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 Coi and The Fat Duck chef Matthew Kirkley newly 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.
Chef’s direction: With an unapologetically French approach, US-born Kirkley has been influenced by Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry Cookbook, but incorporates Asian and international ingredients throughout. Crepes soufflé with uni (sea urchin), and Kusshi oyster on the half shell with mignonette illustrate this perfectly.
The space: Belon opened in its new home in March 2021 – a hushed, modernist dining room on Lower Elgin Street that marks a break from the bright and classical look of the restaurant’s previous location. The curved banquettes and soothing shades of charcoal greys and blues are a nod to the French coast, home to the Belon oyster variety.
On the menu: Many old favourites – such as homemade leavened bread with salted butter and the whole-roasted three yellow chicken with petits pois à la française – have remained on the menu, while Kirkley’s additions include a starter of foie gras tartlet with sauternes wine. For dessert, the clementine millefeuille is still the showstopper.