The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Dispatches from Hong Kong

Posted on | October 21, 2010 | Written by Josh Rubenstein | No Comments

Harlan Goldstein

Entrepreneur and “chef to the rich and famous.” Harlan Goldstein is one of Hong Kong’s most famous culinary celebrities. With a string of successful restaurants and a larger than life attitude that springs from his roots in New York’s Lower East Side, Harlan Goldstein has become a Hong Kong personality as well as a chef.

Harlan’s newest restaurant, GOLD by Harlan Goldstein, is due to open in November.

What most excites you most about opening your new restaurant GOLD?

I’ve laid low for the last 2.5 years and have found a perfect location including an al fresco terrace.  The new venue is more in line with my personality as a restaurateur.  In particular, it’s a re-branding opportunity for me.

In eighteen years in Hong Kong, what are the biggest lessons you’ve learned?

Serve quality, recognize your customers, take care of your staff and stay consistent in what you do.

How has HK’s wine-and-dine scene changed since you opened your last restaurant, Tuscany by H, five years ago?

Once the import tax on wine was removed, restaurateurs were then able to sell wines at a fair price and increase turnover of their wines.  The incredibly high number of wine suppliers has helped make this possible for us.

How does your understanding of Hong Kong taste influence your menu?

I’ve learned to stay away from flavors that are too strong, like over-reduced sauces that may seem salty to local palates.  I can capture a bigger audience by using natural, clean and unique products from excellent sources and emphasize their freshness.

What would your last meal be?

Thai minced chicken salad with lettuce leaves with a local Singha beer from Thailand.

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