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What's the best thing you ate in 2013? To mark Prestige Hong Kong's 100th issue, CHRISTINA KO asks 100 chefs, socialites, foodies, friends and colleagues to share their favourite food memories


What’s the best thing you ate in 2013? To mark Prestige Hong Kong’s 100th issue, CHRISTINA KO asks 100 chefs, socialites, foodies, friends and colleagues to share their favourite food memories

THE MISSION WAS SIMPLE. Find 100 foodies, and ask them to name the best dish they’d consumed in 2013. Besides the obvious effort involved in emailing 100 people, it seemed straightforward enough. Except that 2013 comprised more than 1,000 meal slots, and asking the food-obsessed to choose just one was apparently no different from telling a parent to pick a favourite child – not impossible, just difficult.
I posed the question of myself, and instantly grasped the issue. The camera roll on my Smartphone provided an overly detailed history of my favourite meals and dishes, but “best” is an arbitrary designation. I remembered the feeling of warm wonderment upon consuming a pile of sweet uni at Sushi Sase; the transcendence of the oysters served one rainy night in Cannes at Astoux Et Brun. But surely, one cannot anoint a restaurant simply for good sourcing of seafood.
There was the time I piled 48-month Iberico, goat cheese and Asian pear on butter-soaked Bo-Lo’Gne toast (whose dough is folded and dusted with butter 81 times), but can giving oneself a heart-attack sandwich honestly be termed as the best dining experience in a year – a year filled with celebrity-guest-chef dinners, food-finding travels and the opening of Ronin, whose dishes took up four slots on our list?
I waited as the other 99 respondents filled the slots, and mused over options both haute and street: a 10-course crab-only feast in Sapporo, a creamy stracciatella burrata from Obikà in Milan, the legendary veal goulashes at the Kowloon City institution Islam Food, even a strange and pretentious piece of grilled liquorice at a Dom Pérignon tasting in Champagne that wasn’t for consumption, but whose flavours were able to influence the character of the vintage utterly and miraculously.
When putting together a trend study on the future of food, my friend and branding/PR maven Cathy Chon believed the definition of a “foodie” could be determined by one question: “Do you travel for food?” And so I distilled my bests into a single best with a similarly austere self-interrogation. “What would you want as your last meal ever?”
The answer, you’ll find, is sandwiched among the 99 others below. May this bring you inspiration for 2014. Just don’t read it before lunch.
1. Fresh grilled seafood at Jimbaran Beach in Bali, because it’s so fresh prepared with the different spices. What better way to enjoy this than in your shorts and watching a beautiful sunset? – Jonay Armas, head chef of The Principal
2. It’s a toss up between moules marinières at The Seafood Restaurant by Rick Stein in Padstow, Cornwall, England or Philly cheese steaks at The Bazaar by José Andrés in LA. – Claire Blackshaw, director of public relations at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
3. It’s easy to have an expensive fine-dining experience with high-end menus, but difficult to find traditional restaurants with chefs who cook with their hearts. I had the best chicken rice in the Lavender Food Square Centre in Singapore. I loved its authenticity and simplicity. There’s also a restaurant in Italy called Di Mario Caramella and I remember the bollito misto, which was wonderful. – Nicola Canuti, executive chef at InterContinental Hong Kong
4. Minced toro sushi, the fish scraped fresh from a whole piece of fatty tuna belly with a teaspoon, dripping in oil, from Kishoku. – Vivienne Chan, assistant brand manager for Perrier-Jouët
5. Last time I was in Bali, on the beach at a hut-like restaurant, they steamed a grouper in coconut water with chilli, lime, coriander, tofu and spices – really was a nice (and cheap) dish. – Danny Chaney, executive chef of Blue Butcher
6. The best thing I ate this year was surprisingly the pastrami on rye from Katz’s Delicatessen in New York. Despite years of living there, I’d never set foot into Katz’s, writing it off as a tourist trap. This was definitely a case of living up to the hype and more. – Feiping Chang, socialite
