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Eat easy

By Donna Mah in Hong Kong ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-06-21 07:18:33

Eat easy

The "Pavilion" dish is served at the Fa Zu Jie in Hong Kong. Photo by Donna Mah /For China Daily

Go down a narrow dark alley and then up a flight of stairs in an old building in Lan Kwai Fong - a popular area for eating and drinking in Hong Kong - and you'll find Fa Zu Jie, or French Concession, a private kitchen serving innovative Shanghainese in French-style cuisine.

There is absolutely no signage on the main road to indicate the existence of this lovely dining venue, but the friendly staff at the Fa Zu Jie will e-mail you the menu and a map with directions once you've made your booking.

Eat easy

Eat beat

You can see the dining area and outdoor terrace from the sitting-out area in Lan Kwai Fong. I had seen it many times and always wondered how to reach it. Now I know.

When you first see the large white door at the top of the stairs on the first floor, you may be a bit uncertain as to whether you've arrived at the right place. Again, no obvious signage.

However, once the door opens, you enter what feels like someone's living room with a large open kitchen taking up one side. There are empty wine bottles covering much of the shelf space on the other side of the room, as well as a selection of books and magazines for diners to browse through. They don't charge corkage here, so bring a bottle or two to enjoy with your meal.

A six-course set menu of Chinese-French food is served each night for HK$628 ($81) per person. The names of some dishes are not the easiest to understand as they are a clever play on words. None of us were quick-witted enough to figure out what we were going to eat from the names alone - luckily, our server was there to tell us what we would eat and how it was prepared.

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