Chef Chan Yan Tak's resume reads like a famous Hong Kong restaurant guide: stints at Dai Sam Yuen, Fook Lam Moon, and Lai Ching Heen were all under his belt before he took early retirement.
Then the Four Seasons convinced him to leave retirement to head the team at Lung King Heen, and it was there that Chan caught the attention of the Michelin guide.
Last month, Lung King Heen was awarded three stars for the second consecutive year and it remains the only three-star Chinese restaurant in the region. (Side note: The Four Seasons has another three-star restaurant, Caprice -- making it the only hotel in the world with two three-star eateries.)
What’s the secret to dim sum?
Using only the best quality and freshest ingredients. Items must be prepared freshly -- a dumpling should only be steamed after the guest has ordered it, never before.
Do you ever get sick of dim sum?
Never -- being Cantonese, dim sum is one of my staple food items! Eating dim sum is a regular habit - my parents and grand-parents had dim sum every morning throughout their lives.
What do you cook at home off duty?
Simple items, such as steamed fish, stir fried vegetables. I like to go to the wet market, see what the freshest ingredients are on any particular day, and then take them home to cook something simple and tasty with them.
Ultimate comfort food?
It would have to be rice, or fried rice.
How do you handle the pressure of being the only Chinese chef to be awarded three Michelin stars?
Obviously we're very excited, but you just get back to work, doing what you do every day, to make sure that we provide the same consistent quality that our guests expect. Every success we have is down to teamwork -- it actually feels like a family working with the kitchen team.
The most challenging dish you ever made?
The challenge is really to keep things interesting and exciting for guests, especially those who visit us very regularly. We change the dim sum menu every week, and the main a la carte menu four times a year to reflect the changing season, so we need to be creative!
Lung King Heen
8 Finance Street,
+852 3196 8888
Other articles you might want to read:
Restaurants to avoid right now: Michelin's newest stars, the complete list
Holy dim sum! Michelin 2010 goes cheap and cheerful?