They say variety is the spice of life. And certainly, when it comes to food, it’s good to shake things up. Luckily, Hong Kong offers a plethora of restaurants specializing in the wealth and breath of Middle Eastern cuisine. From Turkish and Israeli to Lebanese and Moroccan, here are our picks for the best Middle Eastern restaurants in Hong Kong.
Perfectly positioned by the Central escalator, Maison Libainese revives Beirut’s fashionable 1960s heyday in the heart of Hong Kong. The three-storey space has a bit of everything for everyone. The ground floor offers quick takeaways and juices from a grab-and-go counter; while the main dining room on the first floor is a cozy nook with plenty of tables for two. The jewel here though is the alfresco rooftop where you can linger over a hearty meal while enjoying the outdoors. All the food here is made in-house each morning, making for fresh, flavorful meals. Popular choices include the pan-fried halloumi (HK$108), and za’atar fried chicken covered in Middle Eastern spices (HK$118/$198). But sneak in here for lunch, when you can feast on a lunch menu that includes hummus, babaganoush, pita bread, and your choice of chicken, beef, lamb or roasted cauliflower accompanied by a Syrian salad or pilaf rice (HK$138). Everything comes together perfectly in one of the best Middle Eastern restaurants in Hong Kong.
10 Shelley Street, Central, 2111 2284, maisonlibanaise.com.hk
A cozy neighborhood joint in Wanchai’s Star Street district, Francis brings a taste of Tel Aviv to Hong Kong with a menu of fun Israeli-inspired dishes. Grab a seat at the counter and get ready to chow down on classic Middle Eastern flavors. Mezze plates include an oh-so-creamy hummus ($80), falafel with tahini ($50), baked halloumi ($120) and grilled octopus ($170). For something more filling, opt for the kafta ($170), a combo of spring lamb and beef, or seabags with eggplant ($160). Wash it down with a selection from the accessible wine list of over 50 labels, and finish with the sweet, cheesy knafeh ($90). Francis also recently launched its own brunch series – Skew It Sundays runs on the last Sunday of each month and comes with a range of meaty skewers and mezze ($360).
4 & 6 Francis Street, Wanchai, 3101 9521, francis.com.hk
Perched above riotous Wyndham Street, Sumac is a charming desert oasis with rustic wood furniture and colorful ceiling lamps. Then there are the French windows that provide a small alfresco porch, and a courtyard perfect for shisha under the trees. Traditional Lebanese fare is the focus here. The lamb mograbieh (HK$235) is particularly excellent, but the chargrilled chicken shish taouk (HK$198) and babaganoush (HK$85) are equally delightful. Pair with a selection from the wine list, which offers a range of surprisingly impressive Lebanese wines.
G/F, 8 Glenealy, Central, 2628 7645, sumac.com.hk
A favorite among Hong Kong’s foodies, this long-time Soho mainstay continues to delight diners with dishes that span the flavors and recipes of the Mediterranean and Middle East. Start your meal with Olive’s Mezze, an appetizer platter that includes hummus, babaganoush, pita and pickles ($148). Extend the meal with mezze plates like fattoush ($98), chili spiced barbecued calamari ($138), and chargrilled beef kebabs with tahini yoghurt; or try mains such as lamb shoulder tagine ($248), salmon tartar ($208), and duck bisteeya ($238). For lunch, get the set menu which offers plenty of choices ($118/$158), or sample the greatest hits with the extensive chef’s menu ($398/$636 with wine pairings). There’s also a weekend happy hour (3pm-7pm) with $48 drinks and $58 canapés.
32 Elgin Street, Central, 2521 1608, dining concepts.com/restaurants/olive
Another Soho stalwart, Le Souk is a Michelin-recommended restaurant dishing up Morroccan-style plates. This is an Arabian Nights tale come to life with Arabic-inspired decor, Moroccan lamps, and rich colors all over the place. There’s a full line-up of appetizers, ranging from hot plates like kefta ($70) and crispy prawns ($70) to salads, cheese, and dips. This is also probably the most extensive tagine list ($105-$180) in town, which is why we consider this one of the best Middle Eastern restaurants in Hong Kong. Chicken, lamb, falafel, sea bass, prawn, duck – they’ll find a way to put anything in a tagine. Finish on a sweet note with Moroccan mint tea ($40) and baklava ($50).
G/F, 4 Staunton Street, Central, 2522 2128, lesoukhk.com
A recent open, BEDU has gathered so much buzz that it’s quickly earned its place as one of the best Middle Eastern restaurants in Hong Kong. Tucked away in a small street-front space in Central’s Gough Street, the restaurant is a simple neighborhood spot inspired by the bedouins who roam the deserts of the Middle East. The food is simple yet delicious, incorporating traditional recipes that have been handed down through generations. The menu is short and sweet, but expect falafel with tahini, chicken and labneh, lamb, and harissa chickpeas. Best paired with – of course – fresh mint tea.
40 Gough Street, Central, 2320 4450, bedurestaurant.com
Bahçe Turkish Restaurant
Perfect for refuelling after a long day of hiking, Bahçe is tucked away in an unassuming spot by Mui Wo pier. There’s nothing fancy here, but what the restaurant lacks in decor and ambiance it makes up for with delectable Turkish food. An always-solid choice is the fish shish kebab ($162), served with pita bread or Turkish Pilau rice, and dip. When the temperature drops, the Turkish lamb stew ($132) is a satisfyingly warming dish with rich sauce and hefty chunks of lamb. Grab a table on the street and enjoy watching the sun set and the ferries come and go.
Shop 19, G/F, Mui Wo Center, 3 Ngan Wan Road, Lantau Island, 2984 0222, facebook.com/bahceturkishhk
Adding a dash of Middle Eastern spice to the trendy foodie scene in Kennedy Town, Mama Malouf is a tribute to Australian-born chef Alex Malouf’s family heritage and mother. You’ll also find one of the only two Middle Eastern weekend brunches here, with a breakfast menu that includes Lebanese breakfast pizza ($128) and shakshuka ($138). Mezze plates are the star of the show here, and the reason Mama Malouf earned a spot on our list of the best Middle Eastern restaurants in town. Try Mama’s Mezza ($148) a sampler with hummus, babaganoush, and labne, amongst others. And don’t miss the falafel with yoghurt tahini ($118), or the juicy skewered beef tenderloin ($228). Looking for something different? The skewered Parmesan-crumbed chicken livers ($118) are served with pickled chili and feta mayonnaise and are a deliciously quirky addition to any meal here.
G/F, 93 Catchick Street, Kennedy Town, 2817 3828, mamamalouf.hk
The Sultan’s Table
An upscale spot above Wyndham Street, Sultan’s Table serves up refreshingly authentic traditional Turkish cuisine. You’ll want to brush up on your Turkish for the menu, which is full of terms like közlenmiş pathcan, a cold mezze of eggplant and parsley ($82); beyaz peynir tabağı, which features feta, tomatoes, parsley and olive oil; and kibbeh, a patty with ground lamb and spices. There’s also a solid range of grills, including spicy beef and minced lamb kebabs.
L/G Hollywood Commercial House, 3-5 Old Bailey St, Central, 2555 7678, the sultanstable.com
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