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Andrew Wong and his Chinese Culinary Genius

FOODIE

One of London’s most acclaimed young chefs is to showcase his talent in a pop up at Hotel Icon in March, and given the success of his restaurant A. Wong, which offers diners a taste of the real China, drawing inspiration from parts of the country rarely even heard of in Britain, an opportunity to sample his cuisine should not be missed.

As a young boy, Andrew Wong could not wait to escape from the kitchen of his parents’ Victoria restaurant where as a teen, he was drafted in to help as a dishwasher! Cooking was not his first choice for a career. He first studied chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford and then took another degree in anthropology at the famous LSE!

Eventually though, this was to be the perfect grounding with which to take over the generic Chinese in Victoria previously run by his father. That location, away from London’s Chinatown, may explain the sense of liberation at play. Regionalism, an understanding of China’s many culinary traditions, may be making headway in the UK, but Wong has a certain restlessness in his style and it shows. As a young man he toured China, exploring its many cooking styles, before coming back to get to work. We are the beneficiaries of his travels.

When he returned to London, he enrolled at Westminster Kingsway College culinary school and discovered he had a natural aptitude and genuine passion for cooking after all.

Wong entered Chinese cookery contests and eventually won the Chinese Masterchef title in London. He travelled around China working in kitchens ranging from a noodle stand in Chengdu to the Millennium Hotel in Qingdao. Now Andrew is the first to run a restaurant that offers a wide spectrum of dishes from across China in the UK, and is working as hard as he can to boost awareness of the country’s diverse dishes

He reopened as A Wong three years and has been winning plaudits ever since. Wong describes his vision is “to give people a little insight into the cuisine of China as a whole” rather than a particular region.  

 

Andrew Wong is an unlikely spokesman for Chinese gastronomy and is particularly passionate about the skills and heritage of Chinese cuisein admitting it is only in the past “five or so years, he realised how sophisticated it could be”. His epiphany came in Hong Kong over a bowl of wonton soup when he realised as a dish, it was ‘perfectly balanced”.

Andrew is now returning to Hong Kong and to Above & Beyond at Hotel Icon to showcase his pop up from 30 March to 1 April.


 

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