Azure 80, Hong Kong’s newest Shanghainese Sichuan-style dining experience, offers guests a truly exceptional experience in a city that isn’t easily impressed. With 80 li (equivalent to 40 kilometres) of majestic sea views overlooking the famed Victoria Harbour, Azure 80 is the dining experience you look to when you want to impress guests, indulge in service that anticipates your every need, and dive into world-renowned cuisine born of a partnership between two culinary powerhouses; the renowned master chef, Chan Kai Tak, and Taste Gourmet Group’s executive chef, Andy Lau.
Inspired by the ancient tale of Yun, a young dancer of humble origins whose beauty and purity caught the eye of a king and made her his queen. Azure 80 stuns with its palatial interiors featuring regal columns and beams mixed with plush, luxurious seating, and lighting filled with the same exuberant and captivating movement of a dancer. Whether seated at the classy cocktail bar, comfortable dining areas, or opulent private dining room, the large picture windows that envelope Azure 80 offer spectacular 180-degree views of Victoria Harbour. The minimalist and posh design of the breathtaking outdoor terrace beacons guests to drink in unhindered, dazzling views of the harbour, while intimate outdoor lantern lighting allows friends to linger as long as they’d like over beautiful ice-cold cocktails delivered in beguiling, mist-filled carafes.
The lavish design of Azure 80 merits an equally impressive culinary team and a menu. Like Yun, many of the Shanghainese and Sichuan dishes featured on the menu have humble origins, with pure and beautiful ingredients that have inspired two of the kings of Chinese cuisine, master Chan and Chef Lau to re-imagine and perfect each dish.
“When we envisioned Azure 80, we knew that we would need to find a chef who was renowned for their skill and ability to impress,” explains Chef Lau, the head of Taste Gourmet Group’s Chinese culinary team. “Working with master Chef Chan Kai Tak has been an exhilarating experience for everyone on our team. His passion for dishes and ingredients with humble roots, and his ability to completely transform them into something that stuns guests, can only be explained by his decades of experience and innate skill. Our team of chefs at Azure 80 have been learning from and training with Chef Chan for months in order to deliver indulgent dishes with a contemporary twist. He has graciously shared 20 of his most loved Sichuan-style recipes with us and has been teaching our team to find the perfect balance of searing heat and unique textures, along with beautiful plating. We’re proud to showcase these 20 recipes on our menu and we’ve been inspired by his teaching to design a few of our own signature dishes using the same techniques he has helped us to master.”
With an impressive history of work in exotic locals such as Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Singapore and Canada, along with prestigious appointments as head chef at the Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, and Yun Yan, a Bib Gourmand recommended establishment in the Michelin Guide, Chef Chan has developed a reputation as an exacting master of Sichuan cuisine.
“Throughout my years of experience cooking around the world, one thing is clear; there are four essential components that must come together in harmony in order for guests to have an exceptional experience – excellent service, beautiful surroundings, fresh, top-quality ingredients, and a skilled and creative culinary team,” explains Chef Chan. “Sichuan cuisine too is all about harmony. A dish like mala chicken, filled with dozens of chilies and peppercorns, appears to be daunting, brash and is intimidating for the uninitiated. But pure, overwhelming heat isn’t what makes the dish enjoyable, it’s the harmony and balance of the dish that allows the spiciness to pique the appetite and tingle the taste buds, while still allowing the guest to enjoy each unique flavour and texture. Sichuan cuisine is about trusting the chef who prepared the dish to create just the right harmony of intense heat and balanced flavour.”
After a fiery and delicious dining experience that awakens the sense, the palate floats back to earth with a calming and delicate dessert. In contrast to the powerful flavours of the main dishes, the desserts at Azure 80 feature delicate and lightly sweet milk pudding, fresh strawberries, and beautiful coral-like rose tuille.