The Digest: French Takeover Edition

Digest

June 16, 2017 | BY Charmaine Mok

From classic French execution to Japanese-inflected cuisine, this week’s top dishes made us go ooh la la

1

Welcome to The Digest—a weekly bite-sized round-up of delicious highlights and food musings, brought to you by the team behind Hong Kong Tatler Dining. Find out what we've been tasting and rating to help you shape your eating agenda for the weekend ahead. Get more updates and dining inspiration by following us on Facebook and Instagram


Le 39V

digest-french-le39v.jpg

Newly opened adjacent to Inakaya, Paris' Le 39V marks the return of French chef Frederic Vardon since his guest chef stage at Epure last year. With a menu that syncs with his Paris restaurant, the Hong Kong outposts stay true to chef Vardon's knack for rich colours and simple ingredient combinations.  I enjoyed beginning the meal with seasonal white asparagus with gribiche sauce, as well as a simple but fantastic oven-grilled macaroni with winter black truffles, a favourite with a rich sauce that clings onto each of the pasta tubes that are neatly arranged and baked. The restaurant is petite and menu offerings are developing with more options being added. —Wilson Fok, Dining Editor

Le 39V, 101/F ICC, 1 Austin Road West, West Kowloon; +852 2977 5266 


Caprice

newcaprice.jpg

Chef Guillaume Galliot has found his stride at his new home in Caprice, after switching places with the restaurant’s former head chef Fabrice Vulin (who takes Galliot’s place at The Tasting Room in Macau). Ensconced in Caprice’s private room (within arm’s reach of the legendary cheese cellar), we tasted both new and familiar dishes by the chef whose cooking we had come to love during his tenure in Macau. A highlight for me would have to be the chef’s whimsical take on laksa. Inspired by his time in Asia and by his Singaporean wife, the flavour and fragrance of this dish, which is made with Alaskan snow crab, hits you the moment it arrives at the table; sudachi lime is zested over the warm plate just before serving, and its citrus aroma complements the traditional laksa flavours, from the kick of chilli to the fragrant curry leaf. A beautiful dish that sets the tone for this new chapter of Caprice.  —Charmaine Mok, Editorial Director of Food & Wine 

Caprice, 6/F Four Seasons Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central; +852 3196 8888 


Belon

belon-truffle-2.jpg

Belon is presenting a new truffle menu featuring the popular winter tuber from Australia. The restaurant's head chef Daniel Calvert specially crafted a black truffle menu, featuring some of the neo-Parisian bistro's signature dishes including oyster tartare and pigeon pithivier with fig and amaretto. I am in love with the new truffle signatures, including the foie gras Perigourdine, where the earthy truffles surround a ring of foie gras and pigeon and aspic. It combines the soft savoury gelee with creamy foie gras mousse. The fresh corn polenta with Australian black winter truffle is a close second. Fresh corn is dried and cooked into soft polenta, where its natural sweetness intensifies and is surprisingly great with truffle, another prime example where simplicity is the best.  —WF

Belon, G/F 41 Elgin Street, Central; +852 2152 2872 


Yosuke Suga at The Krug Room

digest-french-krugroom.jpg

What I found most extraordinary about my eight-course lunch at The Krug Room was that I left feeling satisfied and certainly full, but not heavy. Chef Yosuke Suga is a bit of a culinary genius in that sense, choosing to layer flavours without too much butter, cream or other fats, opting instead of deliciously intense jus and fragrant herbal hits. In partnership with Krug, the meal was a veritable tribute to the diverse regions of Japan; each dish headlined with the name of the prefecture that inspired it or gave its main ingredient. Suga describes his cooking as French influenced with Japanese characteristics, and a highlight from the menu would be the very delicate Kyoto duck ragu dumpling sitting in a duck bouillon thickened with honkuzu (arrowroot starch); the dough was made with lily bulb and mountain yam and the entire dish was fragrant with the scent of sansho pepper leaves. Also mindblowing was the seemingly simple offering of thinly sliced pärsùt ham (very much like a fine prosciutto) draped over still-warm sushi rice, its heat melting the nutty fat of the ham ever so slightly. Suga is only here until Saturday, so don’t miss out. —CM

Krug Room, 1/F Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road, Central; +852 2852 4014