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为何世界级大厨们都偏爱Yardbird?

更新时间:2019/3/23 8:55:15 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Where the World’s Chefs Want to Eat
为何世界级大厨们都偏爱Yardbird?

HONG KONG — Yardbird is not the world’s best restaurant.

香港——Yardbird并非世界上最好的餐厅。

But if you were to pool the world’s best modern restaurant trends and traits — the polished technique of Tokyo, the sophisticated warmth of Sydney, the design acumen of Copenhagen, the nose-to-tail ethos of San Francisco, the tattooed bartenders and strong drinks of Berlin, the beautiful people of Los Angeles and the global culinary mix of New York — Yardbird is pretty much the restaurant you would end up with.

但如果你把世界上最现代的餐厅潮流和特征集中起来看——东京的精湛技艺、悉尼的周到热情、哥本哈根的敏锐设计、旧金山“从头吃到尾”的理念、柏林的文身酒保和烈性饮料、洛杉矶的高颜值人士以及纽约的全球荟萃美食——Yardbird基本上就是你最后会选择的那种餐厅。
That is why, eight years after opening, Yardbird remains one of the most popular and influential restaurants in Hong Kong, a city with no shortage of amazingly delicious food.

正因为如此,开店八年之后,Yardbird依旧是香港这个从不缺精彩美食的城市最受欢迎、最有影响力的餐厅之一。

Chefs from all over consider Yardbird their clubhouse when they visit the city: It’s a place they often say they wish they had opened themselves.

世界各地的大厨把Yardbird当成他们访问香港时的俱乐部会所:他们常说真希望这个地方是自己开的。

“It occupies that rare sweet spot,” said Corey Lee, the chef at In Situ in San Francisco. “It’s just progressive enough, just traditional enough and just affordable enough that it satisfies a huge range of diners.”

“它罕见地做到了一种不偏不倚刚刚好,”旧金山In Situ餐厅的大厨科里·李(Corey Lee)说。“它刚好足够前卫,刚好足够传统,又刚好足够平价,可以满足许多形形色色的食客。”

The two owners — Matt Abergel, the chef, and Lindsay Jang, the business manager — grew up in Canada. Like droves of other expatriates, they are entirely at home in this multinational city, where both Chinese and English are official languages and the food is multilingual.

两位店主——大厨马特·阿伯格尔(Matt Abergel)和商务经理林赛·张(Lindsay Jang,音)——都在加拿大长大。像大批其他外籍人士一样,他们在这个中英同为官方语言、有着多元美食的国际都市倍感亲切。

Later this year, the partners will expand to the United States, opening a Yardbird spinoff in Los Angeles, a city that has proved itself as an early adopter of Asian dining trends.

今年晚些时候,两位合伙人将拓展至美国,在洛杉矶开设Yardbird分店。这座城市已证明了自己亚洲饮食潮流尝鲜者的身份。

On its face, Yardbird is a chic and modern Japanese-style izakaya — a casual restaurant where drinking is as central as eating — with a specialty in yakitori, charcoal-grilled chicken skewers. (The same combination is easy to find in Japan, at places like Toridori in Tokyo and the Michelin-starred Torisho Ishii in Osaka.)

表面上,Yardbird是时髦现代的日式居酒屋(饮酒与吃饭同样重要的休闲餐厅)——以烤鸡肉串为特色菜。(同样的组合在日本很容易找到,比如东京的Toridori和大阪的米其林餐厅鸟匠石井[Torisho Ishii]。)

But in other ways, it’s a restaurant that could be anywhere — and be cool anywhere — right now.

但从其他方面看,如今它是一家可以位于任何地方——并且在任何地方都很炫酷的餐厅。

It has a crisp, black-and-blond visual identity, from the custom-designed chairs to the labels on the house line of Japanese whiskey. The partners have collaborated with streetwear brands like Vans, Carhartt and Stüssy. Staff members gather for yoga stretches before the dinner shift. There are Mexican-style beer cocktails and Korean-style fried cauliflower. On any given night, the servers, cooks and customers have arrived here from all over the world.

