In a city of self-professed gourmands, establishing oneself in the Hong Kong restaurant business is no mean feat, then add to the mix a foreign chef focussing on the territory’s favourite and therefore most scrutinised staple, dim sum, and the stakes are even higher. Imagine then the moxie it took Swiss-born Nicolas Elalouf to take on this beloved fare and add to it his own European twist. But his nerve has sure paid off with MAN MO Café, an adorable modern bistro of white-washed walls, imposing photographic canvasses of local scenes, and mismatched wooden furniture, devoted entirely to the art of exquisitely-plated fusion dim sum.
The menu kicks off with East-meets-West options such as ratatouille and brie truffle dumplings, and irresistible meatier options including beef-cheek buns and foie gras xiao long bao; moves on to more Asian-inflected plates like fried risotto with veggies, duck or seafood (though more closely resembling fried rice than its creamier counterpart), and pretty hand-twisted shrimp spring rolls; and includes a tight selection of straight down the line Gallic classics such as onion soup and bouillabaisse. Dessert has to offer what Hong Kong does best, carb-rich sesame seed balls (jin deui) substituting the usual lotus paste with Nutella, and buttery egg tarts. Even better, the café’s vicinity to its namesake Man Mo Temple and Hollywood Road – arguably the best spot in Asia for treasure hunting. Shop, then flop!
40 Upper Lascar Row / Sheung Wan / +852 2644 5644 / facebook.com/manmocafe