China: Hong Kong: Where to Eat: Big Night Out: Café Gray Deluxe
Café Gray Deluxe
Hong Kong’s exciting boutique hotel , the Upper House in Central’s Pacific Place complex, scored a major culinary coup when it lured star chef Gray Kunz (formerly of New York City culinary fame), back to his former stomping ground of Hong Kong. Renowned for wild and brilliant cuisine that merges East and West, Kunz was born in Singapore, raised in Switzerland and made a name for himself in Hong Kong in the 1980s and later, in New York, where he ran the award-winning Lespinasse before opening his own eponymous restaurant in the Time Warner Center, winning a Michelin star in its first year.
Now, the chef is back in Hong Kong and the Upper House’s talented designer, Andre Fu, could not have supplied him with a more stunning backdrop. Located on the 49th floor of the hotel, Café Gray Deluxe has a central dining room and two wings that hold an open kitchen on one side and a long bar and lounge area on the other. The brilliant private dining nooks along the open bar side are fast becoming some of the most coveted to book in Hong Kong: thanks to the proximity to the kitchen bustle, you feel like you are part of the scene, but separated by curtained partitions, the tables are quiet and the views outside unbeatable. Kunz, who is based in New York, plans on overseeing the kitchen and creating seasonal menus several times a year. Signature dishes include braised beef short ribs with soft polenta, steamed sea bass with watercress and ginger bouillon, and coq au vin with spaetzli.
Reservations are a must, as is planning ahead: currently Café Gray Deluxe is sold out a week in advance.— Simone Girner 12/04/2009