Featuring: Motorino, Royal Caviar Club, Belon…
AT the time of writing, Hong Kong’s restaurants have been ordered to shut from 6pm-5am each day with only takeaway food available after 6pm until closing.
This also applies to the sale of alcohol which now means that people determined to continue their evening, descend onto public areas, plastic cups in hand desperately trying to keep their drinks (and themselves) cool in 33C temperatures with 95% humidity. Any group of more than four will be liable for a fine of $HK25,000.
The ban on dining and drinking inside venues after 6pm was in a bid to curtail close contacts between large groups in view of the most recent Covid-19 cases, some of which have cropped up in restaurants mainly on the Kowloon side of the city.
Considering that Hong Kong is now experiencing its third wave of infections and seeing new daily record highs (the most recent of which was 113 on 22 July), critics have been quick to point the finger at people’s apparent complacency – and also, the efficacy of existing government measures.
The situation spells disaster for Hong Kong’s F&B industry that has already weathered the protests from last summer and seen a continued downturn of business since the virus reached Hong Kong at the beginning of this year. 2020 has seen a record number of restaurant and bar closures – additionally crippled by Hong Kong’s sky-high rents and the city’s dwindling economy – but some have luckily managed to survive through having a loyal customer base and an innovative way of addressing the current restrictions.
From Michelin-starred experiences at home to new ways of communicating with, and engaging customers, we’ve picked a few businesses who are trying to make the most out of a rather bleak situation.
Virtual pizza-making party – Motorino
On 18 July, New York pizza favourite Motorino in Central, hosted a cook-along with Chef Luca Marinelli via Instagram Live to explain to pizza lovers how to make their favourite margherita or soppressata piccante (spicy salami) pizza.
Aspiring maestros pre-ordered the DIY kit for $208 and $228 which included pre-made dough, Motorino’s signature tomato sauce and the toppings and then undoubtedly to varying levels of success, were guided through how to chop the ingredients like a pro and shape the dough to perfection by Chef Luca.
In order to aid the process, diners could also order a bottle(s) of the house white, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2018 or house red, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2017.
Lobster and caviar delivery – Royal Caviar Club
For those determined not to let a pandemic cramp their lifestyle, distribution company, the Royal Caviar Club has diversified into home delivery with its extravagant ‘Stay at Home’ packages.
There’s lobster and caviar for $980 or a full leg of 48-month aged double acorn-fed Iberico ham and caviar if one is throwing a lavish dinner party.
For anyone who has seemingly not been affected economically by the current situation and really wants to push the boat out, there is also a ‘Signature Caviar Cake’ with 100g Cristal caviar, salmon, egg, cream cheese and chives for $3,000 (please order two days beforehand) and 24K edible gold leaf for $198.
The Royal Caviar Club supplies some of Hong Kong’s Michelin-starred restaurants with their wares, so epicureans will know they’re in good hands.
Delivery with love – Belon
Since April, Daniel Calvert the chef at one of Hong Kong’s finest French restaurants, Belon, has created a delivery-only ‘Feast for Our Family’.
The meal includes his signature whole-roasted three yellow chicken with petits pois à la Française, naturally leavened bread, two mille-feuille and his recommended perfect pairing, a bottle of Olivier Merlin Macon La Roche Vineuse 2016.
In an effort to support the members of his team most badly affected by Covid-19, such as dishwashers and back waiters, all proceeds from the menu went directly to those who needed it most.