7. The most memorable was probably the omakase at Kishoku in Causeway Bay, perhaps because it had been a while since we had raw foods (my wife Candice being pregnant and then breast-feeding), so that first meal a few months after Logan was born just tasted so unbelievably fantastic – especially the uni in its own case and the crisp seaweed-wrapped toro. – Leonard Chao, founder of the soon-to-open Kelly & Moss
8. I loved discovering the “hole in the wall” Ronin. It’s like an Aladdin’s cave where one pushes through the unmarked grey door, et voila! You’re in for a night of fine sensations! Slick-to-a-fault “mambo boogaloo” music, ingenious pairing of ingredients, most extensive and exclusive display of Japanese whisky this side of heaven and faultless service from eye-candy staff…What more could I ask for? – Barney Cheng, fashion designer
9. I was having a kaiseki meal in a private onsen in Hakone, Japan and was served a bowl of rice with homemade tofu that was soft as clouds, and sweet salmon roe with a gentle touch of soy sauce. I still remember it for its simple yet comforting flavours. – Lisa Cheng, founder of Sheer Lingerie
10. Sweetened ginkgo nuts, during my trip to Bangkok in August, when it was served as the appetiser in a famous Thai-Chinese restaurant. It was the first time I’d tried this super-delicious snack. Ginkgo nuts are commonly used in desserts in Chinese cuisine but they were never my favourite, so this was my biggest culinary discovery of 2013. – Cherry Cheung, associate director at Occasions PR & Marketing
11. 2013 was meant to be the year when I would get an awesome six-pack. Instead, I ate two bowls of awesome crab roe and prawn noodles at Fu 1088 in Shanghai – noodles wrapped in creamy crab roe interlaced with the crunchy texture of prawns. Six-pack next year. I know it. – Tony Cheng, CEO of Drawing Room Concepts
12. Ramen at Gin Sai. – Veronica Chou, president of Iconix China
13. Nothing rivals my mom’s home cooking. Other than that, one of the best dishes I had was the spit-roasted pigeon at the legendary three-Michelin-starred Paul Bocuse Restaurant in Lyon. – Evan Chow, managing partner of MCL Financial Group
14. Il Milione’s spaghetti di Gragnano, a variation of carbonara with fish eggs, mullet roe, sea urchin, salmon roe and caviar. This is the perfect indulgent dish to have, particularly when I’m going through another one of my bouts of pescetarianism. – Tina Chu, senior account manager for Sinclair Communications
15. Double-boiled whole chicken stuffed with bird’s nest in pig stomach. I am particularly fond of this classic dish because it represents the finest in exquisite Cantonese culinary craftmanship, combining the best Jinhua ham, premier pork and aged chicken with the well-known nutritional benefits of premier grade bird’s nest. – Chui Wai-kwan, managing director of Seventh Son Restaurant
16. Maria Bizri’s off-the-charts Lebanese sliced lamb shawarma in fresh Lebanese bread with a dollop of tahini sauce and tabouleh is mouth-watering. All the food she cooks from her new Pomegranate Kitchen in Aberdeen is sublime soul food and every delicious morsel is cooked from the heart. I dream about my next Pomegranate mouthful! – Mandy d’Abo, founder and director of The Cat Street Gallery
17. A hard topic, but one of the best things I ate in 2013 was a fresh Hokkaido Taraba crab. A good friend started an import business from Japan, so she got us a fresh crab with scallops and uni, great to share among friends. Had a fun time preparing the meal and I guess it’s also the company too – good friends make eating more enjoyable. – Charlene Dawes, managing director of Tastings Group
18. A dish I had this summer with my family at El Celler de Can Roca in Girona: served in a spectacular stainless-steel anemone, with a sauce of sea urchin in the bottom topped with sea cucumber intestines, edible anemone, goose-necked barnacle, longneck clams and various seaweeds and lime peel. The dish had an amazing play on textures and demonstrated an ultimate seafood taste with a pleasant acidity. – Richard Ekkebus, culinary director of The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
19. Hands down the sea urchin with fresh nori and aonori panko bread crumbs at Ronin. The sea urchin was extremely fresh, and tasted great with the flavours of nori and the crispness of the bread crumbs. I love the different textures and bold flavours. – Tony Ferreira, executive chef of La Vache!
