In February 2019, four months after Roganic London received its first Michelin star, Simon Rogan and his team opened Roganic Hong Kong in bustling Causeway Bay. And within ten months of opening, the Hong Kong restaurant earned its own Michelin star and is growing a loyal fan following. We spoke with General Manager Sean Oakford and Head Chef Ashley Salmon, who lead the team that brings Roganic’s signature contemporary British fare to Hong Kong, about the experience they’re bringing to the local dining scene.
Asked about Roganic Hong Kong’s location in Sino Plaza, Sean says, ‘It was a series of lucky events that brought us to this spacious location. We had previously held a pop-up here, and it just worked out. We have a lovely sea view, and we’re very fortunate that we have such a commodious space. It’s something diners notice and appreciate.’
Before he even set foot in the location, Sean headed to the New Territories to do research on fresh produce being grown on local farms. Drawing on the UK experience, including access to a 5-hectare farm, one of Sean’s main aims was to maintain the farm-to-table concept by sourcing the best produce he could find in the new place.
This was a key step, as Roganic is known for serving tasting menus that offer diners an opportunity to try the best and most interesting dishes created by chefs for the season. The menu at Roganic Hong Kong starts with a few snacks that Sean describes as ‘intense and explosive flavours’, leading to dishes that are served at a more leisurely pace. The experience is much like a well-orchestrated symphony, with servers guiding diners through several different ‘movements’. ‘Our food is easy on the eyes and technically superb,’ explains Head Chef Ashley. ‘We start with fresh local ingredients that are in season and see what we can do with them.’
Ashley also takes inspirations from his surroundings, and has served a dish of local pork with a shrimp sauce inspired by the famous pork and shrimp siu mai, as well as beef tendon served in a beef broth with mussel custard. ‘I like pairing meat with seafood,’ he says.
As for customer favourites, Ashley and Sean name a few signature dishes, including the Irish soda bread — ‘everyone loves it’ — the truffle pudding (a savoury take on bread and butter pudding), the caviar-topped sea urchin custard, the apple tart (made of an Instagram-ready spiral of wafer-thin slices of apple) and the duck dry-aged for 14 days in-house.
It’s not only the food that provides the experience, however. ‘Dining at Roganic Hong Kong is a holistic experience. It’s a culmination of what we’ve seen here, our own experiences in the UK and our customers,’ says Sean. ‘Ultimately, we’re about good food and good fun.’
And the team is continuing to find new ways to create this experience. Its new initiative ‘Simon Rogan at Home’ comprises a unique three-course menu, which changes weekly, delivered straight to diners’ homes. It has become a popular service, and provides diners with a short video on how to plate their own meals just like the chefs — which is something that sounds like a lot of fun!
UG08 Sino Plaza
255–257 Gloucester Rd
* Note that menus and dishes vary seasonally.