从特别定制的座椅到日本威士忌上的酒标,它有着明快的黑配金的视觉身份。合伙人曾与Vans、Carhartt、Stüssy等街头服饰品牌合作过。员工晚班前会一起做瑜伽拉伸。既供应墨西哥式啤酒鸡尾酒也烹饪韩式炸菜花。任何一个晚上,都有世界各地的服务生、厨子和食客慕名而来。

As at other modern classics like the Momofuku restaurants and Relae and Joe Beef, the food is unfussy, the room is bustling and there is not a tablecloth or chef’s toque in sight. (Abergel usually wears shorts and a T-shirt in the kitchen; the 6-foot-long grill filled with binchotan, Japanese charcoal that burns bright red and superhot, is relentless.)

和Momofuku、Relae、Joe Beef这类现代经典餐厅一样,这里的菜品去繁就简,店内其乐融融,没有桌布也看不到厨师帽。(阿伯格尔在厨房一般穿短裤T恤;6英尺长的烤架填满备长炭和日本木炭,炭火通红、热度超高,且毫不间断。)

“The secret is that it created a community that everyone wants to be part of,” said Richard Ekkebus, the Dutch-born head of culinary operations at the elegant Landmark Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hong Kong. “The vibe is addictive, the food is delicious and unpretentious, and who doesn’t like grilled chicken? But it’s all done with a high level of technique.”

“秘密在于它营造了一种每个人都想置身其中的群体氛围,”李察(Richard Ekkebus)说。他生于荷兰,是雅致的香港置地文华东方酒店(The Landmark Mandarin Oriental)厨艺总监。“这种氛围让人欲罢不能,况且食物那么美味低调,谁不喜欢烤鸡肉呢?但这些都是以高水准的技能做出来的。”

Abergel’s signature dishes nod to international classics: a cool tomato salad with tofu skins and shiso leaf that is a play on the ubiquitous Caprese; French-style chicken liver mousse with toasted Japanese milk bread; a Caesar salad seasoned with dried seaweed, miso and fried baby anchovies.

阿伯格尔的招牌菜呼应了国际经典菜品:清凉的番茄沙拉配豆皮和紫苏叶——对无处不在的卡普里沙拉(Caprese)的演绎,法式鸡肝慕斯搭配日式牛奶面包,凯撒沙拉佐以干海带、味增和干炸小凤尾鱼。

But in the realm of yakitori, grilled chicken skewers, he hews strictly to Japanese tradition. Every part of the bird, from Achilles’ heel to soft knee bone to neck, is used, each one butchered, skewered and seasoned in a specific way.

对于烧鸡肉串,他严格遵循日本传统。从鸡的阿喀琉斯之踵到鸡腿软骨,再到鸡脖子,每个部位都可以用得上,每个部位都被切好了穿成串,并且用特定的方式调味。

“You can train someone to use a knife, but it’s hard to train someone who doesn’t have heart,” chef Masayoshi Takayama wrote in an email. Abergel worked for him at Masa, in Manhattan, New York’s most elegant sushi temple. “Matt understands that it’s important to dig into tradition, to know why something needs to be done a certain way.”

“你可以教一个人怎么用刀,但很难教会那些不用心的人,”主厨高山雅氏(Masayoshi Takayama)在电子邮件中写道。阿伯格尔曾在曼哈顿的玛莎(Masa)为他工作,那里是纽约最优雅的寿司殿堂。“马特明白,深入挖掘传统很重要,你得知道有些东西为什么需要用某种特定方式来做。”

Most important to local customers, the birds are the famously fatty Chinese breed called “three yellow” (skin, beak, feet) that arrive, alive and squawking, each morning at the nearby Sheung Wan wet market.

对当地消费者来说,最重要的是,原料使用的是著名的中国品种三黄鸡(黄羽、黄喙、黄爪),每天早上它们被送到附近的上环菜市场时,还活蹦乱跳咯咯叫着。

Since most Hong Kong cooks and chefs shop daily and expect extremely fresh ingredients, the city has multiple hubs for vendors who sell — and butcher and trim and chop — produce, fish and meat on site. (They’re called “wet” because the sidewalks and floors are constantly hosed down to remove scales, leaves, blood and other debris.)

由于香港大小厨师大多每天都要采购,希望获得非常新鲜的食材,所以香港有多个市场,专供商贩现场销售、屠宰、处理和切割农产品及鱼肉类生鲜。(它们被称为“湿货”,因为那里的人行道和地板要不断冲洗,清除鳞片、叶子、血迹和其他垃圾。)

“Until Yardbird opened, expat chefs would come here and dismiss the quality of local products,” said chef Jowett Yu, who runs a similarly informal restaurant nearby with a Taiwanese-inspired menu, Ho Lee Fook. “But philosophically, Matt just didn’t believe you had to fly in frozen chickens from France that took two days to arrive, instead of using fresh chicken raised 30 kilometers from the restaurant.”

