Favourite restaurants of a Parisian in Hong Kong, Aude Camus – and the place that delivers her breakfast in bed
At L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon the food is ‘just perfect’, says Aude Camus of the French Chamber of Commerce. She tells us her everyday favourites too – for breakfast in bed, lunch, brunch, and drinks with friends
I was born and raised in Paris and love French cuisine. There’s nothing like a croissant for breakfast and I don’t mind swapping a three-course dinner for a cheese platter and a bottle of red wine.
Le Bistro Winebeast (Tai Yip Building, 141 Thomson Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2782 6689) is my favourite restaurant in Hong Kong. Chef Johan Ducroquet has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants and I love his traditional but not-too-heavy French cuisine. The menu is seasonal and changes every six weeks. It also has a great selection of wines, at retail price, and you should definitely let Cristina guide you for the wine pairing.
I usually skip breakfast on weekdays – I know it’s bad. But if I feel like grabbing something on the go, I head to Be-Juiced (45 Peel Street, Central, tel: 2668 6231) for an acai bowl. On weekends, breakfast is a must. Elephant Grounds just opened a new branch (61 Caine Road, Mid-Levels, tel: 2535 7155) two minutes from my place, so I grab a coffee and avocado toast or banana bread. If I am feeling lazy, which is often, I have breakfast delivered in bed thanks to [delivery service] Le Petit Croissant (tel: 5534 2735).
I like to keep things simple and quick at lunch. When trying to eat clean, I grab a salad at Nood (2/F Kinwick Centre, 32 Hollywood Road, Central, tel: 8199 8189) – the offerings are fresh and filling. For my comfort food fix I grab some pho at Bep Vietnamese Kitchen (9-11 Staunton Street, SoHo, tel: 2522 7533) or the super cheap, very local dim sum place that I adore in Kennedy Town: South & North Restaurant (1 Holland Street, tel: 2872 5785). It’s not fancy but the xiaolongbao are yummy.
On weekends, I love the atmosphere at Catch (95 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town, tel: 2855 1289).
A.O.C Eat & Drink (15 McGregor Street, Wan Chai, tel: 2479 6833) is my go-to place for a drink with friends. It’s small but friendly and sells wine at retail price. It also has nice nibbles. My picks: oysters or home-made mackerel rillettes.
If I’m thinking something with a little more kick, newly opened Brazilian boteco Uma Nota (38 Peel Street, Central, tel: 2889 7576) – the caipirinhas are to die for. It’s also great to grab a bite, either a fresh ceviche or a hot and spicy coxinhas de frango – chicken and okra dumplings with house-made chilli sauce.
If I’m feeling fancy or have a special occasion to celebrate I go to On Dining Kitchen & Lounge (28/F and 29/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, tel: 2174 8100) or L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (shop 401, Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, tel: 2166 9000). I love chef Philippe Orrico, and the cheese platter is legit – probably the best I’ve had in my life.
Discussing cheese with Jeremy Evrard – general manager and cheese master – is a real pleasure. He knows all about his cheeses, as he sources each of them himself.
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon is where I celebrated my birthday in March, and whether it is the one in Hong Kong or the one in Paris this is, for me, the best restaurant in the world. The food is just perfect, both creative and classic at the same time. Each dish is a surprise, and delicious. I also love that it is a Michelin-starred restaurant but not stuffy.
Brunch with friends at Zuma (5/F Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, tel: 3657 6388)? Definitely! I love the buffet there, nothing like sushi, fresh sashimi and champagne on a Sunday.
If I’m craving something sweet, Levain Bakery is my go-to place. I am trying to stay away from that place, but they just opened a shop five minutes from where I live (87 Caine Road, Central, tel: 2559 4933) so it’s hard. The chocolate cookies are a killer – love the chewy texture. Whenever I feel guilty, I go for the oatmeal and cranberry variety, thinking it’s kinda healthy – which it’s absolutely not, but whatever.
I could mention dozens of restaurants that I love in Paris, but my latest crush is in South Africa. I fell in love with Cape Town earlier this year and one of my best memories is a day in the Cape Winelands.
There is this amazingly beautiful French restaurant in Franschhoek – literally “French Quarter” – called La Petite Ferme (Franschhoek Pass Road Franschhoek, Western Cape 7690, tel: +021 876 3016/8), the kind of place that looks like a film set. The view of the vineyards is amazing and the place is so calm. Make sure to book a table outside and order the baked camembert.