Favourite Hong Kong restaurants of Park Lane Pullman Hotel’s general manager, Luc Bollen
SoHo’s Sahara Mezz Bar brings back memories of Egypt for Bollen, who also loves the chilli prawns at Yun Yan, Sunday brunch at the Conrad and a trip to Sai Kung for seafood with visitors
The nature of my job makes me always want to try new things, so I am hardly a loyal and returning patron. I try to keep a balance between eating out and home-cooked meals. Again, my job isn’t always kind to my waistline and diet, but when going out I like diversity. I like things I haven’t tried before. Good times are about discovery, being awed. There are, however, a couple of places I frequent when I just want to relax and not go out [to discover something].
The Sichuan restaurant Yun Yan (Shop 1001B, 10/F Times Square, Causeway Bay, tel: 2375 0800) is a favourite. Their chilli prawns and kung pao chicken are on my list of things to order.
For a lazy Sunday brunch, the weekend buffet with free-flow champagne and great seafood at the Conrad Hotel’s Lobby Lounge (lobby level, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, tel: 2822 8891) belongs on my family’s list of favourites.
For visiting friends, most likely I would go to Sai Kung for the seafood restaurants there. I don’t have a specific recommendation, but just show them how to pick fresh seafood from the many boats or the incredible selection from the restaurant displays. It’s a must for an out-of-town visitor. Also, the Temple Street night market is a hub of local culture with a mix of traders, opera singers and fortune tellers in a vibrant nightly market atmosphere. At least once you have to try eating at the outdoor tables there.
Recently, a friend invited me to the Sahara Mezz Bar (11 Elgin Street, Central, tel: 2291 6060). I was a bit apprehensive and feared an adapted imitation of Middle Eastern food, but the taste was great and genuine. It reminded me a lot of my time living and working in Egypt. No surprise when I found out later talking to the owners that they were from the Sinai in Egypt. I have been back a couple of times, and like to relax and reminisce.
At the Pullman, I can recommend our new rooftop bar and restaurant Skye (27/F, 310 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2839 3327). Our chef Lee Adams’ contemporary French cuisine creations reflect freshness and highlight the produce quality. I love it when the main ingredient is the star of the plate and not being overwhelmed by a plethora of unnecessary flavours.