Introduction

Jean Paulís influence in the restaurant business in Hong Kong over the years has been unparalleled. The Father of Hong Kongís now famous SoHo eating district has been there, done that and is now focusing on his major project, Cococabana.

Over the last decade he has opened and made a success of a number of restaurants in Hong Kong beginning with his first opening in 1994 of Casa Lisboa, a Portuguese enclave amidst Hong Kong's high rises. A relaxed and intimate restaurant, a picture of a family eatery in Macau. On the back of the success of Casa Lisboa, Jean Paul next turned his attentions to Club Casa Nova in 1995. A chic Italian night club and restaurant in the same SoHo area where he was to make his name synonymous with fine dining in Hong Kong


In the winter of 1996, Jean Paul turned his acute knowledge of French dining and twisted it to fit into traditional Vietnamese cooking by opening Cafe Au Lac. Using simple and fresh ingredients Jean Paul turned a cuisine that was not so well known in the area into a popular and bustling restaurant. Decorated with traditional paintings from Hanoi, it would be easy to forget that you were dining in the heart of one of the busiest cities in the world.


Right after the handover of Hong Kong back to China in 1997, Jean Paul turned his attention from cooking with fresh ingredients to supplying the freshest ingredients so people could sample just what he was cooking with in his restaurants. Thus, Euromart was born. A continental convenience store selling everything the homesick Westerner from French Artisan soap to Italian sausages to British boutique toiletries. Being situated in the SoHo area again and close to where most trendy Westerners were living made Euromart a great success.

 

Not long after the birth of Euromart, Jean Paul switched his attention back to Italy and opened Giovannis, an Italian restaurant with the help of renowned Italian Chef, Piantanlda Giovanni. The restaurant was situated at the rear of Jean Pauls very first creation in Hong Kong Casa Lisboa and was his second foray into the world of Italian dining.

 

 

In June of 1998, Jean Paul opened what was, arguably his most famous restaurant in Hong Kong, Cubana. A lively fun place again in SoHo with live Latino music, Cuban chefs and partying until the wee hours of the morning. Specializing in Mojitos and aswell as a wide range of Cuban cigars, the mood was always upbeat and the delicious tapas style food meant there were always queues to get in for dinner in the evenings.

 

With the trend of Western service accompanying Eastern food taking place in Hong Kong in 1998, Jean Paul opened a North Eastern Chinese boutique style restaurant in SoHo to cater to growing number of affluent residents in the area wanting something more up market and romantic than your average Chinese Restaurant. Thus, Bistro Manchu was conceived and placed in the heart of the district well known for primarily Western food. Combining ethnically influenced styled nostalgia with a tongue in cheek evocation of modern China, Jean Paul set about changing the way people perceived Chinese restaurants and made it more readily available to those in the area. Thus Hong Kong's first boutique Chinese restaurant was born, a style of which has been copied by others throughout the territory.

 

 

As if Jean Paul did not have enough on his plate already he decided in late 1998 and early 1999 to go back to his roots and opened two more French restaurants, the cuisine of which has been the foundation of his success. First came Cafe Noir, a French cafe producing regional specialities eat in and home delivery, which was swiftly followed by what could be called Jean Paulís forte, a French dining room named La Belle Epoque. Jean Paul and Michelin Starred chef and friend Raymuncho Courde created some of SoHo's finest French cooking.

 

In the months leading to the last millennium Jean Paul came up with his most audacious plan to date.....Cococabana. Situated on a remote outlying island called Lamma in one of the smallest but prettiest villages on the island, Jean Paul began to create traditional Mediterranean cuisine. It was, and still is, a great success with the summer month packed and the spring and autumn full of partygoers having a good time in the fresh air and sunshine on the beach front verandah at the restaurant. Now thriving in Deep Water Bay, people travel from all over the region to experience the gastronomical food and exquisite service that all the hard work has endeared to.

 

After a year of working hard on his new restaurants Jean Paul switched his attention back to Hong Kong Island and opened Indigo, a Caviar and Oyster restaurant in SoHo, in 2001. Bringing gourmet products from around the world, Indigo was Sohoís main fine dining restaurant and had a name for itself as a delicacy restaurant.

 

In the same year Rio was opened. Backed by the success of his Cuban restaurant Jean Paul dived head first into the world of (Churasco) Brazilian BBQ, the first in Hong Kong. With traditional Brazilian festive dishes and the drinks to match, Rio swiftly became the place on the corner of the street where you could party away the evening to great food and drinks whilst watching the world go by.

 

But SoHo was becoming too congested and Jean Paul in 2003 decided it was time to channel his energies into just one of his ideas so he opted to cash in and enjoy the island life and started focusing his attention solely on Cococabana. With extensive renovations and an upgrading of the management Jean Paul has finally reached a point in his restaurant life where he can afford to enjoy cooking a little more. With Cococabana being situated by the beach, the best of country side and sea Jean Paul creates a full on Mediterranean experience, taking in the fresh air and the beach lifestyle whist running Lammaís best for the last few years. With 2004 being an excellent year for Jean Paul and Cococabana he is looking forward to the time ahead on Lamma to contemplate new beach dining ideas and opportunities and is looking forward to you joining him for a feast of gastronomic food, relaxation and sunshine at Deep Water Bay.


2007~