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Everything has a story behind it, and the recipes to our favourite holiday dishes are no exception. So, to mark the festive season, we ask the celebrated chefs behind two of our favourite neighbourhood spots to share inspiration behind dishes they’ve dreamt up for their patrons this December. 


Here, Esther Sham of Starstreet Precinct’s chic and contemporary French restaurant Maison ES, and Cary Docherty of The Upper House’s elevated Mediterranean dining experience Salisterra, share their stories.

1. Braised Beef Cheek by Cary Docherty, Salisterra


“This dish is braised ox cheek, Pommery mustard pomme purée, honey-glazed parsnips and crispy kale. It’s a perfect winter warmer — comfort food at its best with seasonal ingredients,” Chef Cary tells us.


For this holiday treat, Chef Cary was inspired by that very wintery city of London and the time he spent there with celebrated chef Jason Atherton at Maze. And in keeping with the slow cooking we love over the festive season, he says, the dish encourages people to use lesser-known cuts of beef.


Try this dish at Salisterra this December:


Level 49 The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty

3968 1106

2. French Bresse Chicken by Chef Esther Sham, Maison ES


“This French Bresse Chicken Done Two Ways is inspired by the traditional Christmas turkey. I grew up in a traditional Chinese family, so even though we were living in the States, we never ate Turkey during the holidays,” says Chef Esther. 


Her parents have never been fans of turkey, she says, but the whole family loves chicken, which led Chef Esther to invent her own version of Christmas turkey using high-quality French Bresse chicken instead. “The first part is seared breast and the second part is leg confit pithivier,” she adds. “It’s served with baby carrots, Brussels sprouts and cranberry purée to lift your Christmas spirits!”


Try this dish at Maison ES this December:


1A Star Street, Starstreet Precinct

2521 8011