French restaurants have been popping up all over Hong Kong in the past few years, meaning that now more than ever, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining with flair. Aude Camus, creator of the French Chamber’s French Shopping & Dining in Hong Kong online guide, helps us whittle down the options with her pick of the very best French joints in town. Bon appétit!
Being French myself, I do need my fix of French food from time to time—snails (disgusting? No, those little things are delicious), foie gras, beef tartare, Croque Monsieur, and sweet Paris-Brest. So if you want to join the French feast here in Hong Kong, here are my top picks of restaurants that I definitely recommend giving a try.
Roast chicken may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think French cuisine, but one-Michelin-starred (and No. 15 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019) neo-Parisian bistro Belon makes what most would agree is the best roast chicken in town. Though headed up by Englishman Daniel Calvert, there is no need to clutch your pearls and cry, “Mon dieu!” as Chef Calvert is the youngest chef in Hong Kong with the coveted star, and the food at Belon speaks for itself.Skill and refinement are shown in every dish, from the naturally leavened bread that is brought to you at the start of your meal, to the Saba Niçoise ($248) entrée and Millefeuille ($128) dessert. Of course, the star of the show is the gorgeous whole roasted Bresse Chicken that served with buttery potatoes. For a nightcap, head to the “secret” bar upstairs. And we’ll be honest: Belon isn’t the most wallet-friendly option on this list. Go for their weekend lunch if you want to sample some of their best dishes at a fraction of the price.Belon, 41 Elgin Street, Central | (+852) 2152 2872
Hidden behind a discreet door on Hollywood Road is street-art-meets-fine-dining concept Bibo. Modelled after an abandoned tramway company, the walls of Bibo are splashed with works from some of the world’s most renowned modern artists (there’s a Banksy in there somewhere) and the food is just as innovative and distinguished.Go for the six-course Chef’s Imagination ($988) tasting menu, a stimulating array of seasonal dishes combining French and local flavours that won’t leave you too stuffed. Don’t want to break the bank? Stop by during happy hour to appreciate the art and the extensive wine collection, as well as delectably elevated bar snacks.Bibo, 163 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2956 3188
Acclaimed chef Julien Royer’s two-Michelin-starred Singaporean venture Odette was No. 1 on this year’s Asia’s Top 50 Restaurants list, and following that wild success is Louise, his tribute to honest homestyle fare that he knows and loves. The airy and botanical downstairs parlour offers all-day French favourites while the upstairs dining room features heartwarming dishes from Chef Royer’s childhood.Ingredients are sourced from speciality producers that echo the family-style comfort Louise provides, with ingredients like frog legs and foie gras coming across as completely unpretentious. The most stand-out dish for us was the Gâteau au Yaourt “Maman Royer” ($118), a yoghurt cake served with ice cream and confit lemon so delicious that just the mere mention of it can bring a smile to our face.Louise, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central | (+852) 2866 0300
If you’re looking for a French fine dining experience that truly goes above and beyond, head to Pierre. Located on the 25th floor of the iconic Mandarin Oriental hotel, the two-Michelin-starred Pierre is distinguished chef Pierre Gagnaire’s Hong Kong pied-à-terre.For a restaurant with a reputation that precedes itself, their modern fusion takes on classic French techniques and dishes are surprisingly unpretentious and plated delightfully creatively. We’d recommend getting any of their fish or seafood options, made from guaranteed sustainable and responsible catches du jour. For an even better bang for your buck, make a reservation for their Express Lunch ($588), offering the same impeccable standards for less.Pierre, 25/F, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road Central, Central | (+852) 2825 4001
Nestled in the heart of Wan Chai, Le Bistro Winebeast is my favourite bistro in town, largely due to the incredible cuisine created by Chef Johan Ducroquet, who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants before. The cuisine is everything I love—traditional but not too heavy—with a seasonal menu that changes every six weeks, meaning I get to try something new pretty much every time I go there, even though I end up ordering the Pithivier ($368) most of the time. The wine selection is great and Cristina, the front house manager, can guide you for wine pairing with her incredible knowledge of the best bottles.Le Bistro Winebeast, Tai Yip Building, 141 Thomson Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 2782 6689
