Cépage, Hong Kong
From the lightly provocative art by Mao Tong Qiang (the iconic Iwo Jima soldiers hoisting a gigantic dollar symbol instead of the Stars and Stripes) to the timber-paneled red-wine cellar to the burgundy velvet armchairs to the sleek Laguiole knives to the soon-to-come rooftop garden (cigars!), Cépage is understated swank. Resident chef Thomas Mayr was born in a village in northern Italy whose inhabitants spoke a German dialect, and his training at Munich’s spectacular Restaurant Tantris further reinforced his cosmopolitan credentials. As a result, the standard appellation French-Mediterranean doesn’t begin to do the food justice. All the goodies of Asia and Europe have been conscripted into seasonal roles. The thoughtful wine list dutifully bows down to all these fine ingredients.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.