As her Instagram handle suggests, Melissa Tse is a supertaster with above-average tasting abilities. Tse has a background working in planning and strategy for Fortune 500 companies. She spends her free time travelling the globe and eating. Her goal in life is to find the best food and to document her adventures with photographs
What’s the most amazing thing you’ve tasted?
The wagyu steak at Shima in Tokyo and the Palamós prawns at Asador Etxebarri in Spain.
How do you eat what you do but stay in shape?
I don’t regularly work out but I hike and swim occasionally. It’s all about moderation for me. I may try a lot of different restaurants but if I know that I’m going to have a big meal at dinner, I will eat less at lunch, for example.
Do you remember your first post? Can you describe it?
My first-ever blog post was about the origin of my blog name, Supertaster Mel. I came across an article about supertasters and discovered that I was one of them.
Who influences you?
My husband, who’s also my partner in crime when it comes to our eating adventures around the world. He’s quite knowledgeable when it comes to food and wine, and we would have long discussions about the food that we’re eating.
What’s your favourite place to eat in Hong Kong?
That’s hard. I’m going to have to name two: VEA for its French-Chinese cuisine and Tasting Court for its traditional Chinese cuisine.
Your favourite city in the world for food? Why?
San Sebastián in Spain. It has more Michelin stars per capita than anywhere else in the world and the variety and quality of food there is amazing: from pintxo seafood to fine-dining restaurants.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Anything spicy, like spicy hotpot, noodle soup, curry, Sichuan food.
What’s on your bucket list?
My other passion is photography and I would love to travel to far-flung places such as Africa and Antarctica to photograph animals in their natural habitat.
What would be your dream Hong Kong weekend itinerary?
Go have dim sum in the morning and then explore Hong Kong, like hiking the Twin Peaks or go boating in Sai Kung. We would have afternoon tea at a local cha chaan teng with Hong Kong-style milk tea and French toast, and buy seafood at a local fish market and cook dinner at home.
What’s the best meal you ever had, and where?
This year, it would have to be lunch at Alain Passard’s private garden in Normandy. Alain Passard started growing his own vegetables in 2002, and he now has three gardens in France to meet his need to serve the best vegetables at his three- Michelin-starred restaurant, L’Arpège. Our lunch ended up taking almost six hours and it was one of the most amazing culinary experiences of my life. The food was fantastic, of course, but it was a great honour to see Alain Passard in action up close and personal.
The best advice anyone ever gave you?
Life is too short to eat bad food.
What’s on your playlist?
This article originally appeared in the August 2017 print issue of #legend magazine.