Restaurants & Bars 5

Caprice [Hong Kong]

PhilD | Feb 3, 2011 02:00 AM

Our first grand meal in HK to celebrate my partners birthday: lunch at Caprice in the Four Seasons Hotel. There seem to be lots of posts asking which is the best restaurant in HK but few that give details of a meal there.

First, to get them out of the way, a couple of irritations, the seats have got to be the most uncomfortable of and restaurant in the world. They are big armchairs, which mean you need to balance on the front of them to reach the table and eat your food. Second the service is a bit too quick; it is excellent service especially when we eventually broke through the professional veneer, however at times plates were cleared before my partner had finished. OK a minor gripe but slips never the less.

The restaurant is on the sixth floor and is big, opulent, and well spaced, it has a harbour view but it isn’t the best view of HK’s harbour and I would suggest it is better to get a table facing the open kitchen.

My partner chose the set lunch menu at HK$480 (I forgot to keep the bill so cost are approx) and I went ALC. A good selection of house made bread arrives to start with two French butters, all were good as you would expect in HK which has a really good standard of international baking. This followed a canapé, in the bar, which was a rather forlorn mini stick of garlic bread, I am not certain I saw the point of this as it didn’t set up great expectations.
My partner’s first course was a “Scottish Salmon Tartare with Cauliflower Panaché and Sea Urchin Emulsion” it was very good with subtle seasoning and condiments. I opted for the “Pâté en Croûte with Wild Game, Foie Gras, and Green Leaves in Black Truffle Dressing” (approx HK350), this was quite good and very enjoyable although I thought some of the game chucks in the pate were a bit dry and overcooked.

For main my partner chose the “Sea Bream Fillet with Braised Endive and Ham in Vadouvan Jus” which she really enjoyed. I went for more meat with the “Wild Venison Fillet with Seasonal Vegetables and Cabbage Crépinette in Cocoa Sauce” (approx HK$540) very nicely cooked venison which appeared to have been barded with fat to keep it really moist and tender, everything worked well together including a small side plate of spaghetti.

We choose to share my partners dessert course but add a shared cheese course before it. The waiter asks us what we would like. This is not good, where is the great cheese trolley Caprice is famed for? No problem, the waiter escorts us to the cheese cellar for us to choose from a selection laid out in the glass walled private dining room (that overlooks the kitchen) and from any of the cheeses stored in the cheese room. This is quite a selection of Bernard Antony’s famed cheeses, we choose a few, and the waiter encourages us to try some more so we end up with six. A very generous platter arrives at the table and we fear we will be charged for two portions (HK$210), but no, they are simply generous. The cheeses are all in prime condition, the ones from the storage fridge could benefit from a little more time to come up to room temperature but nothing catastrophic. It was tricky to choose a highlight, as all were good including the famed 4-year-old Comté; a cheese that is tricky to track down.

The dessert tray arrives which allows you to choose three from size, again all good sizes (approx the size of a cake from a patisserie). We finish with good coffee.

We drank a glass of beer (HK$65), a glass of superb Egly-Ouriet Champagne (HK$210), a glass of Macon (which is included in the set lunch price), and an excellent bottle of Mercurey (HK$650) recommended by our sommelier Benjamin, from a list with few less expensive bottles!

Overall a good meal, a tremendous volume of food with each serving very much on the generous side, I really couldn’t have eaten anything else. It is very, very, very, classic French food, which is well executed. I enjoyed it but did feel it was a little pedestrian with few surprises or twists on the plate. Good solid cooking but not especially creative or adventurous. That said I would head back, the total bill was HK$2,885 (US$370) including service, which I felt was reasonable, and it was a fun meal, especially when the staff thawed out a bit.

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