Asian Persuasion: Topped only by the harbour view, Cruise steers diners through a modern melting pot of cuisines

By Joseff Musa
Mar 04, 2024

Those who have found themselves caught between two or more worlds know that matters of identity are never easy to explain. However, at Cruise Restaurant & Bar perched on the North Point waterfront it is all pretty straightforward. For both local foodies and astute tourists, this gorgeous location with a large outdoor terrace and panoramic views of Victoria Harbour puts a novel twist on rooftop dining. Chef de Cuisine Adisak Choksamritphon envisions the restaurant as a workshop or “studio” where various Asian cuisines can be explored and enjoyed in an upscale, modern setting.

Fun, unique and never one to take itself too seriously, Cruise has an independent attitude and upbeat music after dark. During the day, it is relaxed and informal. Delicious modern Asian food, inventive cocktails and breathtaking views provide the ideal environment for mingling.

“The idea of Cruise came about because of our location overlooking the city’s iconic harbour, which has historically been a key ‘lifeline’ in connecting local cultures and global communities,” explains Chef Choksamritphon. “In this regard, our food offers a modern and flavourful take on Asian cuisine to celebrate the diversity and cosmopolitan nature of Hong Kong’s foodie scene.”

Asian cuisine has far deeper roots than one may think, with influences from cultures all around the world. As presented here, it is consistently flavourful, sophisticated and tells the tale of at least a thousand distinct towns as well as a thousand more forgotten traditions. A native of Thailand but calling Hong Kong his second home for more than two decades, Chef Choksamritphon is best known for his contemporary takes on classics. In developing the Cruise menu, he made some adjustments to favourite recipes in order to suit local tastes. He achieves this by playing with sourness and saltiness, and fully honing in on his Thai roots.

He assures: “We are guided by Hyatt’s ‘Food; Thoughtfully-sourced. Carefully served’ philosophy, and do our best to practice ethical sourcing, using organic and sustainable ingredients wherever possible. I also like to think of our approach as being similar to home cooking – I aim to use items that are of the best quality, and use only natural ingredients, like spices, to enhance the flavours of my dishes.”

Creating dishes packed with flavour, executed with flair and served with a generous dose of spice, he offers carb-loaded comfort food – a pick-me-up to enjoy when having a bad day, or to fill you up while and after drinking. Enter the ‘Sharing is Caring’ section of the à la carte menu. On a huge hot plate, Westholme M4/M5 Australian wagyu Tomahawk steak rests on a bed of sizzling gochujang butter with dipping sauces and okra tempura on the side.

In a similar vein, grilled M6 Striploin comes with shishito peppers, green chilli salsa and yakiniku dipping sauce. Another crowd favourite for sharing is chilli lobster Singapore-style, incorporating tomato, chilli, ginger and egg. The homemade roti makes a good sauce scraper, ensuring each smattering of spice is appreciated and devoured.

For those favouring milder spice infusions, wok- fried sea bass makes a perfect choice. Green mango, Thai basil and tamarind help to elevate and balance the crispness of the fleshy fried fish.

“We always have special menus and events at Cruise, so guests can come any day of the week and have a great time,” enthuses the chef. “We have promotions like Lobster Night on Wednesdays and Tomahawk Night on Thursdays, and have just launched a new Hot Pot Night on Tuesdays. We also regularly bring in special guest chefs and mixologists for pop-ups.”

As a city built by immigrants, Hong Kong is ultimately a major hub for cultural diversity, and its cuisine followed suit. In that way, it shares a similar profile to the divine melting pot that is Cruise – sailing grandly through the multicultural hustle and bustle that marks the city’s eclectic dining scene.

Cruise, 23/F, Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong, North Point

Photos: Cruise Restaurant & Bar Video: Jack Fontanilla