- Central, SoHo
- Address: 1/F,1-5 Elgin Street,Soho
- Website: https://belonsoho.com
- Open Hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 6pm - 10pm
- Open Since: March 26th, 2023
- Phone: 21522872
- Rating: 4.5
- Cuisine: European, French, Western
- Ambience: Fancy, Intimate
Version 2.0: Soho’s beloved Neo-Parisian restaurant BELON has undergone a transformation from its former bistro-isque facade to a plush, swanky new veneer. Still located in Soho, but at an upstairs venue above another Black Sheep restaurant, the group’s newest revamp now has the polished interior to match its fine dining cuisine. BELON, under the direction of beloved Chef Daniel Calvert, rose to Michelin’s and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants’ attention during its first five years on Elgin Street. Since chef Calvert’s departure, the restaurant looks to start anew with a brand new venue and fresh perspectives under acclaimed chef Matthew Kirkley.
Look & Feel: Blink, and you might just miss the entrance. The marble-paneled stairwell leading up to the restaurant is nestled between Ho Lee Fook and Fukuro, with a very discreet (and easily missed!) sign carved into the marble. Designed by Joyce Wang Studio, the elegant restaurant is set in demure shades of grey and blue, and manages to feel both refined and cozy. Plush curved banquettes and velvety curtains add touches of intimacy, while the striking azure tiled show kitchen is on display behind sliding glass doors encased in brushed gold frames. There’s a four-seater Chef’s Table within the kitchen for those looking to be part of the action.
On the Menu: The menu sees new additions from Chef Kirkley’s extensive repertoire as well as timeless BELON classics. Highlights include the beautifully crafted black and white foie gras tartlet ($98) and the crispy carrot stroopwafel ($38) from the hors d’oeuvres section, the latter infused with the sharp aromas of fresh dill. Plated like a piece of art, the asparagus with caviar and citrus anglaise ($998) is fresh and citrusy light while the salade gourmande ($528), with its layers of foie gras terrine and ox tongue, has all the indulgent flavors of classic French cuisine. The crêpe soufflé with caviar ($398) reminds us of fish balls with its fluffy minced turbot filling and the cervelas en brioche ($298) tastes like a very refined sausage roll with spiced homemade sausage baked within fluffy brioche. One of chef Kirkley’s signatures is the turbot with beurre cancalaise ($888), a showstopper fish dish topped with a mosaic of “scales” shaped from various root vegetables. The sauce, inspired by renowned Chef Philippe Rochat, is a heavenly blend of crunchy diced vegetables in rich cream.
A returning signature dish of BELON, the pigeon pithivier ($768) is fork tender and wrapped in buttery layers of pastry. An instant Instagram darling, the île flottante ($188), a meringue nestled in vanilla cream, is given extra star power with colorful sugared flowers. The Brie de Meaux with black truffle ($388) offers delicious contrast between savory cheese and sweet honeycomb against the fragrance of black truffles.
Jeng: Finally, the elevated fine dining menu of BELON matches the refined ambiance of its new decor. The old bistro decor was always confusing, as the menu and prices were firmly in the fine dining range. The new dishes introduced by chef Kirkley pays homage to classic French techniques yet remains fresh and innovative, and the signatures do not falter in recreating the magic that has earned BELON recognition as a fine dining institution.
Not So Jeng: The eye-watering prices make dining here a very special treat, and unfortunately, not somewhere we can frequent regularly. Being one of the hottest tables in town, it’s also fully booked and requires planning well in advance.
Meet the Chef: Chef Matthew Kirkley has worked in some of the most coveted kitchens around the globe, including The Fat Duck, Le Gavroche and Le Meurice. Originally from Maryland, USA, he earned his stripes studying under the greats of French fine dining before leading Chicago’s L2O and San Francisco’s COI to its two-Michelin and three-Michelin glory. More unusually, BELON is run by a husband and wife team, as the front of house is the chef’s wife, Lauren Kirkley. Lauren started her career in the kitchen before moving to the dining room in culinary institutions like Thomas Keller’s three-Michelin-starred The French Laundry.
Great For: A special occasion in an intimate, refined venue that feels off the radar.
This writeup was based on a complimentary media tasting. The Loop HK doesn’t guarantee/sell restaurant review coverage. See our editorial policy here.