I’ll never forget my first trip to FRANCIS.
The restaurant had been open for nearly six months, and I was patiently waiting for it to be a little less busy (no reservations). But after six months, it was still busy, so I was willing to queue. I wondered, would the food really be that good?
After one visit, I could see why it was so popular. The flavours were rich and intense and the restaurant had a great vibe. I knew I’d be back soon, and yet with Hong Kong’s crazy dining scene the way it is, there are just so many options to choose from that it’s already been over a year since my last trip. And what a reason to return – they’ve announced brunch!
My friend and I went on a Saturday morning, and the weather was cool enough to sit on the mini patio. Brunch includes four sharing meze, a choice of one main and a dessert for $280.
On the day we went, there were various shakshuka (the classic Israeli brunch dish) options, chicken schnitzel, Wagyu rump skewers and an interesting-sounding street-food-inspired sabich (an Israeli-Jewish sandwich) for the mains.
The meze reminded me of why I loved my first visit to FRANCIS. Each dish was hearty, flavourful and well prepared.
Hummus with pitta
Spiced beef cigar with green tahini
Avocado and tomato salad with shanklish and za’atar
Halloumi with honey and wild oregano
The green shakshuka (with spinach, feta and silverbeet) came highly recommended, so we gave it a try. Sadly, we found this one very bland and watery, which made it hard to eat alone or even with the accompanying bread.
We were quite hungry, so the size of the sabich – pitta pieces topped with fried aubergine, hard-boiled egg, tomato, parsley and tahini sauce – was mildly upsetting. The overall taste was fine, but not the sort of thing that satisfies for brunch. It was also difficult to eat without making a mess, and we ended up eating it ingredient by ingredient.
We ended our meal with a deliciously light and fragrant little tahini mousse.
FRANCIS remains one of my favourite Middle Eastern spots in town. When you know what to order, the food is delicious and very satisfying. This time, our brunch mains needed a little work, so we hope to give it another try for brunch one day – or maybe we’ll just go back at dinner for our favourite items.
4 and 6 St Francis Street, Wanchai, 3101 9521
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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