20. Hokkaido sea urchin in a lobster jell-O with cauliflower, caviar and crispy seaweed waffles is perhaps one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted. It’s a special dish from Amber and very popular. Love it! – Susan Field, CEO of Cohn & Wolfe-impactasia
21. Seared red prawn in green-pea purée with Parmesan-cheese foam and pea shoot at Da Vittorio in Bergamo has been the best dish I tasted in 2013. The dish was about pure freshness and made me feel like I was in a garden smelling fresh green peas. – Peter Find, executive chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
22. I remember best the Sole Fernand Point at Paul Bocuse’s restaurant L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges. It’s not only the flavour, but also the restaurant’s interior – and Bocuse himself coming to greet me – that made the whole dinner experience remarkable. The fish is so elegantly presented, and it was such an honour to sample the dish that’s made to pay tribute to Bocuse’s mentor. – Daniel Fong, general manager of JC Group
23. The uni wrapped in shiso leaves at Tempura Masa in Ginza was to me the perfect bite of 2013. It was a combination of two of my favourite ingredients and then deep-fried. Imagine the freshest, sweetest and creamiest of Hokkaido uni, combined with the distinctive fragrance of shiso, all encased in a light and crispy savoury batter on the outside, simply divine! – Nancy Fung, director of Signature Communications
24. A simple very rare A12 Wagyu Kobe beef sirloin steak at Misono in Kobe, Japan. Incredibly creamy, it was literally melting on my tongue and the most amazing piece of meat that has ever entered my mouth. – Nicole Fung, founder of That Food Cray !!!
25. A simple tossed pappardelle with braised artichoke hearts, edamame, asparagus, micro baby peas, wild mushrooms, fried parsley and good shavings of white truffle. The balance of everything was just right and it was a hearty yet healthy meal that I truly enjoyed. – Bonnae Gokson, founder of Sevva, Ms B’s Cakery and C’est La B
26. Yellow-fin tuna carpaccio with crispy French baguette, foie gras, citrus dressing and micro sprouts at Le Bernardin. I had this when I was in New York earlier this year, and I was blown away. – Harlan Goldstein, managing director of World Wide Dining Group
27. Some of the best food that I had in 2013 was with my Jax Coco team at Chicha. The pisco sour is to die for and pairs so well with the ceviche, tacos Peru and generous sharing platters (try the Lomo Saltado). – Jane Gottschalk, founder of Jax Coco
28. I love food, so I’ve eaten lots of tasty meals over the year. But I survived nearly exclusively on dry crackers for a few months during my first trimester of pregnancy earlier this year. And to me, that was the “best food” for months! – Mimi Gradel, director of Blindspot Gallery
29. Every year I go to Cape Town to pay a little visit to my home. One of my rituals is to go down to the beach with my father and we dive for oysters, mussels and crayfish; it’s without a doubt the freshest and most exciting way to eat seafood. The oysters we eat right there on the beach after the dive – all you need is a bottle of Tabasco and your dive knife. The rest we take home and cook on the barbecue. – Richard Green, marketing director of Miele Hong Kong
30. Needing a little afternoon snack before going to the number-17 restaurant on the World’s 50 Best list, Pujol in Mexico City, we stumbled on a quaint cafe, Dulcinea Cocina Urbana. I stole a glance at a lady’s dish as we walked in and without menu stated “I want that” – a grilled whole artichoke with oregano sauce, chipotle sauce and smooth goat’s cheese. Ripping off the leaves and dipping them in the fragrant concoction was truly delicious. – Taryne Hall, founder and creative director of Relish Kitchen
31. I am a total dessert freak and my Mecca is Paris. Every time I’m there I make sure to try new patissiers and chocolatiers. My favourite (and most unexpected) this year was a Saint Honoré that came from department store Bon Marché, of all places – the choux pastry was crisp, the caramel crunchy and custard perfectly balanced. The chantilly was flecked with fresh Madagascar vanilla. – Divia Harilela, Prestige Hong Kong contributor
