2018 was a fruitful year for Black Sheep Restaurants: Belon and New Punjab Club topped the Top 20 list for T.Dining Best Restaurants Awards in 2019, while the group continued to open more restaurants, each one different to the last—including one in Shanghai, with Canton Disco at the Edition hotel. Christopher Mark and Syed Asim Hussain, co-founders of the local restaurant group, didn’t slow down in the final months of the year either, with Artemis & Apollo, a Greek restaurant, and Hotal Colombo, of Sri Lankan cuisine, opening just weeks apart. In early 2019, the group is gearing up for yet another series of openings, beginning with a Mexican restaurant—you heard it here first. We got Chris and Asim to sit down to chat about these three diversely different concepts, and how they approach opening all within such short intervals.
Having opened in the quiet quarters of the Star Street precinct, Black Sheep’s fifth Wan Chai restaurant is all about basics, seeking to challenge the underrepresentation of Greek cuisine in Hong Kong. “Greek food is an ancient cuisine. We are not trying to modernise it,” says Mark. “In fact we are going for a reverse direction. Other people may try to change the tzatziki, a minty yoghurt dip, but we don’t see the need for it. It is about getting every element exactly right and bringing them together.” To prepare for the opening last year, the restaurateur took a two-week tour to Greece with Hussain for an eating trip throughout the Mediterranean country, journeying through streets on six meals a day and doing the leg work across the ruins of temples and ancient sites for cultural context.