Chef Patrick Goubier picks his favourite Hong Kong restaurants
French, Italian, Chinese and Japanese cuisines among the choices of the owner of La Table de Patrick and Chez Patrick
To be honest, I don’t dine out that much any more – not as much as I used to, anyway. But here are a few of the places I frequent. I enjoy the fried prawn rolls at Sen-ryo IFC (shop 3099-3100, 3/F Tower Two, IFC Mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central, tel: 2234 7633). The way it’s served is straightforward – tempura prawn coated with a layer of nori and rice, topped with a bit of roe. Sometimes the best dishes are the simplest ones, and this fried prawn roll is certainly that.
I’ve been in Hong Kong for more than 20 years, so I’ve come to enjoy Chinese food. I love Crystal Jade (shop E01-E06, 1/F Lab Concept, Queensway Plaza, 93 Queensway, Admiralty, tel: 2529 9908). It seems like a touristy recommendation from a local chef, but the xiao long bao can’t be beat. The craftsmanship to make those xiao long bao skins durable enough to hold the filling yet also thin enough that they’re not gummy when cooked is something to admire. I truly respect the craft that goes into dumpling making!
As you can tell by my first two choices, I’m in love with Asian food. One of the few places in town that does Thai, Chinese and Japanese well in one space is L16 in Hong Kong Park (19 Cotton Tree Drive, Admiralty, tel: 2522 6333). The terrace is a beautiful place to relax, and the outside furniture very comfortable – something few restaurants take into consideration. When I want some heat, I order the tom yum kung along with a serving of stir-fried Sichuan-style French beans. They’ve also got a great selection of other Sichuan dishes, such as poached sliced fish in hot chilli oil and Sichuan chicken in chilli sauce. A serving of miso cucumber from its Japanese menu to cool the palate is a great idea.
There’s only one place I have in mind when I want to have superb food, and that’s Caprice (6/F Four Seasons Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central, tel: 3196 8860). I truly enjoyed it when chef Vincent Thierry was at the helm and Fabrice Vulin is one to watch, too. Few chefs in town can cook pigeon exceptionally well; make sure to try his le pigeon fermier – caramelised pigeon breast with Moroccan spices.
As a French chef, of course I enjoy French cuisine, but Italian is also something I crave. I like to go to Divino (73 Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2167 8883), a Hong Kong Italian institution. It serves an amazing cream-filled burrata with Italian cherry tomatoes and a red onion salad. Don’t miss the penne “Jerome” style with gorgonzola and black truffle sauce, it’s perfection.
After a long shift all I want to do is relax with my wife – she works on my team in the kitchen – with a beer or two. We like to take a quick walk over to De Belgie (21 Elgin Street, SoHo, tel: 2869 8388), a small Belgian watering hole. They serve more than 100 types of Belgian beer, and it’s always fun to pick one we’ve not tried.
I try to visit France at least once a year. When I’m there, I go to my hometown of Crequi in Lyon, where there is a terrific bouchon called Daniel et Denise (156 Rue de Crequi, 69003, Lyon, France, tel: +33 04 78 60 66 53). Chef Joseph Viola runs it like clockwork. Terrific Lyonnais food can be found here, such as andouillette Lyonnaise, poulet de Bresse and much more. If you ever get the chance to visit Lyon, make a reservation here. You won’t regret it.
As told to Kylie Knott