32. On a visit to Bo Innovation earlier this year, I was offered the eight-treasure tea as a digestif and as a deconstructed dessert platter. Each of the eight components of the tea has its own unique flavour, but when combined, created flavours and aromas that were so complex, unlike anything I’ve tried before. It was so interesting that it inspired me to create a macaron based on the flavours of the tea. – Pierre Hermé, macaroon maestro
33. Reconnected with my roots in Manila recently, and forgot how delicious our breakfasts are: fried garlic rice with longaniza (Filipino sausage), fried egg and papaya salad (known as atsara). – Shirley Hiranand, co-founder and director of Bonvivant & Bellavita
34. One of my favourites is Bloom’s blackboard steak offer – the 100-day dry-aged USDA prime bone-in rib eye is awesome for sharing with good friends, over a bottle of champagne – or two, or three… – Denise Ho, stylist
35. I’m always in awe of the honey-glazed barbecue pork (char siu) from Grand Hyatt’s One Harbour Road. Perfect texture with a balanced amount of fat and flavours – it never disappoints. – Jaime Ho Ku, managing partner of Buzz Concepts
36. My friend and I were about to take a four-hour train ride from Saitama to Akashi to visit whisky distilleries and, naturally, decided to load up on snacks at the train station. Two of the items were a pork tonkatsu sandwich and a canned Kaku highball. Sitting on that train, watching the Japanese landscape, and eating this delicious katsu sandwich accompanied by a cold whisky and soda is something that can’t be replicated in any restaurant around the world, and was definitely one of the best food experiences I’ve had this year. – Raphael Holzer, general manager of Yardbird and Ronin
37. This year I discovered the Veggie Sushi Bar from Stephen James Organics as well as the Aloha Chiller (coconut water, pineapple and acai berry) from Be-Juiced to be two of the best things that I’ve consumed. Now I carry these two items with me every day as they provide me with the natural energy needed for before and after my daily training. – Belinda Khoo, founder of XYZ Cycling Studio
38. The traditional yook hwe receives an inventive makeover at nouvelle Korean spot Jungsik in New York. Wagyu tartare, wild sesame rice, fried seaweed, perilla, oyster croutons and an egg yolk cooked sous vide – basically everything good and holy in the world of edibles, all in one bowl. Why it’s no longer on the menu is to me one of life’s greatest mysteries. – Christina Ko, deputy editor of Prestige Hong Kong
39. I went for dinner at Wagyu Kaiseki Den in October, and their tasting menu that night featured their signature dishes as the final hurrah. Called Sea Urchin Black Truffle Rice, it was creamy, smoky and very rich. All in all, a little piece of heaven in a bowl and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since! – Fiona Kotur- Marin, founder and creative director of Kotur
40. I enjoyed very much the flower crab with uni at the Japanese-inspired eatery Ronin in Sheung Wan. The dish has a wonderful mixture of flavours and textures. – Wolfgang Krueger, vice-president and general manager of the Island Shangri-La Hong Kong
41. My five-year-old daughter Briar and I baked a vanilla sponge cake together a few months back. Now, I’m probably a bit biased, but it was the best thing I had all year! – Benedict Ku, creative director of Buzz Concepts
42. I went to Napa last month and went to Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc. They have a section that serves boxed lunches called Addendum. That buttermilk fried chicken was definitely one of the best lunches I had all year. I’m still trying to recreate that recipe. – Calvin Ku, F&B director of Buzz Concepts
43. I am thinking of my favourite spot in Brooklyn called Lucali. I go there quite often (not as much as before since I’m on a strict high-vegetable regime) and the pizzas in my opinion are the best in town. While hanging out there with my wine friend Stephen Fallango, we did a rundown of great wood-fired choices – but to my surprise Mark Iacono brought us the most amazing Nutella calzone. Certainly one of my favourites for 2013. – Gray Kunz, chef
