Co-Founder of Black Sheep Restaurants, get to know Asim’s thoughts and interests in an exclusive and first-ever round of quick-fire questions! Filmed in one shot and one take across Fukuro and Ho Lee Fook in SoHo.
Where does Chef Jowett Yu satisfy his food cravings? In our latest edition of Eat Like A Chef, Jowett (who’s a connoisseur of Chinese roast meats and dumplings) lets us tag along to his favourite food haunts in Hong Kong.
Chef Palash first learnt how to cook from his mother and grandmother. Now, he oversees all of Black Sheep Restaurants’ South Asian establishments: New Punjab Club, Hotal Colombo and Rajasthan Rifles.
"This business is in my blood and in my bones. My brother and I started working in my father’s restaurant when he was just 12 and I was just 11. Even at that age, I knew this business was all about looking after your customers and that’s always been how I’ve seen it."
"Something we explain to our guests with a lot of pride is how special the region of Punjab is, because it spans both Pakistan and India, and yet there is an amazing oneness in identity that Punjabis have.”
In 2012, one of the city’s most successful restaurant groups, Black Sheep Restaurants was founded by Syed Asim Hussain and Christopher Mark as they opened Boqueria, which is where Buenos Aires Polo Club now stands.
Belon and New Punjab Club retain their Michelin Stars in the 12th edition of the Hong Kong Macau guide. 16 restaurants receive new stars, including 2 new three-starred restaurants, 3 new two-starred restaurants, and 11 new one-starred restaurants.
According to Alesbrook: ‘Once you taste Sri Lankan food, you will realise it’s different from Indian food. It’s much lighter, more fragrant, the ingredients are fresher, and we use less seasoning and spices.
Maison Libanaise’s Feast de Noël menu has everything you need for a comforting Christmas meal along with a few uniquely Lebanese flavours and additions. Served sharing style, this feast is best enjoyed with family and friends.
At Associazione Chianti, the simple, honest ingredients are indeed the focus, and Executive Chef Josh Stumbaugh strives to capture the essence of Tuscany’s cucina povera using the finest local, seasonal ingredients to create dishes that are packed full of soulful flavour.
If you’re looking for a great Japanese restaurant for some late-night “snacks”, Fukuro is an izakaya-style restaurant – opened in SoHo by Black Sheep Restaurants – that serves light Japanese dishes paired with refreshing cocktails.
A glass of Chianti, a steak and good company spell pleasure in a way that’s most fundamental to Florentine food culture — a tradition that Associazione Chianti captures here with authenticity and soul.
Black Sheep Restaurants, the group behind some of Hong Kong’s most popular eateries such as Belon, New Punjab Club and Maison Libanaise, revealed three new ventures just this week, making their food more accessible than ever.
Bernard Mills, Cathay’s head of customer experience, says Black Sheep Restaurants was chosen because its stable of restaurants offer a wide range of cuisines and international flavours.
Turn left onto Peel Street in SoHo on any given evening, and you can expect to encounter a sidewalk crowd ready and waiting to dine at Chôm Chôm, a popular fixture of the Hong Kong restaurant scene. It’s a palpable energy that new chef John Nguyen thrives on.
Black Sheep Restaurants' New Punjab Club is one of the city’s most beloved destinations always counted on for a rollicking good time. At its helm is chef Palash Mitra, who knows a thing or two about entertaining in style – the Punjabi way.
“There’s one thing to be said about Black Sheep Restaurants – they don’t seem to shy away from experimenting with super-niche cuisines. And the Anglo-Indian cuisine on offer at one of their latest restaurants, Rajasthan Rifles, is as niche as it gets.”
Many say that ambience is just as important as the actual food at a restaurant, and we think that Rajasthan Rifles gets perfect scores in both respects. The expert storytelling that has spun a colonial background into the eatery’s nostalgic menu makes for an unforgettable dining experience.
Still in his early 30s and after just three years of his neo-Parisian bistro inspired by the dynamic food scene of the 11th arrondissement, chef Daniel Calvert has already captured the hearts and stomachs of Hong Kong natives and visitors.
"What Taqueria Super Macho does is offer up something a little different in our restaurant-saturated city. The well-researched, laid-back vibe is perfect for any day of the week, its flavours are big and its prices are right."
