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Hong Kong Restaurant Buzz: Down and Dirty Ramen, Star Chef Openings, More

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Big-name international chefs continue to set up shop here with Michael White opening Al Molo in Tsim Sha Tsui this month. Restaurateur Alan Yau of London’s Hakkasan and Wagamama teamed up with Andre Fu to create Bettys, a refined European bistro in the harborside IFC Mall.

French cuisine is making a comeback, after last year’s mania for Italian. A handful of new bistros: La Marmite, the latest venture by the Aqua group; the cozy Bouchon in Soho; and Chez Patrick Deli in the trendy Star 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.

Hong Kongers don’t mind queuing up for their food. … Diners are literally lining up for Butao Ramen, a cubby-hole of a noodle shop that serves only 200 bowls of pork-bone soup a day. Ramen shops with cult status have been opening in China and Singapore as well.

Finally, part of the local-goes-upmarket trend, Cantopop, a collaboration between two New York Italian transplants and a Hong Kong 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 Wong Kar Wai’s movies.)

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

Photo by Christian Kerber

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