Hong Kong, China
What’s the story? Named after the bulbous European oyster traditionally found in Brittany, Belon mixes the vibrancy of the Hong Kong strip with a bustling Parisian bistro in the Soho district. Using an array of fine local ingredients, Belon showcases pared-back technique, with former Per Se and Epicure chef Daniel Calvert at the helm. After making its debut in the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2018, Belon was the Highest Climber 2019, rising 25 places to No.15. This year sees it push further still as it breaks into the top five.
Chef’s direction: Given carte blanche to create anything that’s ‘inherently excellent’, Calvert has been influenced by the modern French kitchen, but incorporates Asian ingredients throughout. Hokkaido scallop with shio kombu and pomelo, and ‘croque madam’ with truffle and pickled vegetables illustrate this perfectly.
The space: All mirrors and orbs, banquettes and bentwood, the dining room at Belon is elegant yet relaxed, with full-length doors retracting on weekends to give the place an al fresco feel.
On the menu: An evening at Belon might start with Calvert’s homemade leavened bread with salted Channel Island butter, followed by a starter of foie gras au torchon with peaches and celery leaves. For dessert, a Sindhri mango and lime mille-feuille shows Calvert’s skill at blending Asia with France with aplomb.