Tokyoites may brag about having the most Michelin stars in the world, but Hong Kongers can actually eat in theirs without breaking the bank.
Unveiled last week, the 2015 Michelin guide to Hong Kong and Macau awards 75 restaurants with its coveted stars -- 64 in Hong Kong and 11 in Macau.
Bo Innovation, L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Lung King Heen, 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo-Bombana, Sushi Shikon, Robuchon au Dome (Macau) and The Eight (Macau) are once again crowned with three Michelin stars. (All restaurants in this story are located in Hong Kong unless otherwise indicated.)
But what makes Hong Kong special are the prices -- Hong Kong and Macau are among the most affordable Michelin lists in the world -- and variety.
"The selection in the 2015 guide also shows to what extent Hong Kong is increasingly attractive to young foreign chefs, more and more of whom are moving to the city," said Michelin in a statement accompanying the release of the guide. "Hong Kong has become an undisputed leader in the international culinary landscape."
Starred cheap eats
Hong Kong Michelin guide mainstay Tim Ho Wan (9-11 Fuk Wing St., Sham Shui Po; +852 2788 1226) has long been known as the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in the world.
The humble establishment has now expanded to three branches and all receive one-star status in the 2015 guide.
A dim sum meal at Tim Ho Wan can easily cost less than $12.
After losing its place in the guide last year, Ho Hung Kee (Shop 1204-05, 12/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay; +852 2577 6060), celebrated for its $8 wonton noodle, returns in the 2015 guide with one star.
Serving roasted goose noodle for about $8, Yat Lok (34-38, Stanley St., Central; +852 2524 3882) advanced from the Bib Gourmand list to a one-star Michelin pick.
Newbies on the list
There are 15 new entries in the guide.
Some are also new to Hong Kong.
Notable newbs include Seasons (one star), helmed by former executive chef of L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon; and Olivier Elzer, open only since June (Shop 308, 3/F, Phase 2, Lee Garden, 2-38 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay; +852 2505 6228).
Another new one-star entry is NUR (3/F, 1 Lyndhurst Tower, Lyndhurst Terrace, Central; +852 2871 9993), which opened in April. Chef Nurdin Topham says the secret to snatching a star so quickly is differentiating itself from competitors.
"We are committed to finding local products from producers in the region and working with the best local farmers, which may be in contrast to other restaurants," says Topham. "(Our) delivery cost is four times higher than normal."
Topham says many ingredients take only 48 hours at the most to go from the farm to NUR's tables.
Local celeb restaurateur Hardy Kam may have lost control of his renowned family restaurant Yung Kee -- after losing a high-profile court case involving the Kam brothers -- but his new eatery, Kam's Roast Goose (G/F, Po Wah Commercial Center, 226 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai; +852 25201110), was also awarded one star.
The guide also includes 78 Bib Gourmand restaurants, eateries of good value and that cost less than HKD300 ($38).
2015 Michelin guide Hong Kong
8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, the first and only Michelin three-star Italian restaurant outside of Italy.
Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2014
Bo Innovation (Innovative)
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon (French contemporary)
Lung King Heen (Cantonese)
8 ½ Otto e Mezzo -- Bombana (Italian)
Sushi Shikon (Sushi)
Amber (French contemporary)
Celebrity Cuisine (Cantonese)
Looking more like an art gallery, Duddell's is a Michelin two-star Cantonese restaurant.
Pierre (French contemporary)
Ryu Gin (Japanese)
Shang Palace (Cantonese)
Summer Palace (Cantonese)
Sun Tung Lok (Tsim Sha Tsui branch) (Cantonese)
T'ang Court (Cantonese)
The Principal (Innovative)
Tin Lung Heen (Cantonese)
Wagyu Takumni (Innovative)
Yan Toh Heen (Cantonese)
Ah Yat Harbour View (Cantonese)
Akrame (French contemporary)
CIAK — In The Kitchen (Italian)
New to the list, Italian trattoria CIAK - In the Kitchen was awarded one star
courtesy CIAK - In The Kitche
Fook Lam Moon (Wan Chai) (Cantonese)
Fu Ho (Tsim Sha Tsui) (Cantonese)
Golden Leaf (Cantonese)
Golden Valley (Chinese)
Guo Fu Lou (Cantonese)
Ho Hung Kee (Noodles and congee)
Jardin de Jade (Shanghainese)
Kam's Roast Goose (Cantonese roast meats)
Kazuo Okada (Japanese)
Lei Garden (IFC) (Cantonese)
Lei Garden (Kowloon Bay) (Cantonese)
Lei Garden (Mong Kok) (Cantonese)
Lei Garden (North Point) (Cantonese)
Lei Garden (Sha Tin) (Cantonese)
Lei Garden (Wan Chai) (Cantonese)
Loaf On (Cantonese)
Man Wah (Cantonese)
Mandarin Grill + Bar (European contemporary)
MIC Kitchen (Innovative)
Ming Court (Cantonese)
Pang's Kitchen (Cantonese)
Sai Kung Sing Kee (Seafood)
Spoon by Alain Ducasse (French)
Sushi Ginza Iwa (Sushi)
The Boss (Cantonese)
The Square (Cantonese)
The Steak House winebar + grill (Steakhouse)
Tim Ho Wan (North Point) (Dim sum)
Tim Ho Wan (Sham Shui Po) (Dim sum)
Tim Ho Wan (Tai Kwok Tsui) (Dim sum)
Upper Modern Bistro (French)
Wagyu Kaiseki Den (Japanese)
Yat Lok (Cantonese roast meats)
Ye Shanghai (Tsim Sha Tsui) (Shanghainese)
Yu Lei (Chinese)
Yuè (North Point) (Cantonese)
Zhejiang Heen (Shanghainese)
2015 Michelin guide Macau
Robuchon au Dome (French contemporary)
The Eight (Chinese)
Golden Flower (Chinese)
Zi Yat Heen (Cantonese)
Jade Dragon (Cantonese)
The Golden Peacock (Indian)
The Kitchen (Steakhouse)
The Tasting Room (French contemporary)
Tim's Kitchen (Cantonese)
Wing Lei (Cantonese)