44. A Chaource cheese brought by a friend and fellow writer to another friend and fellow writer’s birthday party. As she cut through the rind, the cheese spilled creamy goodness and had to be mopped up with oodles of the host’s (also excellent) fresh home-baked bread. – Elle Kwan, Prestige Hong Kong contributor
45. The best I had so far was this blue French lobster done at a friend’s place. No other lobster species can compare to it. It was simply boiled in water and that was it. Crisp texture with a fresh sweet taste from the ocean. – Simson Kwan, senior executive chef at m.a.x. concepts
46. On a trip to the Champagne region in France, I had langoustine paired with Louis Roederer Brut Rosé 2008 in a three-Michelin-starred restaurant called A Lallement. The langoustine was seasoned with some salt and pepper and slightly seared to perfection, the meat was incredibly tender and succulent, and it went perfectly well with the champagne. – Gary Kwok, group general manager of Ambrosia Cuisines
47. The best thing I had was homemade ice cream made by my twin boys. – Ronald Kwok, vice president at JP Morgan
48. One highlight for me was the beetroot ravioli at Doppio Zero – the colour looked unusual for ravioli but the taste wasn’t disappointing at all. – Dennis Lai, art director of Prestige Hong Kong
49. A dish of fagottelli carbonara from La Pergola in Rome. It’s the Italian version of xiao long bao: the carbonara sauce, which is quite soupy and not too creamy, is stuffed inside the “pasta dumplings” rather than mixed with the pasta. What a creative version of such a staple of Italian comfort food! – Vincenzo La Torre, deputy editor of Prestige Hong Kong
50. My fave was the rib-eye steak at The Steak House at the InterContinental Hong Kong – yum, yummy, yum. – Gordon Lam, associate publisher and creative director of Prestige Hong Kong
51. For an Autumn kaiseki dinner, RyuGin’s Chef Yamamoto insisted on sourcing ingredients in Hong Kong to highlight the prodigality of our natural environment. The Kuruma prawn and truffle dumpling was paired with thickened sauce of ham dan (salted egg) made with dashi stock for a dish both thoughtful and avant-garde. – Vicky Lau, chef-owner of Tate Dining Room
52. Lard. Yes, lard at Prat. It was a bread spread made with lard that tasted so good. The spread had a very interesting touch with some crispy pancetta bites inside, which gave it a different texture. – Lau Yiu-fai, executive chef of Yan Toh Heen
53. Summer barbecue at my sister’s house in Narragansett, Rhode Island. Fresh-from-the-ocean lobsters, rib-eye steaks and, best of all, vegetables picked from the garden out in the back yard: corn, Swiss chard, tomatoes and asparagus. – Jeffrey LeBon, executive chef of Cvche
54. Guacamole with sea urchin, aka, at Petty Cash in Los Angeles. This taqueria place knows how to mix traditional with contemporary ingredients. – Jamie Lee, co-founder of CrossFit 852
55. The most memorable foods that have entered my belly in 2013 are the otoro from Sushi Sora at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo and the duck and waffle from Duck & Waffle London. It was orgasmic! – Edmon Leong, contributing photographer for Prestige Hong Kong
56. The best thing I ate this year was a cucumber dish at Attica. The cucumbers were slightly pickled and complemented by holy flax, yogurt and burnet, a herb I had never tasted until that evening. The whole dish was a perfect balance of everything that matters in eating – from the gustatory basics of flavor and texture, to intellectual considerations of provenance and creativity – it whispered genius rather than shouted it on top of Melbourne’s foodist rooftops. – Janice Leung Hayes, food writer and founder of Hong Kong Markets Organisation
57. The egg balls at Benedict in Tel Aviv. Best. Invention. Ever. – Tina Leung, stylist
58. The best dish I had in 2013 is the roasted kid my mother-in-law [Brescian chef Mary Piscini] cooked for me for last Easter. It was simply perfect. – Philippe Léveillé, executive chef of l’Altro Hong Kong and Miramonti l’Altro in Brescia, Italy
59. Either the vongole pasta at Da Paolino in Capri, or Sunday brunch at The Principal in Hong Kong. – Antonia Li, socialite
