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Serge et le Phoque

Hong Kong, China

Parisian cool in Hong Kong's market district

In a nutshell: Set up by a trio of influential Frenchmen, there's plenty of Parisian cool at this stripped-back bistro in the Wan Chai market district, which serves progressive French food showcasing local and international ingredients.

What to order: Choose between the chef's tasting menu or smaller plates on the à la carte – designed to be shared – with an excellent selection of natural French wines. Highlights include oyster ceviche and frozen coconut with raspberry and avocado, or butterflied quail cooked on a Josper grill and dressed with pea shoots and onion juice. Finish with a classic dacquoise – a layered cake of almond biscuit, vanilla cream and nougatine.

Who's behind it? Restaurateur Fred Peneau, who co-founded Le Chateaubriand in Paris with Iñaki Aizpitarte, joined forces with chef Christophe Pelé (formerly of two-Michelin-starred Bigarrade) and interior design specialist Charles Pelletier to open the restaurant in 2013.

What's the vibe? Whitewashed brick walls, banquette seating and rock 'n' roll staff that look like they should be on tour rather than waiting tables, the restaurant could have been lifted directly from Paris' hip Marais district.

Behind the name: The restaurant is named after Peneau's young son Serge and his imaginary pet seal ('phoque' being French for seal).

On the pass

  • Frederic Peneau (pictured, right, with Charles Pelletier)

Style of food

  • Contemporary French

Standout dish

  • Pigeon with a medley of confit seasonal vegetables and pigeon liver reduction