Hong Kong’s superstar restaurant group has swept in for a heroic effort at giving the city the taqueria it deserves — “one for the fans,” according to Black Sheep Restaurants co-founder Christopher Mark.
A pair of his father's old tandoor ovens helped Hong Kong restaurateur Asim Hussain achieve a dream – the world's first Michelin star for a Pakistani restaurant, an accolade he hopes will fire interest in the country's often overlooked cuisine.
"The menu at Osteria Marzia showcases coastal cuisine from the southern Italian regions, from Campania to Amalfi and Puglia to Southern Sicily. The international influences in flavours and ingredients are seen in such selections as crudos, salads, pastas and grilled main courses."
The 11th edition of the gastro guide was revealed this afternoon at an event honouring the biggest talents in the restaurant industry. New one-star additions include French restaurant Belon, as well as New Punjab Club, the first Pakistani restaurant to win a star in Hong Kong.
"Celebrating the colourful, vibrant food culture of Sri Lanka, where casual eateries flourish on the streets all over Colombo, Hotal Colombo mimics the roadside eateries frequented by locals, offering snacks, quick bites, and a gathering place to unwind throughout the day."
"This year's favourite goes to Black Sheep Restaurants' modern Soho izakaya, which impressed readers with its electric atmopshere, solid execution of fun Japanese fare by chef Shun Sato, and refreshing whisky highballs."
"The Greek concept is a first for the local restaurant group. The new 50-seat restaurant is separated into two adjacent shop fronts, each representing the legendary Greek god and goddess. Designed by Sean Dix, the interiors pay tribute to a traditional Greek taverna with domed ceilings over the dining room equipped with an open courtyard at the back for al fresco options."
"Upon entering Ho Lee Fook it’s almost impossible to head down the stairs to the restaurant without taking the time for a quick photo, or even better, a boomerang. The lucky cat wall epitomises the restaurant’s modern and quirky take on Chinese cuisine, and may just be our favourite thing about the place – second only to its famed short ribs."
"The atmosphere at Canton Disco is every bit as energetic and opulent as the surrounding EDITION hotel. This restaurant pays tribute to the infamous Kowloon discotheque of the same name — Hong Kong’s quasi-answer to Studio 54 — with an uproarious 80s soundtrack and setting reminiscent of a banqueting hall hopped up on acid. But whereas the atmosphere is wonderfully ridiculous, Canton Disco’s cuisine — traditional Cantonese fare executed using premium produce — is precise and sophisticated."
餐飲集團Black Sheep Restaurants自2012年於香港創立，旗下擁有17間餐廳。其創辦人Syed Asim Hussain指出，過往曾有外賣平台邀請集團的餐廳加盟，他都一一拒絕。他認為，外賣服務不只是把食物送到食客手上。因此，Hussain決定推出外賣應用程式及網站Black Sheep Restaurants GO，自營團隊提供免運費的外賣服務，外賣的服務範圍只覆蓋堅尼地城至跑馬地一帶。他揚言，即使生意因此有虧損，也會堅持集團提供自家的外賣服務。
"I think it’s fair to say one of the most successful stories of the past few years is the Black Sheep Restaurants ’ one. How do you grow, in only 6 years, from being an underdog to being the leader on your market? That’s the exciting secret have been trying to unlock by discussing with Christopher Mark and Syed Asim Hussain, Co-Founders and Managing Partners of the group."
"Go-to Neapolitan pizzeria, Motorino, is already a popular spot for families, but now there’s another reason for little diners to head there, as the Wan Chai branch is now offering children’s pizza parties where mini-chefs can create their own masterpiece using the restaurant’s wide variety of traditional Italian toppings."
Featuring New Punjab Club and Motorino.
"This post-Colonial inspired Punjabi restaurant serves up street food favourites elevated with premium ingredients and refined plating in a jovial and lively atmosphere."
"Motorino is famous in particular for their tasty Brussels Sprout pizza. Before your turn your nose up, it might sound like a weird combination – and usually the best pizzas are – but believe us when we say it’s truly delicious."
"Burger Circus brings in crowds for its juicy burgers, cute vintage aesthetic, and of course, its shakes. With its diner-style vibe, shakes at Burger Circus are served in a tall glass with a cherry on top, so it serves Hong Kong well for an Instagrammable photo-op."
