New eats: CÉ LA VI, El Mercado and Comptoir

With the rate restaurants are opening in this city — it’ll be a feat in itself to have visited half of the new openings let alone all of them. This week, we visited three new Hong Kong restaurants that took us on a flavour-filled journey to Peru, Japan, the Mediterranean and around Asia.

The chocolate bar at CÉ LA VI

This chocolate-filled dessert has a little surprise in every mouthful.

The dish: Because you should always start with dessert and CÉ LA VI’s award-winning pastry chef Jason Licker has created some delicious sweets that almost (key word: almost) look too good to eat. Revisit your childhood memories with Licker’s smooth chocolate bar filled with passionfruit caramel, banana, praline crunch and phyllo.

Related: CÉ LA VI lands in Hong Kong

Post image Related: 10 new Hong Kong restaurants to check out in August

Where: CÉ LA VI is the hottest destination to open at California Tower to date. Occupying the top three floors, CÉ LA VI boasts a vibrant club lounge, rooftop bar and restaurant specialising in modern Asian cuisine.

Price: HK$118

CÉ LA VI Hong Kong, 25/F, California Tower, 32 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3700 2300,

Seared beef with banana confit and quail egg nigiri at El Mercado

This dish is definitely a must-try for banana lovers.

The dish: Inspired by Peruvian and Japanese culture, this nigiri is completely different than that ones we normally have. The taste of the banana confit blends in so well with the sweetness of the Japanese sushi rice. The beef is slightly grilled with a gas blow torch, it is very tender and juicy. The semi-boiled quail egg is another highlight of this nigiri, as the egg yolk is still in liquid form and the sushi rice absorbs all of it. Simple but delicious.

Where: El Mercado is a newly opened restaurant that brings the Nikkei (Peruvian- Japanese) cuisine to Hong Kong.  The menu is slanted towards Peruvian cuisine with Japanese influences and pushes creative boundaries offering dinners, signature treats which combine citrus flavours with fresh fish, soy, coriander, raw onion, chillies and sweet potatoes.

Price: HK$68

El Mercado, 21/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2388 8009,

Clams Mariniere at Comptoir

Make sure to soak up the juices with some bread.

The dish: A classic Mediterranean dish, the Clams Mariniere at Comptoir is a god-send now that the colder months are coming (as is their meaty red wine chorizo with mashed potato). Served in a rustic-style pan the clams are cooked to perfection in an additive lick-the-plate-clean-worthy buttery garlic and parsley stock.

Where: Comptoir is Kennedy Town’s hottest new restaurant and wine bar/retail shop. Brought to you by French Creations (the same guys behind dining in the dark concept Alchemy, FAB and Pastis), Comptoir serves up a range of tapas live from its open kitchen on the ground floor and has an intimate private dining room up top that is also home to all of its carefully curated wines, mostly from France and some of which are Hong Kong exclusives.

Price: HK$130

Comptoir, 42 Forbes Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong,

Yi Li is your typical half-Brit half-Chinese hybrid with a serious case of wanderlust. When not writing, she's either on the hunt for the best new cocktails, on a hike or enjoying a sinful bowl of truffle fries (and working them off at XYZ). Follow her @yilidawson on Instagram or Twitter.