Header image courtesy of Louise
Originally published by Aude Camus. Last updated by Gabrielle Caselis.
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 the very best French joints in town. Bon appétit!
Roast chicken may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of French cuisine, but previously one-Michelin-starred neo-Parisian bistro Belon dishes up what most would agree is the best roast chicken in town. Although headed up by chef Matthew Kirkley—a Baltimore native—there is no need to clutch your pearls and cry, “Mon dieu!” as the food at Belon speaks for itself.
Skill and refinement are shown in every dish, from the naturally leavened bread with salted butter and aged comté cheese gougère that is brought to you at the start of your meal, to the cervelas en brioche ($328) entrée and ile flottante with almond and caramel ($188) dessert. Of course, the star of the show is the gorgeous whole roasted chicken with petits pois à la française ($1,288).
For the ultimate dining experience, make your reservations for front-row seats at the beating heart of the restaurant. Come up close to observe Chef Kirkley’s orchestration live in action for your gastronomic pleasures by booking your seats here. Apart from that, enquiries about private dining are welcomed as well—shoot them an email at [email protected].
Belon, 1/F, 41 Elgin Street, Central | (+852) 2152 2872
Acclaimed chef Julien Royer’s three-Michelin-starred Singaporean venture Odette was first on Asia’s Top 50 Restaurants list in 2019, 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 heart-warming dishes from Chef Royer’s childhood.
Ingredients are sourced from speciality producers that echo the family-style comfort Louise provides, like frog legs and foie gras coming across as completely unpretentious. Head out to their PMQ location for their four-course set lunch (starting from $758), or Louise signatures like their indulgent and flavourful angel hair pasta with Kristal caviar, black truffle & garlic crisps (starting from $458) and sautéed Hong Kong frog leg with parsley & garlic crisps ($268).
If you’ve enjoyed their lunch offerings, we suggest you splurge on their six-course signature menu ($1588) to discover Louise’s well-loved and greatest hits. For reservations, book online here or email [email protected].
Louise, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central | (+852) 2866 0300
Nestled in the heart of Wan Chai is Le Bistro Winebeast, a humble French bistro. Its success is largely due to the incredible menu curated by chef Léa Cantalloube, who has worked and trained in Michelin-starred restaurants before. Her French iteration is traditional but not too heavy. With a seasonal menu that changes every six weeks, you’ll get to try something new pretty much every time you visit Le Bistro Winebeast. The dish that keeps gourmands coming back is their pithivier of pigeon & foie gras ($388)—if you’re not fond of pigeon, this will change your mind.
Le Bistro Winebeast, Newman House, 35–45 Johnston Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 2782 6689
Located in the heart of busy Central is the dramatically lit French restaurant L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. The drama the kitchen brings to the dining hall spills over to the escalators that lead to the restaurant’s entrance. This is purposed to set gourmands up for the culinary show that awaits them.
From what’s recognised as classically French—quail, foie gras, and caviar—to incorporating non-traditional ingredients to create modern and borderless imaginations of the cuisine, the culinary team here is credited for being outstanding and versatile. For a complete package of the restaurant’s signatures, we recommend opting for their menu “signature” ($2,480).
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Shop 401, 4/F, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central | (+852) 2166 9000
Helmed by model-turned-chef Esther Sham, Maison ES offers a charming touch of French flair in the heart of bustling Star Street. Housed in a 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.” Make your reservations online here.
Maison ES, 1A Star Street, Wan Chai | (+852) 2521 8011
Running through Central and Sheung Wan, Hollywood Road is pinned with art, culture, and food—La Cabane being one of the many restaurants situated in this stretch. We, the Localiiz team, know a great lunch spot when we see one. The one offered at La Cabane is of 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 meal for two?
La Cabane, 62 Hollywood Road, Central | (+852) 2776 6070
Situated in Tsim Sha Tsui, Scarlett Café & Wine Bar is an eatery worthy of crossing the harbour for. We 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. On top of that, their burnt eggplant cannelloni found in their lunch set menu (starting from $148) is to die for—a food item on the menu that even non-vegetarians shouldn’t skip. Book your reservation online here.
Scarlett Café & Wine Bar, Residence G Hong Kong, 2 Austin Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 3565 6513
Bringing the food of the northwesternmost region of France, La Crêperie offers Hong Kong a taste of the humble food creations of the lesser-known food region of Brittany. When you need a proper French crêpe ($72) or traditional galette (starting from $98), La Crêperie does it like no other place. You know they’ve got their foundational flavours on lock when they’ve got so many variations to offer. Both crepes and galettes can be enjoyed in over 30 preparations collectively—sweet or savoury, it’s the ultimate comfort food.
