Favourite Hong Kong restaurants of Spanish expat Francisco Anton-Serrano
The founder of Fast Management photo and production agency likes Spanish food, mac & cheese, sushi and Cantonese desserts
As a true Spaniard, food is important to me and Hong Kong offers the most incredible opportunity of travelling around the world in a gastronomic sense. I’m often asked about where to find the best Spanish food in town, to which I candidly reply “my kitchen”.
But the best and most consistent of Spanish offers in Hong Kong is Ole (1/F Shun Ho Tower, 24-30 Ice House Street, Central, tel: 2523 8624). It’s been open for years and its loyal clientele is proof that this restaurant is a hit. The minute you walk through the door you get a warm Spanish welcome from the owner Carmelo while the chef will ensure you are transported to warm Mediterranean shores. Authentic food made with love and pride.
Lily & Bloom (33 Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2810 6166) is a favourite because it holds many memories of gatherings with friends and delicious food. It recently hosted The Mac Attack in which they brought together five interpretations of mac & cheese by five of Hong Kong’s best chefs. Truly delicious although carb-loaded, but there’s always the gym.
People are surprised to hear that I only started eating sushi and sashimi three years ago. I didn’t like the strong taste. That is until a dear friend introduced me to Nadaman (7/F, Island Shangri-La, Supreme Court Road, Admiralty, tel: 2820 8570. After much persuasion I agreed to venture away from eating cooked Japanese food and I finally realised what the fuss was all about. I now count Nadaman among my favourite restaurants in Hong Kong. The produce is freshly flown from Japan daily and is of the most amazing quality. I eat pretty much everything with the exception of sea urchin, which I still find too pungent.
As the owner of two furry Chow Chows how could I not love a restaurant called Ciao Chow (California Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, tel: 2344 0005). A friend Candice Suen Sieber recently opened this one-of-a-kind dining concept that houses Italian cafeteria, coffee bar and full bar under one roof. I recently tried the handmade tagliolini with freshly shaved Alba white truffle and it was truly amazing, as was the indulgent Nutella and banana-filled ravioli dessert. I also think the pizzas are the best in town. A very buzzy place with a comprehensive user-friendly menu, although Chow Chows not being welcomed ... yet!
Friends are surprised that I am a big fan of Chinese desserts, my favourite being black sesame or walnut soup. Close to our office in Sai Ying Pun is Yuen Kee Dessert (32 Centre Street, Western District, tel: 2548 8687). It’s been around for almost a century. I was introduced by my dear friend Ling. She wanted to introduce me to something “very authentic” when I first visited Hong Kong. And whilst Sai Ying Pun may be changing fast before our eyes this place remains constant and true to the art of Chinese dessert making.
As told to Kylie Knott