Canadian Matt Abergel is the head chef of Hong Kong-based restaurant Yardbird, which has taken the capital city by storm since opening with partner Lindsay Jang in 2011, and recently opened Rōnin. Using his extensive repertoire of Japanese cooking techniques, chef Abergel’s Yardbird specialises in neck-to-tail yakitori and Rōnin focuses on Japanese Izakaya fish and seafood.
Abergel was 19 when he got a taste of a Japanese kitchen in Canada. With no formal experience, his experience led him to Masayoshi Takayama’s New York sushi mecca Masa, until he moved to Hong Kong’s Zuma. Since 2011, chef Abergel has won over Hong Kong’s masses with Yardbird and the restaurant has been awarded number 45 from Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. He has most recently added Sunday's Grocery to his ever-growing culinary empire; a liquor store, curated convenience store and take-away sandwich shop located in Kennedy Town - a neighborhood establishment offering a variety of drinks, food and artisanal products, with a focus on quality and creativity.
With a relaxed, modern design and atmosphere, both Yardbird and Rōnin reflect Matt’s cuisine; simple and welcoming, with a true understanding of what the locals want.
Describe your culinary philosophy in 5 words.
Honest, simple, fresh, clean and straight-forward.
What is your greatest inspiration?
If you could take a plane ride to any restaurant in the world, just for one meal, where would you go?
Torishiki in Tokyo, Japan.
What three things would you take to a desert island?
My two children and an avocado.
- #45 | Yardbird | Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants
33 Bridges Street
+852 2547 9273
8 On Wo Lane
+852 2547 5263
66-68 Catchick Street
Kennedy Town, Hong Kong
+852 2628 6001
Images by Philipp Englehorn