Review: New Parisian bistro, Belon Hong Kong

Updated on March 2 2016

This is your new place to unwind over some food. Headed by widely-acclaimed chef James Henry, Belon is Black Sheep Restaurant’s new Parisian bistro — and their 11th restaurant — on Elgin Street. Sure, you might recognise some of the classic plates off the menu such as the steak tartare with horseradish and veal sweetbread — but it’s the combination of ingredients and local favours as well as Henry’s hands-on approach to food that really makes the difference here.

Review: New Parisian bistro, Belon Hong Kong
Chef James Henry left Paris and the iconic (now closed) Bones restaurant in Paris for Hong Kong.

Concept

The clean, pared back interiors and cosy booths offer the perfect respite from the busy streets of Soho. Decorated with light touches of terrazzo, onyx and aluminum, the vibe at Belon is both casual and inviting — somewhere you’d feel comfortable to lounge over several bottles of wine for the rest of the night.

Food

Though there are some exciting adventurous offerings (the Hokkaido uni and sweet potato waffle is a must), it’s the more classic and rustic dishes that truly shine. The foundation of the menu is based around the freshest produce available and, as such, the menu changes almost every day. All dishes are made from scratch and inspired by Henry’s French and nose-to-tail approach to cooking.

Post image Related: Tastemakers: Syed Asim Hussain and Christopher Mark of Black Sheep Restaurants

The sign of a good restaurant is always in the bread and we have to say that Henry’s nailed it.  The housemade, naturally-leavened sourdough bread with salted normandy butter (HK$48) was crispy on the outside and soft, salty and moreish on the inside. 

Review: New Parisian bistro, Belon Hong Kong
The star of the evening.

We then moved onto entrées with the Spanish mackerel with pomelo, avocado and nori (HK$198) — a perfectly-balanced dish of fresh, fruity flavours juxtaposed with the saltiness of the mackerel and seaweed. The beetroots baked in salt with walnuts and fresh curds (HK$128), we hear, are a must-try as well.  

For the main, we opted for a whole roast local chicken with Pommes Anna (HK$398) — and when we say whole, we mean the entire bird — which was stuffed with deliciously creamy button mushrooms, spinach and chicken liver. Simple, comforting and executed to perfection, it’s a winner for even the most pickiest or fanciest of eaters.

Oh, and to finish? We indulged in the dark chocolate tart with malted barley ice cream (HK$118), cherry sorbet with pet nat (HK$108), and our personal favourite, homemade millefeuille (HK$108) — crispy, flaky pieces of pastry layered with generous (yet not overwhelming) servings of pastry cream.

Drink

Belon showcases an impressive all-French menu of natural and biodynamic wines. We highly recommend the Michael Georget “Macabeu”, Roussillon 2016 (HK$568 a bottle), an incredible cloudy, structured and full-bodied white wine you can drink all night long and the moreish Domaine Noëlla Morantin “Mon Cher”, VDF Loire 2014 (HK$128 per glass) for those who prefer a red.

Verdict

In most places in Soho and around Central, dinner always feels a bit rushed. You either have somewhere you need to be or diners around you are continuously flitting in and out. Belon manages to leave the hustle and bustle at the door, allowing you to really appreciate the food and company.

Belon is set to open this month.

Belon, 41 Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2152 2872, belonsoho.com

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.