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Forum Restaurant () is a Cantonese restaurant established in 1977 at Sino Plaza, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Run by Hong Kong's international chef and ambassador of Chinese cuisine, Yeung Koon Yat (), it is one of the best known eateries in Hong Kong. The restaurant is frequented by the glitterati of Hong Kong (many of whom are regulars) and is not traditionally an expatriate or tourist attraction.

History

Chef Yeung Koon-yat and some business partners established the Forum by 1974. It had not been officially registered as a business until 1977, as the partners individually left until Yeung was the sole owner and chef. Originally serving comfort food, the restaurant struggled initially with staying afloat. Realizing that a signature dish would make the Forum stand out from its competition, Yeung decided to become an expert in preparing one item. He eventually settled on abalone because "it was the food of kings, of businessmen, or intellectuals ...it's good quality and healthy." He also believed that he could improve how abalone was traditionally prepared. Yeung spent three years learning how to prepare abalone, investing heavily into the process. The Forum's special method of preparing abalone initially attracted Hong Kong officials and dignitaries. After businessman Yue-Kong Pao endorsed Yeung's cooking to Deng Xiaoping, the chef was requested to serve abalone to Deng and other state officials at the Diaoyutai Guesthouse in 1981. The politician later claimed that Yeung's abalone was the best he had ever had. In 1988, he was invited to Singapore to cook for a three-day banquet, serving more than a thousand meals and raising his profile outside of China. Yeung went on to cook for leaders like Jacques Chirac in 1995. In January 2014, the restaurant moved to the first floor of nearby Sino Plaza, as its original site at 485 Lockhart Road had been rented to Tsui Wah Restaurant instead, at HK$1.22 million per month for ten years. This was an increase of 70% compared with the Forum's rental charges.


Description


Forum Restaurant resides on the first floor of the Sino Plaza, at 255-257 Gloucester Rd in Causeway Bay. It specializes in abalone dishes, which Yeung is known for. The forum's signature dish is Ah Yat's abalone. According to ''Lonely Planet'', prices at the Forum start at . Yeung's method of preparing abalone involves initially re-hydrating Japanese dried abalone sourced from northern Japan, soaking and drying whole pieces for a day. Yeung states that when he initially studied how to serve the dish, he used Japanese preparation techniques as inspiration. Then, in a clay pot, the abalone is braised on layers of bamboo shoots and spare ribs. More bamboo shoots and chicken are overlaid on top of the abalone, and cooked at high heat for 12-14 hours. At first, Yeung used charcoal to cook the abalone, but later switched to using gas stoves. To test whether the abalone is ready, it is stabbed with a pin.

Law suit

Forum Restaurant took legal action against its competitor, Fulum Group's chain of seafood and dim sum restaurants, for alleged trademark infringements. "Forum" and "Fulum" sound similar and are written with the same Chinese characters. In July 2014, Fulum Group said it has achieved a coexistence agreement with Forum Restaurant on a trademark issue.

Recognition

The restaurant received one star in the Michelin Guide inaugural 2009 Hong Kong and Macau edition and the second one in the 2018 edition. As of 2020, it holds three Michelin stars.

See also

* List of restaurants in China

References

Category:Michelin Guide starred restaurants in Hong Kong Category:Wan Chai Category:Causeway Bay Category:Restaurants established in 1977 Category:1977 establishments in Hong Kong {{HongKong-company-stub