Hammered by months of anti-government protests, several of the city’s best restaurants have finally buckled under the strain of Covid-19
Hong Kong has been struck by a double whammy of economic hits since the anti-government protests began in June 2019. Now, as the coronavirus forces the world to bunker down and acclimatise to social distancing, some of the restaurants we have grown to love have buckled under the financial strain. While it's not a complete goodbye for some of them, we sincerely hope that things return to normal soon.
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Trendy hang-out Bibo closed its doors in February. This location caused a stir when it opened, stacked with art works by contemporary artists Jeff Koons, Kaws, Banksy and a commissioned piece by Vhils permanently etched on its concrete walls. As we say goodbye to the fantastic champagne brunches, what will happen to the wall with the one-off Vhils original?
This French fine dining restaurant up in the clouds was a great place to catch the vistas of Hong Kong from the 101st floor of the ICC. While it ceased operations in January, the owner and operators of the space say they will soon open something new and exciting in its place.
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It was announced on April 1 that all three of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants in Hong Kong would close. While shell-shocked foodies wondered whether it was an April Fool's joke, the closures were confirmed by the director of marketing. However, Gordon Ramsay Plane Food at the airport is managed by different operators and remains open.
Umi, which was originally the name of the sushi bar at contemporary European restaurant, The Ocean, in Repulse Bay, broke away to become an independent establishment in Central in 2017. While there is no shortage of omakase offerings in Hong Kong, we hope this isn't the start of a trend as Japan closes its borders, severely restricting access to produce.
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This quaint private kitchen tucked away in Happy Valley will be sorely missed. Their Cantonese cuisine is top-notch and the deliciously refreshing crab-stuffed orange is legendary. While there are suggestions that it may reopen when the economy recovers, it has also been reported they will shift to producing chilli sauce. We hope this will be a see you later rather than a goodbye.
Jamie Oliver's embattled chain of restaurants finally threw in the towel in late February. While the franchise shut 22 locations worldwide in May 2019, the Hong Kong operators vowed to carry on with business as usual. We guess the protests and health crisis that followed were too great a burden to bear.
Rech by Alain Ducasse
This has not been a good year for celebrity chefs in Hong Kong as the award-winning restaurant by Alain Ducasse suddenly told staff they would not continue operations after service one night. The views are gorgeous at Rech and since its previous eatery was also a Ducasse concept, we hope the renowned chef will return with a new venture at the well-heeled location.
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This iconic Hong Kong institution, which includes the Jumbo Floating Restaurant and the Tai-Pak Floating Restaurant, once visited by many dignitaries and celebrities alike, has "closed until further notice because of the Covid-19 outbreak". We hope it returns soon as it would be a shame were the regal interiors and delicious deep fried squid consigned to history.
Maximal Concepts' cool concept, which mixed delicious Chinese cuisine with fantastic cocktails, has closed its doors indefinitely. We look forward to its reopening after the crisis is over.
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The Bulldozer Group seems to have bad luck when it comes to seafood restaurants. While Ichu Peru is a favourite of many gourmands in Hong Kong, the group's Greek and Mediterranean concept Estiatorio Keia called it quits in February. That's a shame as the interiors were as pretty as a picture and good Greek food is hard to come by in this city.
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