60. The consistently excellent tasting menu at Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs in London. The 12-course menu varies daily depending on the local produce chef James Knappett manages to acquire. I always highly recommend this restaurant to all my friends who visit London, but be sure to book in advance. – Valerie Liang, socialite
61. The US pork neck with kuei hua flavoured pear and chinkiang vinegar at Man Wah. One of my favourite dishes before moving to Hong Kong was the classic sweet and sour pork, but this takes it to the next level. The tenderness of the pork, alongside the crunchiness of the pear and the wonderful sauce that it is cooked in makes me only want to eat more and more – I order it every time I visit Man Wah. – Greg Liddell, general manager of The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
62. I had the best frozen espresso at the Burda Bar in our Munich head office this year. It’s the only place I know where you can get shots of frozen espresso served by two very charming Italian brothers, Sebastiano and Francesco, in between budget meetings. – Anne Lim Chaplain, managing director and publisher of Prestige Hong Kong
63. Grilled French sea bass with handmade gnocchi and orange-rosemary butter, baby carrot, asparagus and green peas, by Jeffrey LeBon at Cvche, which I paired with a Sauvignon Blanc by Dog Point that I brought because Jeffrey waived corkage! – Gerrie Lim, Prestige Hong Kong wine contributor
64. Rice pudding at Chez l’Ami Jean in Paris. I never eat rice pudding but it was just amazing – flavour, balance, texture – divine! – Alan Lo, co-founder of Press Room Group
65. I feel very blessed living in Hong Kong and spending time each year in France and in Thailand. In all of these places, the food is wonderful and varied. It’s not easy to decide on the best thing I ate for 2013 but it has to be the Shanghai hairy crab dinner. Why? I only allow myself this delicacy once a year because of its cholesterol-inducing effect. The anticipation is wonderful; I love extracting the meat and the coral, and the taste is so delicate. I also enjoy putting the bits and pieces of the crab back into its empty shell – this is what the connoisseurs do at the end of the meal. – Sally Lo, founder and chief executive of the Hong Kong Cancer Fund
66. Chez HarvEst – my own menu! “Tout a Tartare” with ikura, umibudo and caviar, served with a Petrus 1985 vintage to celebrate my 19th wedding anniversary. – Esther Ma, CEO of Prestique
67. Definitely the barbecued suckling pig from Seventh Son Restaurant. It’s in my head almost every day now, so you can imagine how yummy it was. – Helen Ma, director of Le Spa Evidens and Evidens de Beauté Hong Kong
68. Burrata con bottarga from Olivomare in London. – Bertrand Mak, Asia brand partner, Rupert Sanderson
69. Pork belly with fennel, black garlic and calamari at Ikarus in Salzburg, Austria. – Sebrina Mak, associate publisher of Prestige Hong Kong
70. Line-caught sea bass with thinly sliced artichoke hearts in an Oscietra gold caviar beurre blanc sauce from L’Ambroisie in Paris. The sea bass, while light in taste, is delicate, flaky, soft and silky. The caviar, in optical collusion with the fish’s own shimmering skin, added a layer of complexity and elevated the beurre blanc. It was sweet, salty, buttery, subtly acidic and nutty. I cannot think of another sauce that could complement the fish and the artichoke hearts so well. One of the best fish dishes I’ve ever tasted. – Jeffrey Mui, owner of The Drawing Room
71. Bone marrow at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Singapore. My friend was ordering, and I didn’t know what was coming. As I took the first bite the flavour just exploded in my mouth. Combined with the crispy toast texture, it totally caught me by surprise. – Oyvind Naesheim, executive chef of Nobu at InterContinental Hong Kong
72. In San Francisco’s Fisherman Wharf, at a restaurant called Waiheke Island Yacht Club, [my wife] Taryne and I had without doubt the best French toast ever – in a Kiwi restaurant in America. How weird, eh? It came with crème fraiche and peaches. – Fabrizio Napolitano, chef
