Peak will be having New Year’s excitement of its own, with celebrations at Anglo-Indian mess hall Rajasthan Rifles kicking off at 9pm beginning with a grand feast starring all of the venue’s beloved comforts: Tandoor-cooked lamb chops, lobster garlic butter fry and a Calcutta-style Asian sea bass curry, Macher Kalia. Also served around the room, free flow of any of your go-to beverages, with anything from Pimm’s Cups to G&Ts and flutes of Champagne. Swing out the evening with tunes from the live band just in time for welcoming 2022 toasts.
Rajasthan Rifles, G/F, The Peak Galleria, Hong Kong, +852 2388 8874
Price: HK$880 / person (three courses with seating at 5:30 or 6pm) or HK$1,200 (four courses with seating at 8:30pm).
Not only will you be seated with a front-row view of Victoria Harbour (no fireworks this year, sadly), you’ll sit with a sweet serenade by way of professional accordionist Nazar Tabachyshyn’s stunning live music performance. Dinner comes in either three- or four-course seating with chef Wilson Leung‘s take on modern Australian cuisine of fresh seafood and quality produce, including saffron risotto with scallop and edamame, Carabinero prawns, Australian Grade 9 Mayura wagyu sirloin, banoffee cheesecake and the entrance of a glorious cheese trolley filled to the brim will all sorts of tasty treats.
Hue, 1/F, Hong Kong Museum of Art, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 3500 5888
Price: HK$650 / person (with seatings of either 8 or 8:30pm) with additional HK$250 for 2.5 hours of free flow.
Grain understands the desire to travel in a no-travel year. So instead of simply longing for a chalet vacation, Grain thoughtfully brings the classic European tradition to the seaside neighbourhood in Kennedy Town. Hosting their first New Year’s Eve Dinner, the cosy gastropub serves a five-course menu featuring a charcuterie selection, grilled flank steak with “cafe de Paris” sauce and truffle fries, Apple strudel with cinnamon ice cream and the star centrepiece of the evening, Pilsner cheese fondue served with grilled peppers, potatoes confit and fresh-baked bread.
Grain, G/F, Shop 1, New Fortune House, 3-5 New Praya, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
Price: HK$788 / person (seating at 6pm), HK$988 / person (seating at 8:30pm) with HK$498 add-on option for free flow Premium Drinks Package.
If you’re counting down to 2022 at Roji, fantastic choice. Not only is the Central hideaway izakaya throwing a grand New Year’s Eve soirée to farewell 2021, you’ll also be dining with some of the venue’s latest seasonal serves: Crispy-fried chicken skin with a miso mayo dip, Polmard beef tartare and a personal favourite (which I gushed endlessly about in one edition of our weekly Best Bites), Mentaiko udon, coated in rich, creamy ginger-garlic dressing sprinkled with mentaiko pollack roe. The dinner, available in two seatings, will also come with a welcome glass of Moët & Chandon Champagne but we recommend going for the list of special-made cocktails, including the flavoured Highballs, which I also enthusiastically raved about here.
Roji, G/F, 20A D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong, +852 +852 9884 0704
Price: HK$1,200 / person.
When it comes to the final minute of 2021, you’ll probably think back on the the past 12 months, flipping through all the best memories had. But no need to flip so far — just remember this delicious Catalan meal at La Rambla you had just a few hours ago. Staying true to a memorable feast, the eight-course menu includes a selection of cuisine favourites like fresh tomato on toasted crystal bread with a drizzle of olive oil, a unique Hokkaido uni doughnut served with miso mayonnaise, foie grass mi-cuit and a hearty Boston lobster paella, topped with the classic trio of clams, squid and mussels.
La Rambla, Shop 3071 -3073, Level 3, ifc mall, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2661 1161
Price: HK$1,888 / person.
The secret to successful New Year’s celebration? Good food and lots and lots of wine. A wish that is sure to come true at the newly opened Bacchus on Hollywood Road, which prides itself on its very extensive list of fine wines. Naturally then, the seafood-centric, six-course New Year’s Eve dinner comes paired with a thoughtfully curated selection of vinos, set to highlight the exquisite flavours of the venue’s Asian-inspired French cuisine. Caviar is, of course, in attendance, but so are some very extravagant serves: Russian Red Merus king crab leg, French Brioche Perdu, Japanese sea urchin and grilled Atlantic turbot in a decadent Champagne-caviar sauce.
Bacchus, 3/F Hollywood Centre, 233 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 3750 5200
Price: HK$1,980 / person with additional HK$1,080 for wine pairing.
On the flip side of New Year’s Eve extravagance, there’s comfort. Time spent with nearest and dearest all wrapped and warm as you anticipate an exciting welcoming to another new year. Giacomo’s New Year’s Eve menu is a six-course dinner celebration that allows you to do both: Southern Italian comforts made with intent for complete indulgence. Foie gras with chestnut emulsion. Royale oysters topped with caviar. Mayura beef tenderloin with winter black truffle. Then the hearty, home-style pastas by executive chef Keith Yam: Brittany blue lobster Sardinian gnocchi, tagliolini with mushroom jus and Alba white truffle. A wonderful end and beginning to the years.
Giacomo, G/F, 8 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 3980 3008
Price: HK$698 / person.
When the clock strikes 12 on 31 December, all that matters is you and your loved one in celebration of the year just had and to be had. An intimate dinner prior is then to be had. Cornerstone, with its sleek interiors and cosy seating, presents the perfect setting and a delicious menu representative of chef Neal G. Ledesma’s sophisticated plates that manage to comfort. For New Year’s Eve, the modern bistro prepares a four-course menu topped with smoked ricotta raviolo, pan-seared wagyu rump cap and celeraic risotto, before finishing with a modest yet very indulgent banana cake topped with dulce mousse and a drizzle of caramel.
Cornerstone, G/F, 49 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
LPM Restaurant & Bar
Price: À la carte prices, with a minimum spend of HK$1,800 for late seating (seating at 6pm, 6:30pm and late seating from 8pm onwards).
Now don’t be mistaken, LPM Restaurant & Bar might be known for its fresh and bright French-Mediterranean serves but it doesn’t mean it’s a reason not to dress up. The restaurant encourages you to, with the welcoming of 2022, and set the theme of the evening to glamorous Studio 54. So find the glitziest sequins dress you own and shimmy your way to the restaurant’s H Queen’s location. The menu itself is a true dedication to LPM’s coastal flavours, devised by head chef Maurizio Pace. Except crowd favourites like the scallop tartare and grilled pink sea bream, grilled “Black Onyx” sirloin steak and a comforting sun-dried tomato pesto spaghetti topped with squid. Of course, it not a complete LPM experience without the glamorous cocktails, with a choice of four for the evening. The Criquet de Milly of white cacao, peppermint liqueur and coconut sorbet, in particular, will be a delightful end, with flavour profiles similar to an After Eight mint.
LPM Restaurant & Bar, Shop 1, 1/F, 23-29 Stanley Street, H Queen’s Central, Hong Kong, +852 2887 1113