Favourite Hong Kong restaurants of Nathalie Melville, bespoke jewellery designer
Melville is a huge fan of vegetarian restaurant Grassroots Pantry and, as a Kennedy Town resident, makes the most of the area’s restaurants. She tells us, too, where she indulges in decadent cocktails and dessert
I love Grassroots Pantry (108 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, tel: 2873 3353). The owner, Peggy Chan, is a friend and her business ethos is as wonderful as her food. She keeps the menu fresh and cutting edge. My current addictions are the crisp gyoza and kelp noodle salad with hedgehog mushrooms.
However, the signature mushroom linguine is still a hearty go-to if you are hungry, as is the very generous ethnic plate – ideal to share or for indecisive diners, as it has so much variety.
Being a Kennedy Towner, we are surrounded by chain restaurants that, although great, lack the charm of independent eateries. Catch (95 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town, tel: 2855 1289) is a neighbourhood favourite with K-Town residents keen to support locally owned businesses.
The food is simple, reliable and always excellent – there is a reason weekend brunch queues go out the door. Smashed avocado and feta with poached egg is a must, as is the pint of prawns, softshell crab burger and my husband’s favourite, the dirty eggs with chorizo.
The Cofftea Shop (Yue On Building, 78-86 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town, tel: 9104 2404) is another independent establishment with a loyal local following. A hole-in-the-wall that does the best coffee in the neighbourhood, there is a reason it has a queue every morning. From commuters to dog walkers to mums with strollers, Cofftea negates the need to arrange meet-ups with friends, as you’re likely to bump into them most mornings waiting for your white Americano.
Elegant surroundings with elegant cocktails – what’s not to love about The Envoy (3/F The Pottinger, 74 Queen’s Road Central, tel: 2169 3311)? This tucked-away gem is perfect for a quiet – by Central standards – drink. The Early Bird and the Snowy Treeline cocktails are particular favourites of mine, but be warned, they aren’t cheap and, after a few delicious sips, it is easy to rack up a large bill.
Near our studio is Honeymoon Dessert (Shop 4-8, Western Market, 323 Des Voeux Road Central, Sheung Wan, tel: 2851 2606) Everything is good, but I could – and would if I didn’t mind ending up the size of a house – live on the hot almond soup with lotus seeds. Heaven in a bowl.