Hong Kong has seen its share of celebrity chefs opening shop, but with each new arrival comes a new height of buzz, and the excited hum has reached a crescendo at 22 Ships, the 35-seat tapas bar that opened last month on Wan Chai’s once quiet, now so-hip-it-hurts Star Street.
The product of collaboration between Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton (of London’s critically acclaimed Pollen Street Social) and renowned Hong Kong entrepreneur Yenn Wong, 22 Ships is a study in haute-meets-casual dining, set in an industrial but intimate scene of steel frames, glass and recycled wood around an open kitchen.
Complementing the no reservations policy and no auto-added service charge are the frankly bargain-priced, Spanish-inspired dishes from Atherton, who trained under legendary chefs Adria and Ramsay, and whose inventions will be executed by head chef Matt Bishop.
Divided into sections ‘para picar’ (small bites), seafood, vegetables and meat, the menu features decadent standouts like the char-grilled Iberico pork and foie gras burger, and suckling pig with spiced apple and sherry. Atherton is, however, equally known for his desserts like crispy lemon meringue with gin jelly, olive oil brioche with chocolate ganache, and his decadent take on the PB&J. Go early or prepare to queue!