With the capriciousness of Hong Kong’s ever-changing dining scene, we normally don’t bat an eyelid when we hear of a restaurant closure. But the very sudden loss of celeb chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Mercato has hit us hard here at Foodie. Opened more than two years ago, Mercato marked the the chef’s long-awaited return to Hong Kong following the closure of his Thai-French restaurant Vong at the Mandarin Oriental in 2005.

The Italian restaurant overseen on a daily basis by Chef Anthony Burd won our hearts soon after its opening at then brand-new California Tower in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong. You loved it too – so much, in fact, that you Foodie readers crowned it Best New Restaurant in our Foodie Forks 2017 awards. We all couldn’t get enough of Chef Burd’s fresh, innovative seasonal menus, with Mercato magnificently walking that narrow line between fine dining and casual comfort food. Brunch at the eatery (oh, those cinnamon buns!) was a particular treat.

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We don’t know why those at Mercato have chosen not to renew the restaurant’s lease, but we can speculate that the presumably sky-high rent at California Tower is the overriding factor.

Mercato’s locations in Shanghai and Guangzhou remain open.

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