Five Favourite Restaurants with Michael van Warmelo, executive chef at Tapeo, Frites, Chicha and Souvla.
Michael van Warmelo has a lot on his plate: as Concept Creations' executive chef, he's in charge of some of Hong Kong's hottest restaurants, including Frites (69%), Tapeo (71%), Chicha (71%) and Souvla (75%).
Raised in Melbourne, van Warmelo started his chef career at the tender age of 16, training under such names as Steven Matthias, Dietmar Sawyer and Greg Malouf, before heading out to Asia to find his foodie fortune. Here he gives us his favourite spots around town.
Defines the modern pattern: it’s high-end and a fantastic all-round experience. My favourite place to get top-notch dishes, an amazing wine selection and the service to go with it. A real treat is the degustation with matching wines. It was topped off with a perfectly baked chocolate soufflé. A lasting memory.
My Indonesian fix, located not far from our Central restaurants. It’s the perfect place for a late afternoon lunch. My favorite dishes by far are the tasty laksa and the beef rending – the depth of flavors are second to none. I’ve been coming here for years – not since 1968, though. The service is really friendly and go that extra mile to make sure you’re well-fed and looked after.
When I can escape from our restaurants on the odd Sunday, my family’s first choice is for shui mai and char sui bao. The best in Tung Chung is here by far, and they're great with kids. We all sit around a big table and tuck into a dumpling feast. My favourite pastime: eating great food surrounded by my family.
The produce here oozes freshness, the menu is simple and well-executed. It’s nice to see a menu that is not over-thought and doesn’t have too much happening on the plate. It’s all about the main ingredients and the balance of flavours. The smoked pigeon is a must try.
I’ve had my fair share of pizzas in my time, but the best one going around right now are the thin, crispy pizzas you’ll get here. We couldn’t choose last time we went, and ended up having four between three of us. The combinations are well-thought out and bring a lot to the party. Gone are the days of skimpy toppings, these guys know the perfect balance: prosciutto and gorgonzola or artichoke and chorizo. How could you choose?