For those looking to enjoy an intimate and heartful dining experience, FRANCIS west presents a menu reminiscent of Executive Chef Asher Goldstein's cherished memories. Drawing inspiration from the lively streets of Tel Aviv rich with meze, the contemporary Middle Eastern cuisines capture the essence of the chef's Israeli heritage and family traditions, bringing forth the dynamic flavours of the Mediterranean and North African regions. It is at FRANCIS west that Chef Goldstein illustrates his roots of Israeli heritage and family legacy through the rich flavours of the Mediterranean and North African region.
As the mastermind himself puts it, "The key is to keep those familiar flavours and put on a plate with my own touch". Here, Chef Goldstein shares his culinary narratives that define FRANCIS west's heartful presence in the vibrant district of Wan Chai.
1. What inspired you to get into cooking?
My love for food and the importance of cooking in our family brought me into professional kitchens. From here, it was the energy of a busy service and the smiles of satisfied diners that brought enjoyment to the role.
2. How does Tel Avis's dining scene compare to Hong Kong's?
The two dining scenes are very similar in vibrancy and diversity. Both driven by passionate chefs/restauranteurs and consumers. You will also see a blend of ultra-modern and traditional, both of which are equally loved.
3. And how does this influence your menus at FRANCIS west?
I take that energy of Tel Aviv, where chefs use recipes of previous generations home cooking and elevate in technique and presentation. The key is to keep those familiar flavours and put on a plate with my own touch.
4. You come from a family of chefs. Are there any go-to family recipes you always go back to?
My grandmothers’ pickles are a favourite. I also like to use a very garlicky and spicy tomato salsa that my father made for me and my sisters as kids. It’s versatile, so we use in both restaurants for meat, fish and vegetables.
"I take that energy of Tel Aviv, where chefs use recipes of previous generations home cooking and elevate in technique and presentation."
Executive Chef Asher Goldstein
5. What's the inspiration behind FRANCIS west?
The flavours and spices of the Maghreb region. This North African coastline shares many foods with the Middle East, including flatbreads, roasted skewered meats and filled dough items. This is down to history, wars, and cultures, rising and falling. However, it is also so unique and I wanted to bring something new to the Hong Kong market.
6. What do you hope guests feel after dining at your restaurant?
We always aspire to deliver a special culinary experience but at a casual level. Most importantly, the food on our menus is the food that I love to eat, and I hope diners enjoy as much as I do.
All imagery is provided by FRANCIS West.