French restaurants have been popping up all over Hong Kong in the past few years, meaning we are now more spoilt for choice than ever 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? God 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.
Le Bistro Winebeast
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’s worked in Michelin star 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 Pithiviers most of the time because it’s just way too yummy). 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
L’ATELIER de Joël Robuchon
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 collectibles 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/French fusion. Aside from a tantalising à la carte and tasting menu, the restaurant offers a weekend brunch buffet, an afternoon tea set in collaboration with John Masters Organics, and a stunning private kitchen and dining area, Ta Pantry. The perfect spot to escape the city and enjoy a touch of je ne sais quoi!
Maison ES, No. 1A Star Street, Wan Chai, (+852) 2521 8011
The lunch set at La Cabane is 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
Scarlett Café & Wine Bar
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, because just like most of the French people in town, I live on Hong Kong side. I definitely recommend going there with a bunch of friends and ordering several dishes to share. The 1 meter long cheese and cold cut platter is the perfect happy hour treat which pairs perfectly with a bottle or two of red.
Scarlett Café & Wine Bar, 2 Austin Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, (+852) 3565 6513
A.O.C eat and drink
My go-to place whenever I’m craving a glass of wine, A.O.C is a very small venue, but nicely open on a quiet street which is fairly uncommon in Wan Chai. They sell the wine at retail price and you can pair it with one of the delicious and casual French dishes created by Chef Stephane Guillas. I personally love my wine with some homemade rillettes – and the homemade Pâté en Croûte is legit!
A.O.C eat & drink, G/F, 15 McGregor Street, Wan Chai, (+852) 2479 6833
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 galette complete with ham, egg, and cheese. It’s the ultimate comfort food if you ask me.
La Crêperie, 1/F, 100 Queens Road East, Wan Chai, (+852) 2529 9280
G/F, 69 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, (+852) 2679 4666
8/F, The L Square, 456-461 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay, (+852) 2898 7123
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 because you are buying at Wellcome or Fusion is not cheese, god no. What makes La Fromagerie special is the fact that they’re refining masters and buy their cheeses directly from producers in France.
La Fromagerie, 16 Elgin Street, Soho, (+852) 5526 2600
Another place that definitely makes me want to cross the harbour, Epure is 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 1 Michelin star 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
On Dining Kitchen & Lounge
I must confess I have a bit of a crush on Chef Philippe Orrico. If I’m feeling fancy or have a reason to celebrate, I will for sure go to On Dining. I love everything there – the beautiful view, the smart but casual atmosphere, the friendly staff, the food and the portions (god I hate those fancy restaurants where they serve ridiculously small portions) and the cheese platter which is probably the best I’ve ever had in my entire life. Trust me, it’s worth going here for the cheese alone.
On Dining Kitchen & Lounge, 29/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, (+852) 2174 8100
Le 39V Hong Kong
Le 39V is a Michelin star restaurant in Paris and has just opened an outlet in Hong Kong on the 101 floor of the ICC – you can 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 Comte, 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 Hong Kong, Shop A, 101/F, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, (+852) 2977 5266
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