73. Home cooking is the best comfort food, and especially our crab cakes made with fresh crabs from Sam Shing Hui Seafood Market. My mom de-shells the crab and does all the hard work, which makes me feel extra warm and fuzzy inside. – Virginia Ngai, co-founder of Spark Studios
74. The best thing I ate in 2013 is Qi House of Sichuan’s chilli chicken. I have an addiction to spicy food! – Doris Ngie, cofounder of Backroom
75. I remember having the omakase course from Ronin at the beginning of the year, featuring Kagoshima beef, maitake with an egg yolk in the middle, sprinkled with fried garlic. The beef is semi-raw and melts in your mouth! – Pinky Ngie, co-founder of Backroom
76. Spicy chicken or acorn jelly salad from Sorabol Korean Restaurant in Causeway Bay. Whenever I have this sudden urge and craving for hot and spicy food, I have to drop everything to run over there and eat spicy chicken – and acorn jelly salad helps to cool my burning tongue afterwards. – Rachel Park-Monballiu, socialite
77. A platter of freshly caught clams and sea urchin in Mykonos this summer which turned into a daily treat. Served with nothing but virgin olive oil, the taste of the sea and some ice. – Wendy Puyat, designer
78. The best thing I ate was birthday cake with frosting and ice cream. That’s my favourite thing, any time, every year! – Dee Poon, chief executive officer, China Retail, Esquel Group
79. Häagen-Dazs’ limited-edition Salted Caramel ice cream brought me more joy than my first-born did. And I say that mostly because I don’t have children, and yet the nourishment, love and joy I felt must be along those similar lines. – P Ramakrishnan, Prestige Hong Kong contributor
80. The racan pigeon feuilleté at Caprice. It’s set against foie gras and nori seaweed, with lemon marmalade and a dose of sweet potato and lime turnip in a warm vinaigrette. The side dishes come cooked inside a pastry shell, but they burst open with flavour – very tender and juicy. I found it unique because it’s not yet another sea urchin, caviar, Kobe or Wagyu beef dish where you pay top dollar to get the best. – John Rana, CEO of Privé Group
81. Kangaroo steak at the BellBrook Bistro Oz by David Laris. The meat was very lean but tender, it was tasty and not gamey at all compared to venison or ostrich. – Caroline Roberts, socialite
82. A reworked version of sticky-date pudding, which I hadn’t had for years. It’s one of my favourite childhood treats, and earlier this year our home chef surprised me with a version with less sugar. – Kim Robinson, hairstylist
83. Chef’s oysters: oysters with dashi jelly, lemon cream and passion fruit bubbles, from chef Arron Rhodes of Dot Cod. – Arkadiusz Rybak, bar manager of zuma Hong Kong
84. I had the best bowl of udon in Osaka at Kamatake Udon. Silky udon with a great chewy texture and doughy flour. The noodles speak volumes of the passion of owner Kida-san, as he kneads them all himself. Served in a tasty broth with some abura age, it’s heaven in a bowl. – Kevin Shih, co-owner of Doppio Zero
85. I love to eat croissants for breakfast and I also love to eat doughnuts at any time of the day. I ate them all the time whenever I visited my girls in New York. Back then I didn’t about care the hazards of eating too many. Recently my son Eugene introduced me to cronuts – one day he came home with some from Swissbeck, and I love them – but I eat them in moderation. – Susan Sng, owner of Xposure PR & Marketing
86. The Tartufo at Panino Giusto. Truffle oil, aged Parma ham and melty brie – what’s not to love? – Mandy Soh, assistant director of marketing communications for Hotel Icon
87. It has to be my trip to Tokyo early this year and the wonderful omakase at Sukiyabashi Jiro. Prior to the trip I watched the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and too bad it was too late to book the Ginza main branch, but I had a chance to try out Jiro’s son’s branch at Roppongi, which was absolutely wonderful. But I’m absolutely going to make it to Jiro-san’s main branch very soon! – Susanna Soo, founder and designer of S.Nine by Susanna Soo
88. Without a doubt, the best thing I’ve eaten in 2013 is a panino from Panino Giusto in Italy – I loved it so much, we brought the franchise to Hong Kong! – Candice Suen, director of Bite Limited
