November 16, 2011

Big-nameinternational chefs continue to set up shop here with Michael White opening Al Molo in TsimSha Tsui this month. Restaurateur Alan Yau of London’sHakkasan and Wagamama teamed up with Andre Fu to create Bettys, a refined European bistro in theharborside IFC Mall.

Frenchcuisine is making a comeback, after last year’s mania for Italian. A handful ofnew bistros: La Marmite,the latest venture by the Aqua group; the cozy Bouchon in Soho;and Chez Patrick Deli in the trendyStar Street area of Wanchai. Opening next month is The News Room by the Press Room group,which runs the popular Press Room,The Pawn, and Classified restaurants.

HongKongers don’t mind queuing up for their food. … Dinersare literally lining up for Butao Ramen, a cubby-hole of a noodle shop thatserves only 200 bowls of pork-bone soup a day. Ramen shops with cult statushave been opening in China andSingapore as well.

Finally,part of the local-goes-upmarket trend, Cantopop,a collaboration between two NewYork Italian transplants and a HongKong chef, opened in April. It re-imagines the humble cha chaa teng,the city’s take on the coffeeshop. (Think the fabulous 1960’s diners in WongKar Wai’s movies.)

JenniferChen is Travel+ Leisure's Asia correspondent. You can follow her on Twitter at xiaochen6.

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