The Hong Kong outpost of Franco Pepe’s eponymous Genevan pizzeria serves up some of the best Neapolitan-style slices in the city. (At $200-$300 per pizza, you’d certainly hope so.) Topping ingredients are mostly sourced from Caiazzo (a comune some 40 kilometres north of Naples), added to cloud-like crusts that are baked to order in a bespoke redbrick oven. During the early months of the year, we always recommend nabbing a table on the restaurant’s terrace — a great setting in which to while away the afternoon over a few of KYTALY’s signature Negronicinos.
Opened in collaboration with Hong Kong’s JIA Group (Duddell’s, Old Bailey, Chachawan, Mono), Julien Royer’s first overseas venture takes up the old Aberdeen Street Social space in PMQ. The restaurant serves rustic recipes inspired by Royer’s childhood growing up on a farm in Auvergne, and represents a more casual sibling to Odette’s fastidious, tweezer-constructed tasting menu. Design details from acclaimed local designer André Fu provide an elegant backdrop to the menu, which puts an elegant spin on classic bistro dishes from pâté en croûte to roast chicken and Nigata rice ‘en cocotte’.
in the spotlight
Chef Simon Rogan and co are firing on all cylinders at Roganic, opened in Causeway Bay in early 2019. The debut tasting menu garnered praise across the board for creative dishes that play off form, flavour and composition. The kitchen team here, led locally by Executive Chef Oli Marlow and Head Chef Ashley Salmon, transform British ingredients with confidence and conviction, incorporating seasonal delicacies in a progression of dishes that range from the wildly experimental to the downright delicious. The state-of-the-art service and well-curated drinks list? Just the proverbial cherry on top.
Since opening in 2016, Samsen Wan Chai has been packed to the rafters with hungry patrons looking to get a taste of decadent boat noodles, creamy coconut chicken curry, crispy fried eggs with chilli jam, wok-fried crab meat rice and more.
The masterminds behind Francis have opened their sophomore venture: a smokehouse dedicated to succulent roast meats paired with creative sides and starters. Named Mr Brown, this Wan Chai newcomer is another home run for the budding restaurateurs.
Run by chef Agustin Balbi, Haku is small and intimate, spotlighting an omakase tasting counter where all boundaries between chef and diner have vanished — inspired by the interactive Kappo style of dining prevalent throughout Japan. At Haku, the talented chef has found a new playground to experiment in — a kitchen without rules, where no ingredient is off-limits. After cooking strictly with seafood at The Ocean, it’s refreshing to see Agustin flex his culinary muscles to their fullest expression at Haku, the results being even more surprising and brilliant than we’d expect.
In a city where you’re never far from a plate of spaghetti with meatballs or a puffy pizza blanketed in cheese, a regional Italian restaurant such as the newly opened Castellana is a rare gem. Recently opened in the Cubus building in Causeway Bay, the fine-dining restaurant zeroes in on one particular area of Italy, namely the landlocked region of Piedmont, and was opened in collaboration with Marco Sacco, the second-generation chef-owner of Italy’s two-Michelin-starred Piccolo Lago.
Hong Kong foodies applauded the return of French chef Olivier Elzer this year as he settled into a new home at the St. Regis Hong Kong. Brushed in bronze with accents of gold and pastel marble, the lavish dining room is a fitting backdrop for Elzer’s artistically refined cooking, an interpretation of French haute cuisine rooted in seasonal produce from France and Asia. The stylish setting mirrors the elegant culinary compositions on the plate, matched by a selection of over 800 wines and 100 references of Champagne. Highlights include the Ossetra caviar served atop a jelly of beef consommé, and white-fleshed John Dory paired with a melting confit of Fukuoka aubergine. Don’t leave before dipping into the cheese cave and petit fours trolley for a final treat
After his days at Rhoda, chef Nathan Green is back on the Hong Kong scene with a few new tricks up his sleeves. At Henry, Green invites us to take a culinary tour of the American South — bringing to Hong Kong for the first time ingredients from Allan Benton’s bacon to 44 Farms Texas beef and Thomas Keller’s Elysian Fields lamb. Classic southern traditions are reinterpreted with gusto (don’t miss the Jimmy Red grits smothered in gravy) while carnivores can plough through a variety of cuts ranging from whisky-glazed ribeye to giant porterhouse steaks and fat-streaked beef brisket drizzled in a lush espresso sauce.