Hong Kong dining recommendations

Where a French restaurant chef eats world’s best suckling pig, and more, in Hong Kong

  • For Daniel Calvert, Pang’s Kitchen is the Hong Kong equivalent of a Parisian bistro, while Seventh Son is the place to go for an education in Cantonese food
  • He tells us where he gets his banh mi deliveries from, and why he’s a fan of Danny Yip at The Chairman and Matt Abergel at Ronin
PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 November, 2018, 6:11pm
UPDATED : Monday, 19 November, 2018, 6:11pm

Daniel Calvert was born in England, but he specialises in French cuisine and he is the head chef of Belon restaurant in SoHo.

I prefer high-quality casual dining experiences, preferably at restaurants where we have a personal relationship with the team, because it somehow makes the food taste better.

I have many favourites in Hong Kong. Pang’s Kitchen (25 Yik Yam Street, Happy Valley, tel: 2838 5462) is the Cantonese version of a local Paris bistro.

It’s a neighbourhood restaurant and the menu doesn’t change often so you just go back for your favourites. I go frequently and have developed a good rapport with them. We bring our own wine and it feels like they are welcoming us into their home. A must-try is their take on sweet and sour pork with strawberries.

The Chairman (18 Kau U Fong, Central, tel: 2555 2202), owner Danny Yip’s take on Cantonese cuisine, is unique and the menu changes often, so there is always something to discover. There are certain dishes you can only get at The Chairman because of Danny’s creativity. However, the service team never changes and is always excellent and warm.

I also like Arcane (3/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, tel: 2728 0178), a restaurant that is not concept-driven. It’s just great cooking, pristine products and high-level techniques. I used to work for Shane Osborn at Pied à Terre [in London] and I am very fortunate to have him in the city with me.

For visitors, the level of refinement at Seventh Son (3/F, The Wharney Guang Dong Hotel, 57-73 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2892 2888) is super high and consistent. Dining there feels like an education in Cantonese food. Also, their suckling pig is the best in the world.

For a celebration meal, Caprice (Podium 6, Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance Street, Central, tel: 3196 8860) with Guillaume Galliot’s cooking is very direct and showcases premium products. The service, in particular the wine team, is Hong Kong’s best. Other than Belon, of course.

I am glad May Chow opened a new branch of Little Bao (Shop H1, 9 Kingston Street, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay, tel: 2555 0600), right near where I live. And I get the banh mi from Le Petit Saigon (16 Wing Fung Street, Wan Chai, tel: 2455 2499) delivered to my flat way too often.

My guilty pleasure is drinking bottles of French wine and ordering delivery pizza on the patio of the wine shop Premier Cru (15 High Street, Sai Ying Pun).

Seeing as I eat French cuisine six days a week, I seek out lighter, seafood-driven options on days off. Ronin (8 On Wo Lane, Central, tel: 2547 5263) is a favourite because Matt Abergel’s Japanese sensibilities and Western palate make for a compelling experience.

Lastly, Fukuro (Winly Building, 1-5 Elgin Street, SoHo, tel: 2333 8841), down the hill from Belon, is open late-night and it’s where chef Jowett Yu from Ho Lee Fook and I go to hang out and eat chef Shun Sato’s izakaya food.