The British are coming! And cooking!

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The British are returning to Hong Kong – or at least the chefs are.


Rowley Leigh has been working in town as the chief consultant of The Continental, which is taking over the upstairs spot in Pacific Place that was vacated by the Italian restaurant Domani in May. Leigh – the chef behind Le Café Anglais in London – is also known as The Financial Times’ long-time food writer.

The Continental, which officially opens October 13, has been designed by David Collins Studio, which also did up The Wolseley, an eatery popular among the A-list in London.

In a statement, Leigh said that the food would be “a lot French, a little Italian, with a British sensibility.”

In September, Leigh and other U.K. chefs responded humorously to a complaint voiced by Matthew Barzun, the U.S. ambassador to Britain. “I must have had lamb and potatoes 180 times since I have been here. There are limits and I have reached them,” Barzun said to Tatler.

Mr. Leigh replied in The Independent that “Americans don’t really get lamb. They’d rather have beef or beef or possibly beef.”
And, yes. A Hong Kong publicist confirms that there will definitely be lamb at The Continental.

The Continental’s opening in Pacific Place comes about a month after the splashy introduction of Gordon Ramsay’s new restaurant in Lan Kwai Fong, the Bread Street Kitchen & Bar. In an obscenity-spiked press conference at Hotel LKF in September, Ramsay introduced his fusion-y, British menu. (American diplomats can rest assured that the only lamb dish there is the shepherd’s pie.)
Ramsay took the opportunity to make a poke at a fellow celebrity British chef, Jamie Oliver, the only one of the three who had not turned up personally in Hong Kong for his recent opening.

Jamie’s Italian opened in Causeway Bay in July. (And the lamb lollipops there have been well reviewed.)

The Continental – L4, Pacific Place, Admiralty. 2704-5211

Bread Street Kitchen & Bar — Mezzanine, Hotel LKF, 33 Wyndham St., Central, 2230-1800

Jamie’s Italian – 2/F, Soundwill Plaza II – Midtown, 1 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, 3958-2223.