Trying times aside, the city has seen dozens of restaurants open in the last few months. Here are four of the most noteworthy newcomers.
The first solo venture by German chef Mario Paecke — he was previously sous chef at two-Michelin-starred Amber — is located in a blonde wood and dusky pink jewel box on Ice House Street in Central, with a tiny but gorgeous martini bar, Kyle & Bain, tucked away upstairs. The restaurant turns out French brasserie– style dishes with a unique (and delicious) Teutonic take, such as an intensely smoky foie gras with smoked eel and green apple and a trout confit served with potato salad made from a recipe by Paecke’s own mother.
Never mind the silly name: the food (and views) at this Italian dining room on the 101st floor of the International Commerce Centre is outstanding. In a gallery-like setting of creamy terrazzo floors and watery abstract art, chef Andrea Tarini turns out an innovative tasting menu using the very best ingredients from Piedmont, Marche, Sicily, and Liguria — the Fassono beef tartare with grappa-infused pear and melted Toma cheese is simply sublime.
After closing its doors in July 2020, super-popular neo-Parisian bistro Belon reopened this spring with a new location on hip and happening Peel Street, a sultry Joyce Wang design, and a knockout new menu. Signature dishes include aged Comté cheese gougère, asparagus with caviar and citrus anglais, and cervelas en brioche (a kind of fancy sausage roll). There’s an excellent wine list to wash it all down, too.
Hong Kong has a lot of very serious and very expensive Japanese restaurants, so this fun and affordable izakaya near the end of the Lan Kwai Fong strip comes as a welcome addition to the scene. A shortlist of dishes includes a moreish chicken katsu dolloped with zingy mustard; smoked scallops lashed with a brown butter sauce; and rice boxes filled with briny ikura (salmon roe), velvety octopus, and sweet white clams. Come the weekend, sake shots and disco-funk music continue late into the night.
This article originally appeared in the September/November 2021 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Hong Kong Cravings”).