Great world restaurants to brag about
Michelin-starred restaurants are easy to find, but when it comes to memorable dining moments, it’s not always about what’s on the plate or who is behind the pans.
All the restaurants here, from all four corners of the globe, are places where food, service, and a touch of the Wow! factor combine to make your dining experience even more special:
Where: The China Club is the hot favourite for food editors and expats alike. 12F, The Old Bank of China Building, Bank Street, Central, Hong Kong. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Entry requires membership, but any quality hotel concierge should be able to get you in.
Vibe: The art deco Shanghai feel is nicely contrasted with a serious Chinese contemporary art collection. The food is unchallenging, but tasty. It ranges from home-style to haute Chinese.
Why you'll love it: A combination of the ambience and the challenge of getting inside makes this a memorable experience.
Where: Grilled oysters at New York’s Gramercy Tavern. 42 East 20th Street, New York City. Bookings: www.gramercytavern.com.
Vibe: Walking through the narrow hall into the bar-styled area of this NYC institution, you’re immediately struck by the floral display. Flowers adorn one entire wall, often with blossom branches hung from the ceiling, and towering vases on the bar.
Why you'll love it: It’s the grilled oysters that make the night. Light and remarkably plump, the texture is creamy and the scent smokey without being overpowering. Executive chef Michael Anthony grills them on a salt bed, which distributes the heat more evenly so they’re warmed through but not shrunken.
Where: Restaurant A.T, after Japanese chef Atsushi Tanaka. 4 Rue du Cardinal Lemoine. Bookings: Phone +33(0)156819408 or email email@example.com
Vibe: The staff at the Latin Quarter eatery are very friendly and the menu is influenced by Tanaka’s training under local industry giant Pierre Gagnaire.
Why you'll love it: This is recommended dining from those at the top of Australia’s food and wine trade. Drop in for a lunch-time tasting menu or spend time imbibing the offbeat but brilliant selection of natural wines over a dinner of foie gras with long pepper and meringue.
Where: Take a short taxi ride out of Cuba’s southern town of Trinidad, famous for its all-night outdoor music scene, and you’ll find yourself at Playa Ancon. After a hard day's swimming in the Caribbean, avoid the underwhelming food options in the resort areas and walk north about 20 minutes to the end of the white sand.
Vibe: Among four or five palm trees are concrete tables of chipped red paint, laid with white paper table cloths. Order from some of the locals playing cards and ignore everything except the fish – freshly caught and hot grilled, with rice, salad and a $US2 mojito.
Why you'll love it: It’s one of the most “ahh” dining experiences in the world.
Where: Central restaurant. Santa Isabel 376, Miraflores, Lima. Bookings: centralrestaurante.com.pe/en/
Vibe: Billed by the World's Top 50 list as a ''gastronomic exploration of altitude and Peru’s ecosystem'’, Central has a tasting menu that starts below sea level and works its way up to things like the wild oca and yams found by chef Virgilio Martinez on his foraging trips in the Andes.
Why you'll love it: So many colours! But if you can't make it to Central America, try Martinez’s London addresses Lima and Lima Floral.
Where: The Rock Restaurant is perched on a rock on a sand bar off Michanwi Pingwe beach, and diners can walk (or wade) out, or take a boat over the turquoise water at high tide.
Vibe: Staff wander down the beach daily to scavenge for sea life or fish out in the Indian Ocean that surrounds the restaurant, so food is simple but fresh.
Why you'll love it: It won't make it into any world class lists for the food, but the Rock Restaurant should be on any list for the sheer experience of dining there.
Where: Atelier Crenn. 3127 Fillmore St, San Francisco. Bookings: www.ateliercrenn.com/reservations.html
Vibe: Chef Dominique Crenn was named 2016's female chef of the year as part of the 50 Best list. Her restaurant, Atelier Crenn, is worth a visit to see how the French-born Michelin-starred US native turns poetry into food, or vice versa, in her menus. Each line of the 18-course tasting menu is written as if it were a poem, starting with “Spring has come with its cool breeze” and ending with “Sweetness, bounty, thanks”.
Why you'll love it: Her food is art, and delicious art at that.