France’s cuisine is popular from East to West, and Hong Kong is no exception – Asia’s busiest metropolis is stuffed full of fancy French restaurants, award-winning chefs and devotees of French cuisine. Be it in Kowloon, Sheung Wan or Wanchai, you’re never far from an establishment serving filet mignon. Competition is fierce among venues, so we’ve listed nine of the very best for you to enjoy when visiting.
Wild Red Shrimp with delicate gelée from Spoon by Alain Ducasse Courtesy InterContinental Hotel
Spoon by Alain Ducasse
Restaurant, European, $$$
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Grand Dessert from Pierre | Courtesy Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
The concept behind Spoon by Alain Ducasse, which opened in 2003, is simple; use ingredients carefully sourced from France, as well as locally, to cook up traditional, true French flavors. It seems this approach is working, as Spoon has won two Michelin stars and places on countless restaurant lists and guides, including in the Forbes Travel Guide as a five-star winner. The restaurant itself, located inside the InterContinental, stays true to Ducasse’s desire for simplicity, keeping things elegant without becoming too formal.
Grand Dessert from Pierre Courtesy Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
Restaurant, French, Chinese
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Pierre, Connaught Road Central | Courtesy Club Chow
Overlooking the breath taking Victoria Harbor from the 25th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Pierre, a two Michelin starred restaurant, is simply magnificent. Serving up wonderfully designed pieces of culinary art, the dishes are still firmly rooted and inspired by traditional French cuisine. World-renowned Pierre Gagnaire, the face of this restaurant, and current head chef Jean Denis Le Bras, have constructed exquisite seasonal menus. If you are looking for exuberant French cuisine, which is not overly pretentious, then Pierre is the place to go. Try their sea bream carpaccio laid on a sardine jelly, with buckwheat seeds and red currant cubes — delicious.
It may not sound much like a French restaurant, but nevertheless Club Chow delivers some of the tastiest French-Italian food in all of trendy Sheung Wan. If you’re craving lobster this is the place to come – the lobster-heavy dinner menu includes lobster cioppino, lobster risotto, lobster thermidor and whole Boston lobster. Try washing this down with one of the French, German or Italian wines from the diverse wine list.
With glorious views over Victoria Harbor to Kowloon from the top of the Four Seasons, Caprice is perfect for an elegant meal as the sun sets and the city’s 8000 skyscrapers light up. The enormous chef team of 25 cook ups everything that Francophiles could wish for, from signature dishes such as Challans duck fillet, langoustine ravioli or line-caught sea bass. If you’re not completely stuffed after that, there’s an entire room dedicated to cheese in the adjoining Caprice Bar, where freshly imported cheeses can be sampled with selected wines and after dinner cocktails.
In typically cultured Hong Kong style, this relatively young restaurant features an art space and bar, as well as the restaurant itself. Bibo, a portmanteau of ‘bilingual’ and ‘bohemian’, takes its cultural cache seriously; the interior is kitted out with works by big names in from the contemporary and street art scenes, from Damien Hirst to Banksy, with sculptures by Japan’s Superflat legend Takashi Murakami. With all this blue-chip art about diners might feel a little overwhelmed, but the food more than holds its own thanks to the skills of Executive Chef Mutaro Balde, who creates French favorites such as the mouth-watering sea bass roasted over ratatouille.
Smack bang in the middle of picturesque Hollywood Road, Hong Kong’s version of bohemian Paris, sits La Cabane Bistro. Sister establishment to La Cabane a Vin, a specialist wine cellar, the Bistro somehow contrives to capture the atmosphere of a cute chalet, serving French dishes but in small, tapas-style portions, accompanied by cold cuts and imported cheese. Of course, wines supplied by the Cellar are the perfect way to round off your tasting session.
In a fast-paced city like Hong Kong, restaurants tend to fall out of favor fast. Not so Chez Patrick, which has been a perennial favorite since restaurateur Patrick Goubier established it in 2006. Hailing from Lyon, Goubier brings the tastes of his home to Hong Kong, served up in a dining room that recalls the glory days of European aristocratic living, right down to the gold flocked wallpaper. While Goubier glad-hands diners and tailors dishes to their needs, you can choose from plates like foie gras trio, or all-time classics like the Chateaubriand black Angus.
It’s safe to say Les Fils à Maman is becoming something of a worldwide enterprise, as it now has establishments in France, Belgium and Hong Kong. Helmed by four childhood friends intent upon sharing their childhood memories of the great food of their home country with the world, the restaurant has a retro vibe that captures the spirit of the 1980s, complete with vintage photos and radios. This slightly tongue-in-cheek approach doesn’t stop the food being perfectly executed, with the flavors of maternal cooking transported to gourmet standards.
All the way up on the 56th floor of the Shangri-La hotel, Restaurant Petrus has some spectacular views. If that’s not enough to tempt you Petrus, with its own wine cellar, has one of the most extensive wine lists in all of Asia. The opulent interior with its crystal chandeliers, rich draperies, impressive pieces of art and golden colors will make you feel as if you have stepped back in time to the ages of Louis XV, if it weren’t for the magnificent panoramic view of Victoria Harbor. Try their Hugo Desnoyer girolle veal with almonds and spinach.