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June 16, 2009

Expect the Unexpected

You think you know someone inside and out. And just when you start to settle into the cosy zone of familiarity, low and behold they pull out a surprise that dazzles the daylights out of you. For example, the time that your charitable, conservative mom told you she was a groupie for the Rolling Stones…for a whole year and she’s got the pictures to prove it! Or the time that you caught your octogenarian grandparents watching the Playboy channel? Aahh, life is full of surprises. And these delightful twists and turns are the exciting theme du jour in the Hong Kong dining scene.

The Restaurant: Union
The Location: 1/F, California Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar St., Lan Kwai Fong, 2537 2368
The Scoop: A casually elegant dining spot in the heart of LKF offering New American cuisine that’s sublime, sophisticated and conjured up with passionate expertise, all while maintaining an understated vibe and very reasonable value. Don’t miss the homemade strawberry shortcake ice-cream “dessert to go”, it’s like heaven in a pocket!
The Surprise: The brains behind this new restaurant are two protégés of super-chefs Daniel Boloud and Jean George, Eric Johnson and Jason Casey, who have slipped into HK practically under the radar and are cooking up a gastronomic storm and setting palates alight.

The Restaurant: Gusto
The Location: 41 Yik Yam St., Happy Valley, 2838 2689
The Scoop: A sleek and cosy New York-style bistro serving up deliciously hearty comfort food, perfect for relaxed dinners and long lunches, with an array of inspiring reading material. The truffle macaroni and cheese is a must-try and the burger and risotto options won’t fail to hit the spot and leave you with a little gusto!
The Surprise: Normally known for its traditional Chinese Doctors and abundance of fruit stalls, the backstreets of Happy Valley are now home to this Manhattan-like eatery with the best mac & cheese in town.

The Restaurant: Dakota Prime
The Location: 7/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, 2526 2366
The Scoop: Chef Makoto Ono has taken up residence in this cool, contemporary steakhouse blending his Japanese roots with the art of French cooking to achieve a perfect balance in flavour, texture and presentation. Highlights include a lobster bisque/ceviche pairing, the signature Reuben sandwich, and the wasabi potato puree.
The Surprise: This award winning Canadian Japanese Celebrity Chef has trained under culinary heavy hitters Marco Pierre White and Jean Georges Vongerichten, and recently opened a highly acclaimed restaurant in Beijing that bears his name.

The Restaurant: The Pawn
The Location: 62 Johnston Road, Wanchai, 2866 3444
The Scoop: This modern British favourite is just nearing its 1st birthday, but has acquired a huge following at such a young age! The Pawn has remained true to its initial concept of being ‘an adult playground integrating eat, drink and play’ with its bustling dining room, chilled-out, fun-filled lounge and pretty rooftop terrace.
The Surprise: The Pawn is going back to its roots in honour of it’s first anniversary by allowing guests to ‘pawn’ used books, clothes and toys in return for complimentary cocktails throughout the month of April, with all items being donated to the Salvation Army of Hong Kong.

Expect the unexpected? Your rock ‘n roll mom couldn’t have put it any better!

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