Zuma, Hong Kong
The second outpost of London restaurateur Rainer Becker, this contemporary Japanese hot spot opened to huge fanfare in June 2007. Part of the hoopla undoubtedly arose from the restaurant’s dramatic 10,000-square-foot space, a minimalist aerie of glass, stone, and wood occupying two floors of the Landmark Mall (ground zero for the Queen’s Road shopping set). Now that the hype has died down, though, Zuma has proved it has legs; though crowds of expense-account execs and “it” girls still frequent the place, so do plenty of hard-core foodies. Indulge in chef Dan Segall’s 11-course premium tasting menu, and you’ll see why: his fresh, inventive dishes beautifully present authentic Japanese ingredients in a contemporary way (two delicious examples: miso-marinated foie gras, and a whisper-light tempura of Boston lobster).
Insider’s Tip: A dramatic spiral staircase connects the fifth-floor dining room with the upper-level bar/lounge; of the many creative cocktails served here, the must-try is the signature Rubabu—rhubarb-infused sake shaken with vodka and fresh passion fruit.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.