"An Argentinian steakhouse styled as an Edwardian Era ‘elite members-only’ club, Buenos Aires Polo Club is a cosy yet elegant venue to tuck into some juicy steaks."
"Warm and inviting, La Vache’s Parisian bistro-inspired décor, seen in its red leather seats and colourful wall murals depicting the Seine and a French opera theatre, makes it ideal for romantic meals."
"The famed New York pizza chain's first outing in Hong Kong has proven to be a successful one, serving up a stripped back menu of classic pizzas (along with a couple of delicious oddities). If you're getting bored of your margherita, opt for Motorino’s prosciutto di parma pie as the saltiness of the ham balances out the scorched crust flavours and adds an extra layer to the dish."
"Since arriving in Hong Kong, Calvert has developed an appreciation for Asia’s conventional and unconventional ways of enjoying good food. The master of French cuisine with a local twist shares his top tips for hosting the perfect dinner party and gives a shout-out to his favourite fellow chefs."
"Expect a more formal experience at Buenos Aires Polo Club compared to the rest of the establishments on this list, with proper and somewhat ceremonious service. The heavy morcilla is an Argentinian specialty you might want to try here, or the unctuous grilled bone marrow with oxtail-Malbec jam. If you’re not hot on the meat, go for the fully loaded baked sweet potato with sour cream and Manchego cheese."
"Bread is an important part of Indian cuisine, with more than 30 different varieties to choose from. Chef Palash Mitra from New Punjab Club gives us a rundown of the most popular types, and declares his personal favourite."
"It is always exciting to see what Black Sheep Restaurants are going to do next. And they do not disappoint with Fukuro, their 18th eatery in Hong Kong. This modern izakaya, which is next door to Ho Lee Fook, is the group’s first Japanese venue."
"For the first time, Black Sheep Restaurants are rolling out the Black Series – a week-long celebration of dining across 18 eateries. Signature menus and dishes will be offered at exceptional value, and the group’s walk-in restaurants will, for the first time, be taking bookings for parties of two to six, for one promotional week only."
"Reopened in 2017, the hotel has moved its lobby upstairs to make room for a new centrepiece: Italian restaurant Osteria Marzia. Deep-blue tiles and fresh seafood displays offer a taste of the Amalfi Coast on Victoria Harbour and an introduction to the maritime theme that runs throughout the hotel."
"Co-founder of Black Sheep Restaurants and a chef by training, Christopher Mark candidly shares his parenting tips while he and his daughter Parisa, 13, created an off-menu strawberry lattice pie at the company’s central kitchen."
"We speak to Tamara Amaya, the Argentinian sommelière at one of our favourite steakhouses, Buenos Aires Polo Club, who moved to Hong Kong in 2014 for a notable stint at the Four Seasons’ Pony Line lounge prior to moving to Polo Club. Here are her thoughts on wines and the world’s end…"
"Despite being better known for its restaurant, the bar at Buenos Aires Polo Club deserves its share of the spotlight. A classy place to sip a well-made drink, there’s a particularly good range of fernet cocktails on offer as well some surprisingly good non-alcoholic ‘teetotallers’. Thursday night’s Buenos Aires Rock Club event is also not to be missed."
"Black Sheep Restaurants co-founder and culinary veteran Christopher Mark got his hands on his first knife by chance at an early age. Decades later, he continues to collect exquisite blades from around the world as he expands the restaurant empire with his team."
"With high-quality food and drinks and well-managed concept, Fukuro has proven an early success in the neighbourhood. As one of Black Sheep’s strongest openings to date, it has the potential to be the hottest destination on this side of Elgin Street since Ho Lee Fook."
"The hard working folks in the hospitality industry are ironically the people who don’t get much time to feed themselves. Head Chef Bao La at Le Garçon Saigon talks about the importance of a good family meal."
"One of the arbiters of authentic Vietnamese cuisine in our city, chef Steven Nguyen was born to Vietnamese immigrants, and is a first-generation Canadian. Growing up in the suburbs of Toronto, he was surrounded by aunts, uncles and grandparents who loved to cook and instilled in him the spirit of communal Vietnamese dining."
