Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Caprice (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★★☆

This week, I am doing my annual trip to Caprice who used to be my favorite French restaurant in town before their change of guard a few years ago.

We really couldn't pick a better day to come. It has been raining cats and dogs lately but today, we finally got some semi clear skies so at the very least the Victoria Harbour view was intact.

Our amuse bouche arrived quicker than I could roll my eyes. It was a tasty pork dumpling with creamy artichoke served alongside a small salad and artichoke custard on the bottom.

Comparing to our last visit here, this particular lunch set offers a little more traditional French flavors. Well at least from an ingredient point of view it does and obviously less Mediterranean twist (coming from Chef Vulin's background of course).

Our first starter, duck foie gras terrine, was an old French dish with a lovely contemporary twist. Apart from the duck foie gras, there's a layer of free-range chicken, duck consommé jelly and Brittany artichokes each. A touch of black truffle in the middle provided a contrasting flavor to the mix. This was actually pretty good and clearly quite pleasing to our palate.

Less successful was our second starter, sautéed Petits Gris snails, which were seated on top of a bed of truffled potato mousse and sliced potatoes with organic leaves, wild mushrooms and black truffle. This was beautifully presented without a question but unfortunately didn't taste as well as it looked.

A tad better were our main dishes starting with this Hokkaido scallop sausage, spinach and black truffle.

If my memory serves me correct, I am probably having Hokkaido scallop sausage for the very first time. Each piece of sausage was handmade with fish mousse, Hokkaido scallops and topped with young spinach and black truffles. This was served with a lukewarm butter cream sauce. Very rich and buttery.

Less innovative but equally delicious was the roasted Bresse chicken legs, served with crayfish and mushroom in a flaky butter puff ring.

Every one of my friends has been raving about Caprice's new pastry chef Nicolas Lambert since his arrival late last year so I was eager to meet his new lineup of desserts personally. This Gianduja chocolate eclair with hazelnut praline, Gianduja and orange cream was a wonderful start. Love the confit orange (and apricot?) on top providing the eclair with a lovely kick of acidity.

I've always enjoyed deconstructed version of tiramisu and they did an admirable job with this one using mascarpone cream and coffee ice-cream. Nothing that blew me away but I noticed this was rarely done in Caprice in the past, desserts that were unconventional and modern.

A standard petite fours wrapped things up before we settled the bill.

It was a slightly better showing than last time but still not quite there comparing to the glory days when Vincent Thierry was still around in my opinion.

Food Rating: 6.5/10
Price: $$$$
Address: 6/F, 8 Finance Street, Four Seasons Hotel, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Hong Kong Station
Tel: +852 3196-8860
Website: www.fourseasons.com/hongkong/dining/restaurants/caprice
S. Pellegrino Asia's 50 Best Restaurants: 42nd (2015)


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