Oli Marlow

After a first stint as chef de partie at Roganic when it was still a pop up in London, Oli Marlow has been everywhere. From Eleven Madison Park in New York City to Maaemo in Oslo and The Fat Duck in Bray, he came back to lead a brand new Roganic to its first Michelin star. But in early 2019, Marlow left London for Hong Kong as executive chef of the first Roganic in Asia, which opened alongside the group's development kitchen Aulis in the heart of Causeway Bay. When he’s not at the helm of his kitchen and a new bakery and natural wine bar conceived by the same group, this is how you’ll find him spending his money.

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Hong Kong’s Dining Scene Post-Pandemic

Hong Kong’s dining scene is eclectic, reflecting a food culture that is an exciting concoction of both Chinese and International customs and flavours. There is nothing you can’t get your hands on in Hong Kong. The most noticeable change in the dining scene over the past few years – apart from staff having to wear masks – is that people are much more open to vegetarian food and are much more intrigued by a good vegetable dish now than they ever were. It’s both due to the sustainability movement finally gaining traction in Hong Kong and to the rising cost of produce. If you really want to experience the local scene and culture, a good place to start is at Dim Sum Square in Sheung Wan, a residential district in Hong Kong. It’s local, cheap and tasty.

Places I’m Happy Giving My Money To 

I’m loving Shady Acres and Honky Tonks Tavern right now. They’re both always full and have a great buzz to them. Apart from being a lot of fun, they’re both very fairly priced and where the quality of food and drinks is top. Shady acres is located on a steep hill and it can be very amusing trying to stay upright walking downhill after a long night out. Honky Tonks has the most amazing staff and feels like what I imagine a bar in Texas would. If it’s been a long week, I like to go to the beach to relax, followed by dinner at Yardbird and Honky Tonks for drinks. Yardbird has set the benchmark for fun and affordable dining but with the highest standards. It has a few signature dishes such as the sweetcorn tempura and the Caesar salad. In addition to that, I always order five or six items from the yakitori menu. I don’t think anyone has ever had anything bad from this ever-changing yakitori menu. Mother of Pizzas is the place where I currently spend most of my money. I only ever ordered the “My Parma” there, because when it comes to food, I sometimes hate change. The pizza is topped with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, Parma ham, rocket leaves, Grana Padano [cheese] and EVOO.

Hong Kong Essentials 

If industry friends are visiting, I would take them to The Chairman restaurant. It’s widely regarded as the best Chinese food in Hong Kong so it would be a shame to miss out on it. As for drinks, I would start with a nice cocktail somewhere classy like at The Old Man or Penicillin then migrate to Shady Acres or Honky Tonks for a more loose vibe. The Old Man is a very hidden bar that can be hard to find if you go alone on your first visit. But once you’re settled in you’ll forget all about it. They make a stunning gin and tonic there. You’re guaranteed to get some of the best cocktails you’ve ever had at both bars. Using modern techniques, high-quality and seasonal products (or what Penicillin likes to call “climate positive”), and fresh combinations, they are somehow improving the classics which were thought to already be perfect.

Favourite Indian Restaurant in the World

Chaat at the Rosewood Hotel is my favourite Indian restaurant in the world. The portions are so big that everyone ends up getting rolled out the door. The head chef, Manav Tuli, is a great guy who has travelled and trained all around India so he’s able to bring really different flavours and techniques from all its regions to his menus. The samosas are unbelievable – a must order. 

Something To Bring Home From Hong Kong

Coconut milk is something I really crave when I leave Hong Kong. I don’t recall the brand name of the one I buy but it’s sold in a blue carton at Wellcome supermarket. It’s so good. 

Something Totally New to Kong Kong

The Baker & The Bottleman is an artisan bakery by day and natural wine bar by night that we opened in January 2022. We wanted to bring something totally new to Hong Kong. We’ve essentially taken the same practices and beliefs from our restaurants and applied them to a bakery and wine bar. During the day, you can find all of the classic British bakes on the menu. At night items range from freshly shucked oysters to a fish burger that can be washed down with some of the best organic and biodynamic wines out there, selected by our master sommelier Pierre Brunelli.

Portrait Photography: Rebecca Dickson

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