A Frenchwoman in Hong Kong 25 years on her favourite restaurants for curry crab, Peking duck, and unwinding at the end of the day
For businesswoman Gaelle Wizenberg there’s no place like Hong Kong. From family brunch at The Peninsula to Kowloon City Thai and Shek O beach, she tells us her favourite places to eat, and where she goes for a special treat
Gaelle Wizenberg is the founder and CEO of Charlie Banana, a Hong Kong brand that makes extra-soft and reusable cloth diapers. She recently expanded to manufacture undergarments for women and boxer briefs for men.
I’m French but grew up in the Caribbean on a boat, so we’ve travelled all over. My mom was a chef, so we also never had the same meal twice. She cooked everything, so my food standard is quite high now. Even though I’ve lived all over the world, there’s no place like Hong Kong and I’ve been here 25 years now.
To unwind at the end of the day, Sumac (8 Glenealy, Central, tel: 2147 9191) is a Lebanese restaurant with a nice lounge, great tabbouleh, mint tea and babaganoush and lovely staff. It’s a good place to refresh the soul.
I love to escape for breakfast at MO Bar (Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, tel: 2132 0077). It’s a great meeting place. I also love the Lobby Lounge at the InterContinental Hong Kong (18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2313 2323), with its beautiful view to gather yourself with a glass of wine.
A family favourite is brunch at The Verandah (1/F, The Peninsula, 22 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2696 6766). I’ve been going for 15 years.
With my staff and their families, we often go to Happy Farm BBQ (50M Ting Kok Road, Tai Mei Tuk Village, Tai Po, tel: 8103 3112). It’s so fun. We go strawberry picking, biking and barbecuing.
I love going for Chinese food at T’ang Court (1/F and 2/F, The Langham Hong Kong, 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2132 7898). They have the best Peking duck. It’s an old-fashioned place. For casual and easy, I like Din Tai Fung (various locations including 68 Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 3160 8998). They have the best greens and dumplings. New visitors can look and see how they make all the dumplings.
I love going to Kowloon City for the best Thai food, especially curry crab. I’ve tried a few places but keep going back to Golden Wheat Thai (34 Nam Kok Road, Kowloon City, tel: 2718 1801). I also like taking people to Shek O beach because they don’t expect that in Hong Kong.
I recently went to Carbone (9/F, Lan Kwai Fong Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Lan Kwai Fong, tel: 2593 2593) and was impressed. The food was incredible. You don’t feel like you’re in Hong Kong with their atmosphere. It’s quite high-end, though.
However, my real treat is to pick up a box of macarons and a mint tea at Pierre Hermé (9/F, The Ritz-Carlton, ICC, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2263 2232), then walk along the waterfront and chit-chat with a friend. To me, that is the best of Hong Kong with the view, the wind and the lights. It’s one of my favourite escapes.