My favourite restaurant in the world, and nothing less. Whether it’s in Paris or in Hong Kong, L’ATELIER de Joël Robuchon is just the best of the best and my go-to place for any very special occasion. The dishes are always surprising and full of flavour, the cutlery is beautiful and perfectly compliments the dishes, and I love that the atmosphere is not stuffy. Make sure to book a seat at the counter; I love spying on the kitchen brigade!L’ATELIER de Joël Robuchon, Shop 315 & 401, The Landmark, Central | (+852) 2166 9000
Helmed by top female chef Esther Sham, Maison ES offers a charming touch of French flair in the heart of bustling Star Street. Housed in a gorgeous sun-filled, vintage-inspired venue, the 2,300-square-foot restaurant oozes sophistication, with an elegant interior adorned with antiques, artworks, and collectables sourced from flea markets around the world—look out for the adorable vintage bicycle on the garden terrace!Here in this beautiful setting, designed by Sham herself, guests can indulge in exquisite cuisine which centres on Asian and French fusion. Aside from a tantalising à la carte and tasting menu, the restaurant offers a weekend brunch buffet, and a stunning private kitchen and dining area called Ta Pantry. The perfect spot to escape the city and enjoy a touch of je ne sais quoi!Maison ES, 1A Star Street, Wan Chai | (+852) 2521 8011
The lunch set at La Cabane is an amazing value, and rotates every week, allowing you to try all sorts of fresh seasonal ingredients. The cosy and intimate venue, along with the friendly atmosphere, creates the perfect setting for dinner and a catch up with friends or a date. What could be more romantic than sipping on a gorgeous selection of unconventional wines over a lovely dinner for two?La Cabane, 62 Hollywood Road, Central | (+852) 2776 6070
Tucked away in Tsim Sha Tsui, Scarlett Café & Wine Bar is definitely the kind of place that can make me cross the harbour just for a drink. I definitely recommend going there with a bunch of friends and ordering several dishes to share. The one-metre-long cheese and cold cut platter is the perfect happy hour treat and pairs perfectly with a bottle or two of red.Scarlett Café & Wine Bar, 2 Austin Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 3565 6513
My mother is from Brittany and I’ve been spending all of my summers there since I was born. Whenever I need my fix of galettes and crêpes, I head off to La Crêperie and enjoy my absolute favourite treat—the very traditional galettes, complete with ham, egg, and cheese. It’s the ultimate comfort food.La Crêperie, locations across Hong Kong
Recently opened in Soho, La Fromagerie is a paradise for cheese lovers like me. I am French, I cannot help it, and whenever I have the choice to swap dinner for a cheese platter and a glass of red wine and fresh bread, I am definitely in. Finding ‘proper’ cheese, however, is not always easy in Hong Kong. What makes La Fromagerie special is the fact that they are refining masters and buy their cheeses directly from producers in France.La Fromagerie, 16 Elgin Street, Central | (+852) 5526 2600
Another place that definitely makes me want to cross the harbour is Epure, the perfect spot for a casual lunch on the weekends where you can enjoy a menu on the terrace that is different from the one inside the one-Michelin-starred restaurant. Steak tartare and rosé under the sun? Heaven. This is also a great place to treat yourself to French fine food on special occasions.Epure, Shop 403, Level 4, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2185 8338
Le 39V is a Michelin star restaurant in Paris and has just opened an outlet in Hong Kong on the 101st floor of the ICC—you can just imagine how beautiful the view is. The restaurant serves traditional and rural French food perfectly executed by the team of Chef Frederic Vardon. Slow-cooked egg, gratinated macaroni with Vieux-Comté cheese, pepper-gratinated steak, lobster ravioli—food that is good enough to have you fully focused on your plate and completely forgetting about the most amazing view of Hong Kong. Worth a try, don’t you think?Le 39V, Shop A, 101/F, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2977 5266
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