Restaurant Review: Middle Eastern Brunch at FRANCIS, Wan Chai
We tried a Middle Eastern brunch at FRANCIS and here's what we thought.
FRANCIS is a casual Middle Eastern restaurant on Francis Street, Wan Chai. It’s a compact restaurant (best for groups of 2 to 4) and walk-in only. The décor is simple, industrial style, with a mix of tables and bar seating. We chose a spot at the counter beside a large open window overlooking the street. The atmosphere is lively and relaxed, when we visited for brunch the restaurant quickly filled up, and the service is speedy and friendly.
Brunch at Francis
This Autumn 2019, FRANCIS has added some Israeli classics to their weekend brunch menu, which is available from 12pm-3pm on weekends and public holidays for $280 per person. Diners start with 4 meze dishes for sharing, have a choice of 4 mains and ‘chef’s choice’ dessert.
If you love an eggy brunch then the Shakshuka is for you. Shakshuka means ‘all mixed up’ and is a classic Israeli dish featuring poached eggs, tomatoes, green peppers and harissa. Chef Asher serves it 3 ways – traditional, green (with creamy yogurt, rich feta and zingy silverbeet) and spicy (with lamb kofta and fermented chilli).
Another tasty Israeli street food favourite on the brunch menu this Fall is the sabich – a pita stuffed with fried eggplant, hard-boiled egg, Israeli salad, parsley and tahini sauce.
Review – The Food
First come the 4 meze to share. Of course no middle eastern meal is complete without pita and the pita breads at FRANCIS are super soft, and they will bring you extra if you ask. These tasty pitas were perfect for mopping up the creamy hummus which was served with lots of delicious olive oil. The cigar spiced beef & green tahini was a crunchy, deep-fried bite with a tangy dipping sauce. The avacado tomato, shanklish, za’atar was a tasty salad given an added crunch from the shanklish (dried yogurt) and flavoured with za’atar herbs and a vinegar dressing. But we especially loved the baked haloumi with sweet honey which was was packed with flavour from the honey and oregano and more of that tasty olive oil.
We chose two meaty mains, the wagyu rump skewers freekeh, pomegranate and that day’s special, lamb kofta. These are simple dishes, but were well flavoured and nicely presented.
Finally comes the ‘chef’s choice’ of dessert. On the Saturday when we visited the dessert was malabi, a traditional Israeli milk pudding, which was creamy, cold, refreshing and not too sweet, with a fragrant, crunchy rosemary garnish. The perfect way to round off our brunch!
A brief but well-curated brunch menu with lots of Middle Eastern flavours to explore. This is a filling brunch with decent portion sizes, and all the dishes were fresh and flavourful. The casual, buzzy atmosphere make it an ideal spot to enjoy a quick weekend catch up with friends.
4 & 6 St. Francis Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
31019521 | [email protected]