He grew up in his father’s SoHo restaurant, learned quickly in his first job and, while still in his 20s, co-founded Black Sheep Restaurants. Syed Asim Hussain says commitment to innovation, values and community is their key ingredient
"My meal at Le Garçon Saigon was so fresh and green, it was easy to convince myself that I was having an assortment of salads for dinner. I love how Chef La pushes the boundaries of exotic Vietnamese flavours on his never-ending quest to innovate and make Vietnamese food interesting."
“There’s an old Barbadian rhyme ‘one of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, four of weak’, which is a pretty good basic guideline to use. Here, the sour is fresh lime juice, the sweet is Falernum and Orgeat, the strong is subpar rum and the weak is ice and fresh orange juice.”
For this relatively young restaurant group, 2016 was already a landmark year, with three stellar new openings in the first six months alone. And it's looking like another bumper year for restaurateurs Syed Asim Hussain and Christopher Mark, who have lifted the veil on three new venues in 2017.
Osteria Marzia is certainly a welcome addition to Wan Chai’s eclectic culinary mix, and its small but carefully curated menu is testament to the focus and mastery behind each dish. There are no showy or unnecessary bells and whistles here – just elevated and excellent versions of classic dishes, where quality ingredients take centre stage.
A Hong Kong-born Punjabi, Hussain has revealed NPC to be his biggest passion project yet: It's inspired by The Punjab Club, the private social and athletic club in Lahore where Hussain spent his childhood; as well as a nod to Hussain's father, a restaurateur who operated The Mughal Room in Hong Kong in the '80s. This emotional attachment may have been the catalyst for aiming to set the bar even higher with this latest opening: Without question, New Punjab Club is one of Black Sheep's most thoughtfully curated venues to date.
Black Sheep Restaurants group has more on its plate than usual. Dashing between a new opening in Wan Chai and brand new joint New Punjab Club on Wyndham Street, company co-founder Syed Asim Hussain is a man with quite a few missions – and slightly out of breath.
In Hong Kong, it can get pretty tricky to separate the Indian and Pakistani restaurants that will actually satisfy your cravings from the otherwise average offerings you happen to come across on the street. Say hello to Black Sheep Restaurants’ newly-opened New Punjab Club, which is looking to introduce the boisterous spirit of Punjab to Hong Kong with a refined flair. So what exactly is Punjabi cuisine?
"The winds of Vietnam continue to blow through Hong Kong, and one of the strongest contenders for the city’s best banh mi thit (aka banh mi) is Le Petit Saigon, a quaint takeout counter located next to sister restaurant Le Garcon Saigon."
“With a penchant for being the underdog, and their commitment to pushing boundaries, and setting trends in hospitality and restaurant operations, Christopher Mark and Syed Asim Hussain built their restaurant empire in Soho way before it transformed into the cool, hip hangout spot that it is today. They walk us through the area and compare the days then and now, while also sharing the secrets to their consistent success.”
“You may have already fallen for Le Garcon Saigon in the Star Street precinct, with his cool, open-air facade and deeply flavourful grilled meats made from the Vietnamese chef's mama's recipes. Well, now you can sample the goods from this boy's little bro next door, and he's as uncomplicated as they come, serving only one thing, bánh mì thịt, or pork banh mi.”
“So how do you guarantee your pork chop is juicy AF? You brine it. Or, in the case of this Vietnamese-inspired chop from Bao La—chef of Hong Kong's Brasserie Le Garcon Saigon — you make a marinade that's fresh and sweet and savoury as hell.”
“The Star Street Precinct just got a little more interesting with the opening of Le Petit Saigon, the sister branch of Le Garcon Saigon, which serves nothing but a single item – the humble yet ultra-popular banh mi thit.”
“Maison Libanaise, SoHo’s favourite Lebanese restaurant, is kicking off summer tomorrow with the first of their weekend sessions, starring two Instagram favourites: skewers, and frosé: the picture-perfect combination of ice, rosé and fresh strawberry puree.”
“Calvert has been tasked with cooking whatever he wishes to as long as it is “inherently excellent”. The result is a delectable marriage of premium fresh produce and French-inspired flavours, albeit with a more modern and unique interpretation.”
"Carbone started out life in Greenwich Village, New York – so you can be sure that the Hong Kong outpost understands the need of any would-be diner in search of carb-filled NYC/Italian fare. And it certainly delivers."
"We start with home-made country-style bread with butter, which we could not stop eating. It is how bread should be made, warm and soft in the middle and hard and crusty on the outside."