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Hong Kong dining recommendations

Favourite Hong Kong restaurants of online sweet shop owner Anais Beloubad – from a taste of New York to her top Korean fix

Beloubad’s French, Moroccan and Italian heritage is reflected in some of her go-to places for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a sweet fix, but she revels too in Hong Kong’s eclectic range of cuisines

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 April, 2018, 12:47pm
UPDATED : Monday, 23 April, 2018, 12:47pm

Anais Beloubad moved to Hong Kong from London just over a year ago and has been busy – she has had a baby girl and opened Lalla, an online sweet shop (mylalla.com) specialising in Moroccan treats.

I’m part French so a proper breakfast means a good coffee with a piece of French viennoiserie. I love a classic pain au chocolat or croissant but I’m addicted to Maison Eric Kayser’s (70 Queens Road East, Wan Chai, tel: 2177 6779) chocolate brioche and chocolate Danish – I get them delivered fresh in the morning.

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I’ve been obsessed with Vietnamese food since I visited Vietnam three years ago. To get my fix in Hong Kong I head to BEP (LG/F 9-11 Staunton Street, SoHo, tel: 2522 7533) for lunch.

I love its ca chien cuon – fried fish rice paper salad rolls with spicy mayo and the goi bo chargrilled beef salad with cucumber, red onion, tomato and herbs covered with crunchy peanuts and lime. Yum. When it’s cold, the pho is so satisfying.

I also enjoy Morty’s (8-10 Wing Fung Street, Wan Chai, tel: 3665 0890) for a taste of New York pastrami, and Uma Nota’s (38 Peel Street, SoHo, tel: 2889 7576) brunch da rua for a beautiful spread of Brazilian/Japanese fusion dishes.

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My grandmother’s Italian, so I’m very particular about Italian food. I love La Brata (11 Old Bailey Street, Central, tel: 2553 3602) for a relaxed night – I adore the dreamy creamy burrata cheese and gnocchi.

Carbone (9/F Lan Kwai Fong Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2593 2593) has a New York vibe that rocks – and so does its spicy rigatoni vodka, which is so rich; the prime porterhouse is the tastiest steak I’ve had in Hong Kong.

To satisfy my afternoon sweet cravings, I head to Grom (Shop 1023, Level One, IFC Mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central, tel: 2454 2777) – the pistachio, crema di Grom and torroncino gelati are heavenly.

I also like the beautiful tarts from PdP Pies and Tarts (Shop G06 Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, tel: 3612 2654). But I have a special place in my sweet chart for Oddies Foodies’ (45 Gough Street, Central, tel: 2750 2111) eggette and chocolate ice-cream.

The relaxed atmosphere at The Optimist (239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2433 3324) is great for dinner – I can’t resist the octopus salad – while at Tokyolima (Car Po Commercial Building, 18-20 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, tel: 2811 1152) the “please chef feed me” surprises you each time with beautiful Japanese/Peruvian fusion dishes.

For my Korean fix I head to Momojein (23/F QRE Plaza, 202 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, tel 2789 1949) and always order the kalbi hotteok and the kalbi rib and grilled vegetables.

Don’t get me wrong, Hong Kong’s food scene is amazing, but I miss Chez Papa (206 rue La Fayette, 75010 Paris, France, tel: +33 1 40 34 79 81) and its huge salads with foie gras toasts, duck confit gesiers [gizzards] and warm potatoes; as well as Burger & Lobster’s lobster roll (26 Binney Street, Mayfair W1K 5BN, London, England, tel: +44 0207 495 8514).

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And for when I head back home to Casablanca, Morocco, I always make sure to stop by La Sqala (Boulevard des Almohades, Casablanca, tel: +212 5222 60960) to feast on its traditional Moroccan breakfast with a large spread of pancakes smothered in warm honey and butter.