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).

The wood-fired pizzas at Mercato are some of the best in Hong Kong.

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.

 

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.

Mercato
Executive Chef Anthony Burd with Lifestyle Asia Editor-in-Chief Michael Alan Connelly.

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

Leslie Yeh
Editor in Chief
Having worked as a lifestyle editor for almost 10 years, Leslie is thrilled to be writing about the topic she loves most: wining and dining. When she's not out pounding the pavement for the latest new restaurant opening or tracking food trends, Leslie can be found at home whipping up a plate of rigatoni vodka and binge-watching Netflix with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in hand.