French Dining Delights
Food fan extrodinaire Celia Hu shares her passion for food on her brilliant blog Girl Meets Cooking as well as with lucky readers of The HK HUB via her honest and detailed food reviews. She has a passion for French food (it helps being married to a Frenchman!) and here she shares with us her all time favourite French restaurants in Hong Kong. From classic perfection at Caprice to melt-in-the mouth takeaway poulet at La Rotisserie, and everything in between, top quality French food is available in every corner of Hong Kong – lucky us!
One of Hong Kong’s premier Michelin-3 star restaurants, Caprice has been impressing gourmands with their exquisite menu under the helm of Chef Vincent Thierry for years. The concept here is haute cuisine, with guests settling into plush sofa-like chairs and sipping on a selection of champagnes before perusing the menu. The newish bar, discreetly positioned adjacent to the restaurant, offers a stylish yet cozy nook to enjoy a few flutes of unique wines and champagne, accompanied by a tapestry of fine cheeses. This option for a bit of sip and nibble is a great way to spent a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Perhaps two main focal points earn this restaurant its two Michelin stars are the exquisite menu guidance under Chef Alain Ducasse, and the billion-dollar Victoria Harbour view. True to the ethos of French fine dining, every dish is meticulously executed to maximise not only the visual impact, but also writing a narrative in contrasting and complimentary flavours. The open kitchen concept keeps the mood light and cheerful, and the muted tones of the dining room allows diners to focus on the haute cuisine as well as the glittery harbour views.
Another Michelin-3 star darling, this fine dining restaurant is sectioned in half into L’Atelier and Le Jardin. L’Atelier is designed for the spectator in us, positioned with a circular bar that wraps around an open kitchen so diners can view all aspects of the cooking and preparation process. The menu here is served in tapas-style portions, and differ from the menu in the Le Jardin section, which is more along the lines of formal French fine dining. The decor is almost hypnotic, in vibrant glossy lipstick red and silky black. The patisserie downstairs also offers some of the best croissants in all of Hong Kong!
Looking for a unique location to celebrate a special occasion? Well, look no further because One Thirty One is certain to fulfil that “wow” factor. Located in a three-storey house with a garden overlooking Three Fantoms Cove, this romantic restaurant serves up contemporary French cuisine with plenty of style. Perfect for private parties or even small weddings, One Thirty One even has their very own helipad to land your chopper or a private jetty to moor your yacht in case the trek from Central is too daunting! Oh how very James Bond!
Tucked into narrow Gough street above Sheung Wan, On Lot 10 at first glance seems to be just another restaurant furnished in simple basic decor. But peel back the layers of this unassuming space, and you will find one of the top French restaurants in town. Under the watchful eye of Chef, or “Boss Man” David Lai, who’ve worked with one of the greatest in the French culinary world, Alain Ducasse, in Monaco and Hong Kong, this two storey restaurant excels at unpretentious French cooking. Roasted chicken, whole fish baked in salt, veal kidneys and sweetbreads are just some of the line of mouth-watering dishes served at this restaurant. Chef Lai stays connected with the local scene by shopping for fresh produce at the neighbouring wet market each morning – this is a true diamond in the rough establishment.
This is an oldie but a goodie. A favourite casual French restaurant with a loyal following, La Terrasse has remained a stable fixture in SoHo over the years despite the comings and goings on numerous neighbourhood restaurants. The staying power is in part due to its down-to-earth French cooking, with a focus on classic recipes. The small restaurant has indoor as well as a small terrace seating area, and is perfect for a cozy romantic tete-a-tete. Murals of Nice and other seascape French paradise adorn the walls, and the charming French staff truly makes a meal here memorable.
Always consistently good for down-to-earth French comfort food, Bouchon is an old favourite of ours in trendy Soho. High bar stools upfront give the restaurant a casual bistro feel while a more intimate al fresco dining area is tucked at the back. The semi-open kitchen entices guests with their roaring grill and choice cuts of entrecôtes. But our favourite has to be the mussels, which are always plump, juicy and perfectly steamed, served alongside a classic pairing of crispy frites!
Modelled to reflect the Parisian central train station (but thankfully, minus the pigeons), Metropolitan is one of those places where one can enjoy a relaxing evening of good food and wine at very decent prices. Chef Frank is always entertaining at the open kitchen, so opt for bar seating if you are a small group. The menu features home-cooking such as slow-roasted lamb shank and buttery, pillowy mash potatoes. You might get heavier after a meal here, but your wallet certainly won’t get that much lighter!
Another great restaurant masterminded by French Creations restaurant group, Saint Germain serves up delicious home-cooked French food and some pretty mean cocktails. Located in a quiet corner alongside the tram station, this is a great venue to unwind with great friends. We love finishing our meals here with their cheese platter, featuring, of course, some of the finest French selections.
Be enticed with home-style French comfort foods such as pates, duck confit and coq au vin. Classically French, this little K-Town venue is decked out in quaint antiques and rustic chic. Definitely worth a try although the restrictive seating times of either 6:30pm or 9:30pm might limit some diners.
This is a takeout joint, although the location at Sai Ying Pun offers a narrow counter space to rip into the mouth-watering roasted poulet at. Succulent chickens flown straight from the coop in France to Hong Kong are lovingly grilled in the giant in-house rotisserie, then carved up in front of you while you debate over which sides to choose out of the classic red Le Creuset pans.