It’s a sad day for Hong Kong’s pizza lovers — and foodies in general — as Lan Kwai Fong’s popular Italian eatery, Mercato by Jean-Georges, prepares for its final dinner service tonight. The closure comes following failed lease renewal negotiations for the restaurarant’s ritzy 8th-floor digs in California Tower.
Part of chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s global restaurant empire, Mercato Hong Kong is run by Executive Chef Anthony Burd and specialises in comforting Italian dishes, with a special emphasis on Neapolitan-style wood over-fired pizzas. It opened in LKF three years ago to much fanfare, and has been more or less packed to the rafters ever since, with a long list of regular customers, tourists and Centralists seeking a high-quality value-for-money bite during lunch hour (an increasingly hard proposition).
Earlier this week, chef Burd announced via Instagram that Wednesday, 14 November would be the restaurant’s final day of operation, with a brief but heartfelt message thanking those loyal supporters who have dined regularly at the restaurant over the years.
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It’s very sad to say, our last day at Mercato @mercato_hongkong is this Wednesday Nov 14th. Thank you everyone who came to support us, and dined with us. I am so happy to have showed the love and hospitality to you over the past 3 years. . Please join us on Wednesday for The Last Supper. . Thank you to Chef @chefjgv , the New York teams and Shanghai team for all of your support. #teammercato
A post shared by Anthony Burd (@cheftonyburd) on
This is a particularly sad day for us at Lifestyle Asia, as our staff are amongst the restaurant’s biggest fans — visiting an almost shameful amount of times for our favourite items from crispy chicken sandwiches and cinnamon rolls at Sunday brunch, to the endless rotation of new pizza varieties, each more brilliant than the last. Our Editor in Chief, Michael Alan Connelly, even created a couple of pizzas that were featured on Mercato’s menu as part of The Great Pizza Bake Off.
While we mourn Mercato’s closing today, there’s hope on the horizon, as we’ve heard wind that the restaurant is scouting a new location. Talented chef Burd, meanwhile, will be staying in Hong Kong, with a new job that will be announced soon.
Until then, those craving Mercato’s rustic comfort fare can pay a visit to its sister restaurants in Shanghai and Guangzhou, which remain open and serve some of the same signature dishes on the menu, such as the housemade ricotta with raspberry compote, black truffle farm egg pizza and crispy beef short ribs.
Mercato, 8/F, California Tower, 32 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3706 8567