Thursday October 4, 2012
Malaysian chef Ho Chee Boon sizzles in New York
By FOO YEE PING
PETALING JAYA: A Malaysian chef has sizzled the culinary scene in New York, earning a Michelin star for a fine-dining Chinese restaurant which opened just six months ago.
The newly released Michelin New York 2013 guide awarded one star, defined as “a very good restaurant in its category”, to Hakkasan New York where Taiping-born Ho Chee Boon works as executive chef.
“I could hardly contain my excitement when Michelin called me to convey the news,” said Ho yesterday.
Ho, who has been in the business for almost three decades, said the one-star rating by Michelin “has to be my highest accomplishment so far”.
Hakkasan New York, which is located near Times Square in Manhattan, opened in April.
It is touted as a luxury Chinese restaurant for Cantonese cuisine, where Peking duck is priced at US$88 (RM269).
Ho, 40, said he was undaunted by earlier criticisms of the pricey menu.
“To me, what matters most is to serve the best dishes. It doesn't matter how many diners I need to attend to,” he said.
He is currently in San Francisco to focus on the opening of the next Hakkasan branch there.
“Our San Francisco restaurant is slated to open its doors on Nov 19. Hopefully, I can get two Michelin stars for the San Francisco branch,” he said.
Previously, Malaysian restaurateur Michael Bong, who once owned a restaurant known as Laut in New York, was also honoured in the Michelin New York 2011 guide.
Two-star Michelin restaurants are defined as “excellent cuisine, worth a detour”.
One of those listed in the latest Michelin New York guide was Peter Luger in Brooklyn, a steakhouse which started in 1887.
Michelin's three-star restaurants are billed to have “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”.
Among those named were Masa (once described by the The New York Times as “the stupendously expensive sushi emporium”) and Per Se, which serves French and American food.