“People are often misunderstood about what dim sum is”

Alex South

Alex South


2 Michelin-starred Chef, Andrew Wong and elBulli's Albert Adrià, have partnered together to celebrate their shared love for dim sum.

In a remarkable fusion of culinary traditions, two Michelin-starred chef Andrew Wong, chef patron of London’s two Michelin-starred A Wong, and Albert Adrià the former head pastry chef of the three Michelin-starred elBulli, and the now owner of the one Michelin-starred Enigma in Barcelona, embarked on a groundbreaking collaboration that delves into the artistry and craftsmanship of European pastry and Chinese dim sum.

The collaboration between two of Europe’s greatest chefs has been a long time coming and project that has been affected by numerous delays and complications.

“We first thought about doing this years ago pre-pandemic, I event went to Barcelona, and we looked at a kitchen space, but it didn’t work out, and finally we have him [Albert Adrià] in London,” Andrew explained.

Discussing why this has been a collaboration with years of hard work behind it, Andrew said: “People are often misunderstood about what dim sum is, and if there’s one thing that Albert taught me it’s to really look outside the box. I think sometimes we are very quick to pigeonhole things and I think if you use a more holistic view about cuisine, I think the outcomes can be so much more special.”

Albert, who is often credited as leading one of gastronomy’s biggest revolutionaries thanks to the critically acclaimed culinary artistry of elBulli, shares a great love for Chinese cuisine, it’s ethos and the countless traditions from across the last 3000 years.

“I am really in love with Chinese cuisine, I believe it has the most extensive recipe book in the world and special techniques that are more modern than anything we use these days,” Albert explained.

Albert added: “One of the reasons why we’re doing this is egoistic, we want to learn from him [Andrew].”

Facilitating their culinary dialogue was Dr. Mukta Das, a distinguished food anthropologist and research associate at SOAS University Food Studies Centre. With expertise in Asian food histories and cultures Mukta has worked closely with Andrew, delving into the rich tapestry of Asian culinary traditions.


Andrew has long been captivated by the intricate artistry of Chinese dim sum.

Through years of hard work in developing the perfect dish, something that most chefs will attest to being an almost impossible task, Andrew’s precision, technique, and attention to detail is displayed in his offering of Chinese dim sum at A Wong.

“All of us who are trained dim sum chefs, we look at things from a very specific vantage point and I think it’s very important that we have breathes of fresh air injected into our world all the time,” revealed Andrew.

Explaining his vision and the aim of what he’s trying to achieve with his two Michelin-starred restaurant A Wong, Andrew explained: “We are not in the game of trying to improve anything, we’re merely here to find and explore and I think people always throw around the term of elevating or modernising. We not modernising, we’re not elevating, we’re exploring, and these are the fruits of our exploration.”


Andrew’s exploration and delivery of traditional Chinese cuisine has challenged western ideas of fine dining, showcasing instead a plethora of traditional dishes and techniques that for a long time has been ignored.

Andrew opened A Wong is 2012, adopting a revolutionary approach to fine dining in the UK, with the restaurant obtaining it’s first Michelin star five years later in 2017.

In 2021, Andrew broke records after A Wong received it’s second Michelin star, making it the only two Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant outside of Asia.

Despite achieving the remarkable accolade, Andrew is quick to add that he isn’t a chef that cooks for the awards.

“For a chef’s annual calendar, it definitely marks out the year. For the team it’s a goal. Is it important in the grand scheme of things? Is it life or death? Absolutely not, but for young chefs it’s important because it gives them that impetuous, that drive, that inspiration, and that benchmark that they want to relate to,” Andrew explained.

Discussing if three Michelin star is a goal for him and A Wong, Andrew said: “We are the only two Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant in the western world. In a weird way, I’ve surpassed any goals I’d ever set myself before joining the industry, and when I first started the industry.”

He added: “The journey we’re on, the one that we’re trying to celebrate 3,000 years of culture through our interpretation, trying to explore the world of dim sum and see where it takes us, do I think there’s potential for us to do better than two stars? Maybe, but I think it’s more important than that. It’s about continuing this exploration to see where we can go with it.”


Looking to the future, the path that Andrew is on is one that has already challenged the western perception of Chinese cuisine, delivering his own unique interpretation of traditional methods.

Describing his cooking style and the evolution that he hopes to take it in, Andrew said: “My cooking style is very simple, it’s our [A Wong’s] Chinese food. As a concept it’s something that’s evolving as I grow as a chef and I like to think that I’m still learning and we’re still trying to find new inspirations, find new products, find new people to give us that inspiration.”

He added: “I like to think what we cook at A Wong is our cuisine, A Wong cuisine. The way we eat it, the choices we make, the dishes that we put together, the way that we do it; that is very much I think individual to us as a restaurant.”


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Alex South

Alex South

Editor 21st July 2023

“People are often misunderstood about what dim sum is”