“在Yardbird开业之前,来到这里的外籍厨师对本地产品的质量不以为然,”大厨乔伊特·余(Jowett Yu)说,他在附近经营一家同样随意风格的台湾风味餐厅口利福(Ho Lee Fook)。“但是从理念上来说,马特就是不信,你不能使用餐厅30公里外生产的新鲜鸡肉,非得花两天时间从法国空运冷冻鸡肉。”

Abergel and Jang have a strong restaurant philosophy, summed up as excellence without pretension. They arrived there after decades of restaurant work, both together and separately.

阿伯格尔和林赛·张坚守着一种餐馆哲学,可以总结为卓越而不做作。他们开办这座餐厅之前,都在餐饮业工作了几十年,有时合作,有时各自经营。

Instead of going to culinary school or college, Abergel spent months traveling in Asia, then did a long stint at an izakaya in Vancouver, British Columbia. Jang was drawn to the service end of the business; she was working as a captain at Nobu Fifty Seven in Manhattan when she persuaded him to join her in New York. They spent their nights off eating yakitori and talking about the different kind of restaurant they would open someday. “When I left New York I never wanted to work a restaurant again unless it was mine,” Jang said.

阿伯格尔没有上过烹饪学校或大学,而是在亚洲旅行了几个月,然后在不列颠哥伦比亚省温哥华的一家居酒屋工作了很长时间。林赛·张对餐饮业感兴趣是从侍者服务开始的;她当时在曼哈顿的Nobu 57当店长,并且说服阿伯格尔和她一起去纽约。他们晚上总是出去吃烤鸡肉串,讨论总有一天他们要开一种完全不同的餐馆。“离开纽约的时候,我再也不想在餐馆工作了,除非是我自己的餐馆,”林赛·张说。

They ran out of time on their United States work visas around when Jang was pregnant with their first child, so when Abergel was offered a job running a vast restaurant in Hong Kong’s swankiest mall, he took it, and they moved here together. But the corporate feeling of the place didn’t work for him.

林赛·张怀上两人的第一个孩子时,他们的美国工作签证到期了,所以阿伯格尔接受了一份在香港最豪华的购物中心经营一家大型餐厅的工作,两人一起搬到香港。但他不喜欢那个餐厅的整体氛围。

“I knew that there could be a restaurant that was fun,” he said. “Even if I had to build it myself.”

“我知道这个地方可以诞生一家很有趣的餐厅,”他说。“哪怕必须由我亲手来打造。”

He was right. Yardbird was an instant hit in 2011, stayed popular, moved to a larger space last year, and has proved surprisingly influential.

他是对的。Yardbird在2011年一炮而红,一直很受欢迎,去年搬到了一个更大的空间,并被证明极有影响力。

“Yardbird has really changed the way front-of-house works in Hong Kong” said Yu, the chef, who is originally from Taiwan. Before, he said, service here was stuck in an old-fashioned mode: either too deferential and formal (at expensive restaurants) or indifferent bordering on neglectful (at cheap ones).

“Yardbird真的改变了香港餐厅堂食的方式,”来自台湾的厨师乔伊特·余说。他说,以前香港的服务都非常老式:高档餐厅过于恭敬和正式,廉价餐厅冷淡到近乎无视顾客。

“Yardbird was the first restaurant that made you feel like going to someone’s house party, " he said, “where the waiters call you by your first name and give you a high-five and a hug.”

“Yardbird是第一家让你觉得好像是在参加派对的餐厅,”他说,“那里的服务员会直呼你的名字,和你击掌、拥抱。”

Another regular, the British chef Daniel Calvert of Belon, said that Yardbird is so popular among visiting chefs that he wonders if Yardbird is now creating, not following, food trends.

另一位常客、贝隆(Belon)的英国大厨丹尼尔·卡尔弗特(Daniel Calvert)说,Yardbird在访问香港的大厨中非常受欢迎,他觉得Yardbird可能不是在追随潮流,而是创造了新的美食潮流。

“Maybe it does reflect the way the whole world wants to dine,” he said. “Or does the world reflect how Yardbird wants us to dine?”

“也许它确实反映了全世界喜欢什么样的用餐方式,”他说。“又或者这个世界反映了Yardbird希望我们怎样用餐?”

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