JAMES WARD, ASHER GOLD­STEIN & SI­MONE SAMMURI

T.Dining by Hong Kong Tatler - - Restaurateurs Of The Year -

When it comes to open­ing restau­rants, qual­ity al­ways trumps quan­tity. This year, one new open­ing im­pressed us all with its con­fi­dent con­cept, solid ex­e­cu­tion and heart­felt au­then­tic­ity.

Fran­cis, a tiny Mid­dle Eastern restau­rant on the slope of St Fran­cis Street in Wan Chai, is a project by three de­ter­mined food and wine lovers who had each made their mark in Hong Kong’s

com­pet­i­tive din­ing scene in the past. Asher Gold­stein and Si­mone Sammuri both worked at Sydney im­port 121BC, as chef and som­me­lier, re­spec­tively; James Ward brings the front-of-house

per­spec­tive given his lengthy ten­ure as restau­rant man­ager at Aqua Restau­rant Group and Le Comp­toir. Their com­bined ex­pe­ri­ence and know-how has laid the foun­da­tion for Fran­cis, which has not only brought fresh flavours and rare, in­trigu­ing wines to the fore, but set a new stan­dard for how fun and in­vig­o­rat­ing good restau­rants can be—just walk by any day of the week to

wit­ness the rev­elry that spills out into the Star Street neigh­bour­hood.

Fran­cis, G/F, 4-6 St Fran­cis Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

RUN­NER-UP When it comes to quan­tity that doesn’t com­pro­mise on qual­ity,Black Sheep Restau­rants has it all. In 2018, co­founders Chris Mark and Syed Asim Hus­sain launched Fukuro and Artemis & Apollo, with more ven­tures on the hori­zon.

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