Favourite Hong Kong restaurants of Philippe Orrico, chef and Nomad Dining founder
8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana for perfect pasta and Tim Ho Wan for dim sum are among Frenchman’s go-to places
I try to balance my diet as much as possible but, in my job, it is not always easy to sit down for a proper meal. I am almost always tasting the food we create so I’m sure it adds up to a full day’s worth of meals, and then some.
But around town, 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana (shop 202, 2/F Landmark Alexandra, 18 Chater Road, Central, tel: 2537 8859) is a firm favourite because it is always fantastic quality, generous and not pretentious at all. The pasta is incredible, especially the seafood cavatelli. It’s so simple but so superb.
If I have someone from out of town, I would take them to the China Club (13-14/F, Old Bank of China Building, Bank Street, Central, tel: 2521 8888). It’s a unique place and it is part of Hong Kong’s history. There’s all this art – it’s interesting and weird.
But you can’t come to Hong Kong and not have dim sum. The chef at Tim Ho Wan (9-11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po, tel: 2788 1226) used to work at the Four Seasons and now [with this restaurant] he has a Michelin star. It’s quite good. The barbecue pork bun is amazing.
Unfortunately, not many places are open when I finish work so I usually I eat in one of my restaurants. They are not bad places to eat and the food is good, if I may say so myself. But if I can clock off at a reasonable hour, I visit Seasons by Olivier E (shop 308-311, Lee Garden Two, 28 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2505 6228). Olivier is a good friend and doesn’t mind cooking for me late at night – the food is always amazing.
As for other French restaurants, it’s difficult to choose as there are so many good chefs out there. Pierre Gagnaire, Joël Robuchon and Alain Ducasse are my three favourites. They cook some very French food in very different ways. Robuchon is very technical, Ducasse is very generous, and Gagnaire is very artistic.
When I’m tired or when I want to relax, I eat vanilla ice cream. Also, I do visit Lei Garden (various locations, including shop 3008, 3/F IFC, 1 Harbour View Street, Central, tel: 2295 0238) for dim sum on the weekends.
If you were to go to Paris, there are lots of restaurants I can recommend. You have the best places next to the worst. But there’s always something interesting. But I would say Chinese food is getting better since hotels such as The Peninsula and Shangri-La arrived. One place I would mention is Yam’Tcha (121 rue St Honoré, 75001, Paris, tel: +33 (0)1 40 26 08 07). It is a good restaurant. The chef, Adeline Grattard, used to work at Bo Innovation [in Hong Kong]. She has a very interesting concept, [pairing food] with tea. But in Paris, I usually eat chocolate crêpes and walk around.