By Natasha Tang
March 17, 2020
Whether you’re in the mood for couscous, kebabs, or a tajine, these restaurants will satisfy all parties
Mediterranean food is hard to find in Hong Kong and when you do find it, it’s hit or miss. The cuisine varies per region, with some regions focusing on lighter vegetarian options and others on braised meats and grains. It’s a great cuisine choice for bigger groups—as plates are meant to be shared—and will satisfy both vegetarians and meat-eaters.
Here are the restaurants that serve the best Mediterranean food in Hong Kong:
The Lebanese restaurant is one of Central’s hidden gems, a quiet respite tucked away above Lan Kwai Fong’s busy streets. Sumac‘s dim lighting, rustic wood and terracotta shades create a warm ambiance, perfect for an intimate dinner. On a warmer day, dining alfresco on the back patio is a must.
What to get: Start with the hummus as an appetiser and order the signature mixed grill platter for two as the main.
Sumac, G/F 8 Glenealy, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2147 9191; sumac.com.hk
High up in the same building that houses The Optimist and Pirata is Zahrabel Dining Club, a members-only dining club offering delicious Lebanese fare. With Middle Eastern-style lanterns hanging from the ceiling, carved wood latticework panels surrounding the room and authentic Lebanese mezze, Zahrabel manages to create an exotic destination among the modern skyscrapers of Hong Kong. The membership is free of charge and can be done on the spot.
What to get: Try any of the dips, the lamb or chicken kebabs and finish with the baklava.
Zahrabel Dining Club, 25th Floor, 239 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 55039181; zahrabel.com
Francis, located on a sloped street in Wan Chai’s beloved Star Street Precinct, strikes the perfect balance between authentic and refined Middle Eastern cuisine. The restaurant seats 30 and features a small open bar area looking out onto St Francis Street but you will have to get there early to get a table as they do not take reservations. Luckily they have an excellent wine selection for you to enjoy while you wait.
What to get: The signature hummus is a must, as well as the baked halloumi, lamb ribs and grilled octopus. Leave some space for the Knafeh for dessert.
Francis, G/F, 4 & 6 St. Francis Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 3101 9521; francis.com.hk
Bedu brings delicious modern Middle Eastern fare to Gough Street. The corner restaurant is divided into a table section and bar section from which you can watch chef Corey Riches work his magic. Inspired by the nomadic wanderings of the Bedouin tribes, the small shareable dishes bring splashes of colour to the table.
What to get: Get the smoky hummus, beetroot and mint labneh, charred broccoli, the golden spiced chicken manti and rack of lamb.
Bedu, 40 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2320 4450; bedurestaurant.com
Hidden high up on Star Street Precinct’s Moon Street is Artemis & Apollo, a charming taverna offering traditional Greek fare. The Black Sheep restaurant’s high ceilings and Grecian white walls will transport you to the Mediterranean, creating a relaxing atmosphere to share the cold and hot mezze available over a bottle of wine.
What to get: Share the hummus, tzatziki, Sakanaki platanos which is reminiscent of a cheese fondue and the spanakopita, a Greek spinach and feta cheese pie. The Greek yoghurt cheesecake is a must.
Artemis & Apollo, G/F, 9-11 Moon Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 6991 6231; artemisandapollo.com
If you are looking for a lively atmosphere, Black Sheep’s Maison Libanaise is the place to be. The vertical space has something for everyone. You can grab something quick to go downstairs, enjoy a whole meal of hot and cold mezze in the salon upstairs, or have a drink or two of the restaurant’s delicious Lebanese wine on the rooftop.
What to get: The roasted cauliflower and the skewers are popular items and you can’t go wrong with any of the dips.
Maison Libanaise, G/F-2/F, 10 Shelley Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2111 2284; maisonlibanaise.com.hk
Named after the female protagonist of the famous Middle Eastern tale “One Thousand and One Nights”, Shahrazad is a sight to see. Latticework adorn the windows and lamps in all shapes and sizes surround the elegant velvet sofas on which bright pillows and colourful patterned blankets are scattered. The food is exquisite and artfully-plated and the cocktails are creative.
What to get: The tajines and lamb shank are a classic and you must try the rice pudding dessert.
Shahrazad, 2/F, Carfield Commercial Building, 77 Wyndham St, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2330 0242; shahrazad-hk.com
The Egyptian eatery offers authentic food based on family recipes, with the hopes of bringing a taste of home to Hong Kong. If you’re looking for a good homemade couscous, the family-run restaurant is the place to go. The focus is on quality and freshness and the restaurant insists on everything being homemade.
What to get: The couscous (naturally), the chicken shawarma and the okra tajine.
Aziza Kennedy Town, Shop D, G/F 28 Hau Wo Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 3462 2844; aziza.com.hk
Aziza Sai Ying Pun, Shop 1B, G/F, Upton Tower, 345 Des Voeux Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 2886 4889; aziza.com.hk
If you’re looking to get a group together to relax for a few hours after a long work day, Awtar should be at the top of your list. The decor is inspired by the Ottoman Empire, the seats are comfortable and patrons gather for quality shisha, fun cocktails and the delectable shareable plates. By the end, you will feel so relaxed that you won’t want to leave.
What to get: The watermelon salad with halloumi is extremely refreshing and the falafels are not to be missed.
Awtar, G/F, 23 Staunton Street, Soho, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2530 5900; facebook.com/AwtarHK
Unlike most restaurants offering Middle-Eastern fare, Mama Malouf chose a more vibrant and modern aesthetic for its Kennedy Town eatery. Its menu follows suit, reflecting a more contemporary twist on the traditional Lebanese cuisine you may be expecting. The restaurant fills up quickly, so it is recommended to come early.
What to get: Mama’s mezze, the smashed eggplant and the falafel.
Mama Malouf, G/F 93 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, +852 2817 3828; mamamalouf.hk