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  • Writer's pictureDaniella Wu

Chef Chevalier Yau On Redefining New Nordic Cuisine at ÆRA Hong Kong


There's never a shortage of variety in this foodie-favourable city. An aimless amble down any old Hong Kong alleyway advertises the considerable options available to diners, anywhere at any time. So when we come across new eateries with utterings of the unfamiliar, we're immediately intrigued and determined to dissect what sets this restaurant and its concept apart from the rest. This brings us to æra, a contemporary establishment specialising in New Nordic Fusion Cuisine helmed by Chef Chavlier Yau, perched on the edge of Stewart Rd and Jaffe Rd right in the heart of the Wan Chai - Causeway Bay junction.

The name "æra" is derived from the Danish word itself which means honour and era, symbolising the restaurant's dedication to honouring and showcasing the prowess of young, local culinary talent and allowing these Hong Kong chefs to utilise the space, contributing to æra's unique dynamic and demonstrating their artistic vision and creativity. Head Chef Chevalier Yau leads the young culinary team on the other side of the open kitchen from within their minimalistic, airy and modern interior space and simply from the restaurant's layout can the observant diner identify an atmosphere of transparency, innovation and openness in the restaurant's culture and within the kitchen. Each step of the creative process is available for guests to glimpse, as well as the seamless, coordinated team energy from the kitchen.

The standout focal point of æra is their dedicated incorporation of New Nordic Cuisine, a rarity in Hong Kong, and therefore a truly special treat for the experienced diner. Abiding by the practices and rules of New Nordic, æra endeavours to use as much local ingredients and produce as they can as well as designing menus based on fresh, seasonally available items. You can properly experience the mastery of the culinary team's creations by indulging in their Ten-Course Tasting Menu priced at $1188, exclusively only available for dinner service with an optional wine-pairing selection at an additional $798, carefully crafted to best complement and accentuate the dinner. Æra also offers a desirable lunch menu starting at $178 which features a less extensive selection of menu highlights.

Our writer's selects of standout dishes include the Amuse Bouche, a fine collection of delicate bite-sized concoctions consisting of the delicate, little honey pea tart with pear jam and gardenia oil, the Caprese Salad condensed into one bite with resounding notes of basil and the compact pickled mussel panna topped with caviar, bursting with nordic inspired flavours. Another standout was the Pattes/Malt/Lemon, a labour of love and aptitude requiring a meticulous three-day-process for preparation that involves marinating the locally-sourced chicken feet in maltose and herbs, then allowing the protein to air-dry before drizzling lemon juice and flame-roasting them.

We interviewed Head Chef Chevalier Yau to gain better insight into his specific vision behind æra and how he manages to direct a special team of young, local culinary creatives to execute a standout tantalising and inspiring menu bringing the unique and refined taste of New Nordic fusion to the Hong Kong dining scene.

How would you describe Aera's cuisine and its signature style?

Aera is passionate about creating a dining experience that’s both delicious and sustainable. Our cooking is rooted in the philosophy of New Nordic cuisine, which means we use locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients to create dishes that are both bold and unexpected. We love experimenting with different international flavours and techniques to create a unique dining experience that you won’t find anywhere else.

We’re also a casual fine-dining restaurant that combines elegant presentation with a relaxed atmosphere. Our space has a laid-back, welcoming vibe that strikes the perfect balance between sophistication and informality. The earthy tone of the décor reflects the Nordic emphasis on simplicity and sustainability. So whether you’re grabbing a bite with your crew or meeting up with colleagues, you don’t need to worry about dressing up. Come as you are and enjoy a great meal with great company.

What was your vision behind opening Aera?

We want to give young chefs the chance to flex their culinary muscles and create amazing dishes that push boundaries. That’s why we take our name from the Scandinavian word “aera,” which means “era” or “honour.” To us, cooking is truly an art form, and we’re passionate about honouring that craft by providing a platform for talented chefs to show off their skills and creativity. We encourage these up-and-coming chefs to experiment with new techniques and flavours, and develop their own unique style. So when you dine at Aera, you can expect a rotating menu that features a selection of dishes created by these talented chefs, allowing diners to experience a range of culinary styles and influences.

What is the inspiration behind your menus at Aera?

We believe that fresh ingredients and creative flavour combinations are the key to creating truly exceptional dishes. Our menus are always changing to showcase the best seasonal ingredients that we can get our hands on, sourced from local farms and partners. We use traditional Nordic cooking techniques like pickling, smoking, air-drying, and fermentation to preserve the true taste of these ingredients. Our chefs use these techniques to create complex, layered flavours in their dishes, adding depth and complexity that reflects our commitment to sustainability and reducing food waste. This culinary philosophy provides a unique framework for us to explore new flavours and techniques in a way that is both innovative and respectful of tradition.

Can you give us some insight into your philosophy towards cooking?

When it comes to cooking, we’re all about passion and purpose. We believe that every dish should be made with care and intention, using only the freshest ingredients and most creative flavour combinations. We know a dish is a true masterpiece when we’re confident enough to serve it to our own family. Our team of chefs goes above and beyond to make sure every plate is perfect. They’re constantly experimenting and refining their dishes to create something truly unforgettable. At the end of the day, our goal is simple: to give our guests a culinary experience they won’t easily forget.

What do you believe are the most important aspects of running a successful kitchen?

Teamwork and collaboration are definitely the most important aspects of running a successful kitchen. It’s essential that all chefs work together closely to create menus that reflect their unique perspectives and skills, with input from each team member. This approach fosters a sense of shared ownership and pride in the restaurant’s offerings, creating a supportive environment where everyone feels valued and respected. We believe in curating our menu as a team, drawing on the expertise and ideas of all our chefs. This inclusive approach ensures that everyone has a voice and contributes to the success of the kitchen, resulting in exceptional dishes that our guests love. Ultimately, it’s our focus on teamwork, collaboration, and inclusivity that sets our kitchen apart and makes us successful.


All imagery is provided by Æra

Address: G/F., 6 Steward Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island | Website: | Phone: ++852 93300387 | Email: | Instagram: | Facebook: @Aera.Hk


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