Hong Kong, China
The philosophy: Pure, simple and seasonal is the mantra of chef-patron Hideaki Sato. Produce comes first, with beautifully pared-back yet technically brilliant dishes that coax the most out of every ingredient.
A chef’s journey: Born in Japan’s Nagano prefecture in 1974, Sato trained in classic French cuisine and only started cooking Japanese food in 2009 when interning at critically acclaimed Nihonryori RyuGin in Tokyo. His rise since has been swift, opening Tenku Ryugin in Hong Kong – which debuted on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2014 – before founding Ta Vie in 2015.
On the menu: Ta Vie’s tasting menu changes with the seasons, though one dish usually found year-round is the house-made pasta with Aonori seaweed sauce, topped with Hokkaido uni.
A hint of nostalgia: Located off an historic cobblestone street, the atmospheric interiors tinged with colonial accents contrast with the contemporary food. Think dark timber walls, parquet floors, vintage lattice screens and black and white photos of old Hong Kong.
Asian beverages: Tea and sake feature prominently, the wine list includes several labels from Japan and China, and a small selection of fruit-driven cocktails is offered, made with produce sourced daily from local markets.