Caprice – Challenges For Hong Kong’s Top French Restaurant
[Hong Kong] Caprice was known as Hong Kong’s best French restaurant, luxuriously located at one of the most high end hotels Four Seasons Hong Kong.
The restaurant ranked as Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2014 is not without its challenges. They recently lost their 3rd Michelin star, and had to settle for two.
New head chef Fabrice Vulin took over chef Vincent Thierry. Though he had an impressive CV of being executive chef of prestigious French restaurants, there were also huge shoes to fill. And the loss Michelin star pressure.
It is impossible to talk about Caprice without mentioning the dining area, superiorly grand and royally glamorous, classy yet not over the top, fit for Hong Kong’s rich and famous.
The view over the harbour is stunning. On the other side is an open kitchen showcasing the team of 25 chefs with their works of craft.
Service was top-notch and almost faultless, gentlemen wearing suits and bow were personable yet not intrusive. There are some high-end restaurants capable of making diners feel uneasy. Caprice did not.
We chose to have the Chef’s Menu, priced at HKD$1990 (SGD$337, USD$257) without taxes and wine, making this one of the most expensive dinners we had in Hong Kong.
The dishes included Le Foie Gras d’Alsace au Naturel (duck foie gras terrine, dry fruit nougat and fit compote), L’Oeuf de Poule Fermier (egg white blanc manger, runny egg yolk, and perigord black truffle), Le Potmarron (pumpkin veloute and chestnut gnocchi) and Le Pigeon Fermier (caramelised pigeon breast, moroccan spices and ra el hanout infusion).
To be honest, most of the dishes were aesthetically pleasing and well-executed, did not overly impress.
We were bench-making the taste with other Michelin starred restaurants, and some items which were bland and flat, fell short of expectations.
However, we were overwhelmed (in a good way) when two waiters came up carrying a selection of top-quality artisanal French cheeses on a metre-long oak tree platter. After all, Caprice boasts having Hong Kong’s first cheese cellar. Truly a highlight of the meal.
Pastry Chef Marike Van Beurden’s dessert was exceptional. The lemon tart came all pretty like a pink dome, and was a perfect blend of taste and textures with intriguing use of cactus meringue, prickly pear and cactus flower sorbet.
My heart stopped a beat when I cut the dessert open.
Food overall was underwhelming, but we believe that once Chef and his team had a more stable footing in the new kitchen, they would be able to gain their ‘star’dom back.
Podium 6, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central
Tel: +(852) 3196-8860
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2:30pm Lunch, 6:30pm – 10:30pm Dinner (Mon-Sun)
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