We’re still in a food coma from the 10th Wine & Dine Festival in Hong Kong. The four-day event is the city’s biggest culinary extravaganza, and last weekend it arrived in town bringing the food world’s most exciting stars with it. We ate gourmet scallion pancakes, tasted premium tipples with renowned winemakers, and danced to the dulcet tones of popular local musicians.
Opening night might have been on a Thursday, but the crowd started strong in the evening and pretty much doubled into the night. To begin with, the space was massive, encompassing more than 450 booths across the vast Central Harbourfront Event Space and even extending into Tamar Park. Going through the entrance takes you right into Zone A, just one out of four zones with more than enough to keep us well fed and happy all night.
Have you ever seen a choreographic drone performance? Because soon after a big opening ceremony (with a live orchestra, no less) at the purple-pink festival stage, we were treated to a spectacular sky-high show with 100 drones flying over Victoria Harbour displaying animations like the number ’10’, a birthday cake, and wine glasses clinking in the sky. Cooler than fireworks? We think so, and it’s environmentally-friendly too.
The same stage would over the days host rising stars from ViuTV’s “King-Maker” and local artists and bands like JW, RubberBand and Dear Jane, serenading festival-goers as they indulged. And indulge in fine wine and food we did, stuffing our faces at the brand new International Street Eats, which showcased restaurants like Germany’s Bayern Gourmet, Peru’s Picada, and Kelly’s Cape Bop from Korea. Singapore brands, Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, A Noodle Story, and Lao Jie Fang Beef Noodles were also featured.
Around us, hundreds of wines from France (including Bordeaux and Burgundy), the US, Spain, and Latin America featured in their own dedicated sections. We had a particularly wild time with the 2009 Vintage Series from the Classic Selection Zone where estates such as Château Lascombes and Château Haut were showcased. It was great to see the Grand Wine Pavilion, which featured high-quality and handpicked wines by wine critic James Suckling, returning this year as well. We drank ourselves silly at the Rosé Revolution Garden Pavilion with some 15 labels of rosés, and also at the Japanese wine zone with ladies in kimonos and gorgeous sake cups.
It was not all wine too. We had a good time with the local brews from the Craft Beer Zone. You know, the ones from Young Master Brewery and Heroes Beer Co? Nothing like a good gose (aptly called “Cha Chaan Teng”) from the former to stimulate the tastebuds for more food. And by food we mean the Michelin-starred dinner at the Tasting Room, prepared by celebrity local and international chefs such as Kentaro Chen, Pierre Gagnaire, Lin Cheng Ching, and Bee Satongun. Together, they concocted a glorious wine pairing banquet with Chinese-, Thai-, and French-fusion courses. And yes, it was as amazing as it sounds.
Every meal should end with good coffee, and with the brand new Coffee Fiesta zone, it did for us. We found coffees from Coco Espresso and Say Hey Bakery, which are some of Hong Kong’s most popular cafes. Even Hong Kong Disneyland had a pop-up serving cute character-shaped dim sum and desserts. We may or may not have swooned over veteran TVB actor Moses Chan, who was on site at his own cafe’s booth, BLOOMS.
The Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival is the ultimate amalgamation of the foodie culture that the city is so proud of. And with festivities that are bigger and better every year, no wonder we saw a record number of attendees — 20% more than last year, in fact. So, see you there this time next year?
The 10th Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival took place from 25 to 28 October 2018.
Hong Kong Great November Feast
Didn’t make it to Hong Kong last month? It’s not too late to get the best of the city’s culinary and gourmet scene at value-for-money prices. For the entire month of November, visitors and members of the public can look out for special menus and discounts from over 100 restaurants. From exquisite creations by Michelin-starred chefs to limited time menus from legendary restaurants, participating establishments include the stalwart Jimmy’s Kitchen, Harbour City’s HEXA and Fu Rong, and The Flying Elk by Nordic cooking genius Björn Frantzén.
Find out more about the Hong Kong Great November Feast.
How about spending a lovely weekend in Hong Kong this year end? Check out promotional fares and free tours here!