La Crêperie, 1/F, Kui Chi Mansion, 100–102 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai | (+852) 2529 9280
As one of many fine dining establishments in Harbour City, Épure is an unmissable restaurant for a French gastronomic experience. Rightfully earning its one-Michelin-star rating, the restaurant executes modern French cuisine and hospitality effortlessly. Backed up by knowledgeable sommeliers and helpful service staff, dine-in and takeaway offerings prepared by the culinary team are thoughtfully complimented.
If you’ve made a reservation in either their dining room or lounge, a thing to note is that they offer different menus for each area—which could be something to look forward to for next time! Regardless of where you choose to dine here, you’re guaranteed fine French food (and wine pairings, if you’re feeling boozy). They’ve also got you covered for on-the-go quality French food, check out their takeout menu here.
Épure, Shop 403, Level 4, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 3185 8338
Tucked away in Wan Chai is the neighbourhood French bistro Jean May. The newly opened restaurant already is a hit amongst foodies, filling the restaurant to the brim (socially distanced, of course). With an eye-catching green storefront and uncomplicated and homey interior, gourmands are eased into their simplistic, rustic, and home-style approach to French cooking.
Their current menu includes stunning takes on French classics. The duck breast, celeriac, red cabbage ($328), and handmade orecchiette with mushrooms & fresh herbs ($208) are examples of their French cooking done well, and must-order dishes.
Jean May, Shop A, 14 Gresson Street, Wan Chai | (+852) 3590 6033
Headed by chef John Ducroquet is French bistro Bouillon. For wanderers of the hidden and hilly streets of Sheung Wan, you might have already walked past the striking restaurant by accident, and wondered what it has in store for your taste buds. In the curation of the menu, Chef John oscillates between French classics and creative recipes—this merged and open-ended interpretation of French food is displayed on the plates served here.
If you work or live nearby, their lunch set ($228) is great value-for-money. With a considerable menu to choose from, you’ll be able to get a snippet of what their full à la carte menu has to offer. Jump on their familiar yet adventurous flavours and make your reservations online today.
Bouillon, 6 Pound Lane, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2886 0056
Having awarded three Michelin Stars, Caprice’s culinary greatness has helped pushed the Four Seasons Hotel to be crowned the only hospitality establishment to hold a staggering eight Michelin stars. The highly acclaimed restaurant cannot achieve greatness without its extensive wine list—every dish can be paired with any wine you can possibly think of.
The upscale takes pride in all their dishes but we particularly favour their signature racan pigeon from Maison Bellorr ($998)—cooked in cocoa pod, salsify, and puffed potatoes with cocoa jus. If that doesn’t sound intriguing enough, you can test the waters and give their lunch set (starting from $745) a go. Secure your reservation online here.
Caprice, Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance Street, Central | (+852) 3196 8882
Nissa La Bella is a newly opened French restaurant. Vibrantly decorated, from the storefront and interior walls in green, blue, and white, you’ll be transported to the south of France once you step through the doors.
We recommend their gravlax de saumon en toast ($128), which is essentially salmon gravlax with dill sour cream and sourdough—it’s simple and delicious. Their tarte aux tomates confites à la provençale ($128) is also worthy giving a try—you should get every element in one bite. The acidity of the tomato and balsamic vinegar balances the richness of the Parmesan really well. Book your table here, and you can easily continue the night after dinner at Peel Street, which is walking distance from Nissa La Bella!
Nissa La Bella, 10–14 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan | (+852) 9549 3882
It’s rare to come across French snail dishes in Hong Kong, but the search ends here—LPM is incomplete without snail in their menu. The French-Mediterranean food served here is light, fresh, and simple, but still very much elevated. From well-studied sommeliers to the experienced culinary team, LPM is armed with the best to serve the best of French cuisine. Building upon flavours with subtlety and mostly single hero ingredients is something we didn’t know could be done so well. Here, we recommend their escargots de bourgogne ($228) for the perfect slurp of snail—don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
LPM, H Queen’s, 23–29 Stanley Street, Central | (+852) 2887 1113
The two-Michelin-starred restaurant offers gourmands and connoisseurs of French cuisine to meet where executive chef Maxime Gilbert’s vision is headed towards. By incorporating exceptional Japanese produce, Chef Gilbert enters a new world of possibilities, pushing classic French cooking to new limits. From simplistic to over-the-top creative plating, the culinary team here adapts presentation to the star ingredient of each dish.
You should look forward to the oven-roasted whole pineapple tomato “enratatouille” wrapped in kombu in their eight-course summer vegetable menu ($1,880), alongside deliciously and intricately plated items.
Écriture, 26/F, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central | (+852) 2795 5996