Above & Beyond delivers traditional Cantonese specialties meticulously crafted from a contemporary point of view.
Note: This blog was first published on November 2022 on www.tasting-kitchen.com/creatively-classic/
Since opening its doors in 2011, Above & Beyond has enjoyed an enviable position as one of Hong Kong’s foremost fine-dining Chinese restaurants. Commanding gorgeous views of Victoria Harbour from its heights on the twenty-eighth floor of Hotel ICON, it brings together a space that is at once elegantly sleek and invitingly down-to-earth with food that stays true to Cantonese tradition while embracing constant evolution.
Executive Chef Chi Ki Wong
“We’ve been open for many years, and we’ve always been innovating and finding inspiration for new dishes,” says Executive Chef Chi Ki Wong. This creative spirit has been key to the restaurant’s longevity in a city known for its intense competition and played an especially important role amid the many changes and challenges of recent years. As travel restrictions came into effect and tourist numbers dwindled, Wong’s team shifted its focus to generating fresh ideas with appeal for local guests as well as designing personalized thematic menus for private functions geared toward the restaurant’s growing list of VIP clients.
Pumpkin, Kanto sea cucumbers and black truffles
Above & Beyond’s deftness in adapting swiftly and effectively can be attributed largely to Wong’s vast experience. With a culinary career that spans more than twenty years, he draws on an expert understanding of gastronomic traditions, cooking techniques, and the unique characteristics of an array of ingredients to create enhanced versions of time-honored classics as well as all-new dishes that reveal the limitless potential of Chinese cuisine.
Complementing this technical knowhow is an openness to experimentation and the seeking out of new ideas from the world around him – including from his young daughter. “One time I saw the decorations she wore in her hair,” he says, “and that made me think of using fresh flowers as an ingredient for one of our dishes.”
Dong Ding oolong tea
Even offerings that seem straightforward at first glance belie the chef’s subtle twists and level of craftsmanship that put them in a league of their own. Barbecued meats, for example, which are a mainstay at many Cantonese restaurants, are elevated here with carefully balanced homemade marinades and painstaking control over cooking times and temperatures.
To ensure consistently high quality, Wong and his team are careful to source the best seasonal ingredients for every dish, never hesitating to make use of non-Chinese ingredients to create distinctly Cantonese flavors. The result is an intriguing menu that features everything from French black truffles and Italian balsamic vinegar to Japanese wasabi and Australian lamb, all employed with the same goal of creating Cantonese cuisine that takes diners to new heights.
Ingredients for Peking duck marinade and accompaniments