A French-Tunisian’s favourite restaurants in Hong Kong for French food, pizza, noodles, dim sum, and Japanese

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French-Tunisian Samy Redjeb is the Greater China managing director of luxury and fashion brand distributor Bluebell Group. He spoke to Andrew Sun.

I had the privilege to grow up in Paris with very traditional French cuisine from my grandmother. She would cook countryside classics like veal blanquette, beef bourguignon, quail, potatoes purée and chocolate mousse.

From my dad’s side, I’d have a very different cuisine revolving around healthy Mediterranean tomatoes, olive oil, chillies, and fish. I was also trained to eat spicy food at a young age, and it surprises my Asian friends even after 20 years in Hong Kong.

Food became extremely important for me, and I learned from my mother and father how to cook. I never follow an exact recipe, but can recreate a dish by looking at it and watching videos.

Wagyu beef boat noodles at Samsen in Wan Chai. Photo: K. Y.
Mak Mak’s juicy salmon with sweet basil, lemongrass and chilli dressing. Photo: Instagram / @makmakhk

I love the variety of Hong Kong’s food scene. I eat a lot, but never between meals. Currently, my favourite places for lunch are Mak Mak (Shop 217A, Atrium, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, tel: 2983 1003) for salmon salad. I also like Samsen (two locations including 68 Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai, tel: 2234 0001) for boat noodles.

I can’t resist going to Alice Pizza (92 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, tel: 2518 3502) for a slice of authentic Roman pizza.

For something more leisurely, I like Fook Lam Moon (two locations including Shop 3, Newman House, 35-45 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2866 0663) for dim sum.

A square pizza at Alice Pizza in Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Photo: Alice Pizza
Deep-fried chicken kidney in egg custard at Fook Lam Moon. Photo: Fook Lam Moon
Spicy tofu at Deng G Sichuan in Tsim Sha Tsui. Photo: Elite Concepts

I would invite visitors to Mott 32 (Basement, Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Road Central, tel: 2885 8688) for char siu and Peking duck. Equally impressive is Man Wah (25/F, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road Central, tel: 2825 4003) and some mala dishes at Deng G Sichuan (Shop 412-413, Victoria Dockside, K11 Musea, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2545 3288).

For a bit of extravagance, I go to Zuma (Shop 501-503, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, tel: 3657 6388). Their food is very consistent.

For French food, I really enjoy Clarence (25/F, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, tel: 3568 1397) for the food quality, as well as Batard (Portion A of Shop E1 & E2, Viking Court, 165-166 Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, tel: 2318 1802) for their wine selection.

Roasted quail with morel mushrooms from Batard, in Sai Ying Pun. Photo: Batard

Outside Hong Kong, I would fly to Japan just to have dinner at Narukiyo (2-7-14 Shibuya Nakamura Building, B1F, Shibuya, tel: +81 3 5485 2223), a hidden gem in Tokyo. It’s an omakase restaurant with a special underground fashion vibe. Everything is very fresh. You must try their asparagus and tomatoes with fermented bean paste and beef stew which is cooked for hours. I always try to sit around the kitchen counter to catch the action while enjoying the chef’s funky playlist.

I also love going back to Paris and eating at the Marché des Enfants Rouges (39 rue de Bretagne, Haut Marais, Paris). It’s the oldest food market in Paris, in Le Marais, since 1615. There are different restaurants inside.

There are a few I really recommend, such as Le Traiteur Marocain (tel: +33 01 42 77 55 05) for their couscous or Les Enfants du Marche (tel: +33 1 40 24 01 43) for their Southwestern French dishes like tuna belly or the Gorgonzola mussels.

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