Five Favourite Restaurants with Arturo Melendez, head chef at Peruvian restaurant Chicha in Central.
Chicha (71%) was incredibly influential on Hong Kong's recent dining scene, arguably bringing in the many upscale South American restaurants that now dot much of Central. And chief behind that influence, is the restaurant's head chef, Arturo Melendez.
A native of Peru, Melendez was cooking away around his home country since the tender age of 18. He then opened South Africa's first Peruvian restaurant in Cape Town, before coming to Hong Kong a couple years back to do the same here. Here, he gives us a Central-heavy list of his favourite neighbouring spots.
On a rare Sunday I have off, I love to escape to Zuma with the comfort of bottomless glasses of bubbles and all-you-can-eat sushi. The consistency on their food is second to none. I know I’m always going to get what’s expected.
The chicken fried-rice here is out of this world, heading there just before last order for a few sakes and a bowl of my favourite rice dish is a great nightcap after a long, busy night in the kitchen. The staff here are so warm and welcoming, the knowledge they have of sake and Japanese whiskey is astounding.
This place is the extension of my loungeroom, the staff here are by far the friendliest in Hong Kong. I love the vast wine list and nibbles that greet me late in the night. This is my local, just up the hill from Chicha and on my way home. The combination of great service, wine choice and cheese makes this a top choice.
When I’m looking for a carb fix, I head here. I can never say no to the fresh lobster pasta. I always say I’ll try something else on the menu but I always go back to my staple. The ingredients these guys use are fantastic, so fresh and flavoursome. You can tell there’s love in what these chefs are doing.
The food here is great, the roasted Salamanca pork face is to die for. I love sitting up at the bar, watching other chefs do their work. The managers and their knowledge of food and wine matching is tremendous.This place is a perfect place to sit with friends and enjoy good food in a cool and calm environment.