89. A lunch at Jean-Georges on Central Park West in New York last spring. I met two great friends – interior architect Adam Tihany and Nathan Slate Joseph, one of our gallery artists. They’re both great friends of the chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. We started with a bottle of champagne and ended with a chocolate soufflé served by the chef himself. In between I had yellowfin tuna with a ginger marinade, black sea bass and risotto. Bliss. – Sundaram Tagore, founder of Sundaram Tagore Gallery
90. Breakfast on the roof of a sun-bleached riad at the Royal Mansour in Marrakech. I had amlou, a delicious spread made of toasted almonds, wild honey and argan oil on a freshly baked croissant. – Payal Uttam, Prestige Hong Kong contributor
91. The simple things are often the best. Early this year, when staying at Mas de Torrent, a small hotel in Catalonia, a barbecue was held in the garden, featuring local lamb, fish, seafood and sausage. It was all superb, but the pungent, smoky flavour that’s still seared onto my memory was of the botifarra negra (blood sausage), which was so good I went back for more again and again – or at least until my evident greed got rather embarrassing. – Jon Wall, editor of Prestige Hong Kong
92. The paella from Quemo in QRE Plaza. It’s one of the most authentic this side of Valencia, Spain. – Adrian Wong, luxury brand PR and marketing manager for Asia Pacific
93. I just had the best seafood paella at Entraguas in Barcelona. You know it’s good when you go home still thinking about it. – Tracy Wong, owner of Chilli Fagara
94. Best seafood dish I’ve had this year is at the North Point seafood market. I love getting the sea snails with seven different types of alcohol in them and cooked in a spicy broth with salty and sweet flavours from the juice inside the shells. Perfect with a cold beer while you wait for your mains! – Malcolm Wood, culinary director of Maximal Concepts
95. I ate so many things this year, as my husband and I are really foodies – sometimes we just travel to a certain place to go and eat a particular dish or try a specific chef. One of my favourites is a puff pastry overflowing with foie gras and big, big slices of black truffle from Chef Mathieu Pacaud at L’Ambroisie in Paris. – Deborah Valdez-Hung, chairman of Dreamodels
96. Pork cheeks with pickled nectarines and corn velouté at The Rabbit Stash in Singapore. We often eat food that is somewhat over-invested in technique. At The Rabbit Stash, this husband-and-wife team serves amazing food with a great deal of technique but also a great deal of honesty. Tastes super duper awesome. – Christian Yang, chef
97. The best dish I had this year was Sushi Kuu’s Wagyu rice burger. Topped with a slice of cheese and with the beef sandwiched between two rice cakes, it’s the ultimate comfort food and always puts a smile on my face. The coolest thing I’ve eaten this year, though, is Story in London’s beef-dripping candle. You basically light a candle made from beef dripping and when it melts, you dip your bread in it instead of using butter. – Caryn Yap, director of PR & marketing for Catalunya Hong Kong
98. I love the stir-fried hairy crab roe at Shanghai Kiangsu Chekiang and Shanghai Resident (HK) Association Restaurant, colloquially known as “So Jeet”. Easy choice given that it’s everything great about hairy crab – the roe, the meat is all out, de-shelled and stir-fried into a beautiful golden yellow plate of flavour bursting at every bite. The richness of the roe and the sweetness of the crab complement each other so well. – Derrick Yee, consultant for Privé Group
99. Hairy crabs from Shanghai, yum! – Jimmy Yu, society editor of Prestige Hong Kong
100. A home-made bowl of wontons, Shanghainese style. This filling recipe has been revised by my mom, who emphasises a higher proportion of vegetables than meat. The meat she uses is a mix of both pork and beef to make these wontons even tastier. More importantly, as I’ve been working in China for more than six years and returning home to Hong Kong only two to three times a year, these wontons are filled with care from a mother to her son. – Philip Yu, general manager of Grand Hyatt Hong Kong

+Prestige Hong Kong