Bistronomique in Hong Kong

Chef David Lai, who trained in Alain Ducasse’s restaurants in Monaco and Hong Kong, has opened his second restaurant, Bistronomique. A casual French bistro, Bistronomique offers classic French bistro fare such as Salade Lyonnaise and Creme Brulee, but with a little edge.

The restaurant itself is a little out of the way. We had to take a cab, and walk a bit, and the street was a bit deserted….not the usual hustle and bustle in the busy streets of Hong Kong.

Interiors are quite bright and well-lit, with no frills. The restaurant is simple: a long narrow room, with banquette seating. This was on a Saturday, lunchtime, and it was full. Good thing we had reservations for our table for 10 ladies.

Bistronomique is not cheap, but they do offer a very affordable Set Lunch Menu. Several of us had this, and were quite satisfied with portions and quality.

For those of you who are curious about their ala carte menu, here are some snapshots. As you can see, their menu is quite extensive.

Always a nice way to start a lunch: chilled white wine!

For starters, I had the herb-crusted bone marrow, on a bed of salt. This, of course, came with some thinly sliced toasted bread. Grab a toast, spread some marrow, and sprinkle just a teeny bit of salt. Swig white wine. Deeelicious!!!! The herb crust was the  WOW factor with this dish. It added a whole different layer of flavor.

Since we were a lot, we got to order a lot of different things, and we were not shy to share with each other. This is the foie gras ‘torchon’, which is a tower made of chunks of foie gras, accompanied with a side of mushrooms (which paired excellently with the foie gras). Note the sprinkle of (probably sea) salt on top.

This was the daily soup. If I remember correctly, it was a creamy leek soup. Quite frothy and light, though full of leek flavor.  A great starter, since it didn’t fill you up too much.

Loved the lardons in their Salad Lyonnaise, but then, who doesn’t like bacon?

Their Caesar Salad came a little deconstructed, but tasted good as well.

Pan-fried pork chop. I love eating pork, but this just tasted all right. Impressive size though!

Duck breast. How French can you get?

This looked beautiful and tasted wonderful. Lobster cassoulet!

This was the “daily fish” on the Set Lunch Menu, and to me, this was the best tasting dish all around. The play of flavors between the roasted red peppers and the grilled fish (I forgot exactly what it was, but it was a firm white-fleshed fish) was perfect!

This was my order. Black pork belly. The famed uber-tender black pork, belly cut. What’s not to like? Unfortunately, this was a little under-seasoned for me. Or maybe I just expect my pork to taste more than just fatty (don’t get me wrong…I have no problem with fatty cuts!).

Mushroom Risotto. Always unphotogenic, but such comfort food.

Desserts in French restaurants are always anticipated. A very, VERY, dense chocolate pot de creme…..

A mille feuille (though to me, the wafers were a little burnt….)….

…and the best thing EVER…..creme brulee with truffle oil. SO good.

So, as I said, expect simple French bistro food in Bistronomique. Nothing fancy really, but wonderful, high-quality ingredients, with just enough of a chic twist to elevate it to fancy fare.

Bistronomique
Shop B, G/F, 1 Davis Street, Kennedy Town, Western District
Tel: 2818 8266

The Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong

Think of the words “Four Seasons Hotel” and immediately images of luxury, pampering, plush, and posh come to mind. At least to my mind they do. So you can imagine my excitement when I heard that our girls’ indulgent weekend in HK was going to be spent at the Four Seasons. Indulgent indeed.

We checked in around 8am in the morning (rather groggily after a 5am flight), and the hotel lobby was rather quiet. The front desk was also free from any other guests checking-in or out, so getting our rooms was a breeze. The front desk clerks efficiently checked us in, gave us our keys, and took care of our bags, all with a smile.

The rooms looked like your average deluxe hotel room. I was a tad let-down, since, as I said, I was really expecting a lot from the Four Season. But well, you can’t REALLY complain when your room comes with fully loaded with these goodies:

But as I said, I’ve seen these amenities before in other hotels, so they weren’t such WOW factors. We DID abuse the Nespresso though.

Forgive the mess: I forgot to take pictures before we made ourselves at home.

So, all in all, so far my impression of the legendary Four Seasons Hotel is….well, it didn’t stand out. It was a nice hotel, yes. But as nice as the Four Seasons of my imagination? Far from it. Maybe I should have managed my expections.

On our last day, we discovered the spa of the Four Seasons.

It was a hidden sanctuary, tucked away behind a forbidding door, that opened into a shangrila (oops, sorry, wrong hotel!).

Well-stocked with (more) amenities, we made ourselves at home while waiting for our ride to the airport. I couldn’t take any pictures of the jacuzzi or massage rooms, as there were several women there pampering themselves.

As a bonus, there was a cute boutique that had swimming suits and other pool-lounging wear, just in case you forgot yours.

Lest I forget to mention, the service at the Four Seasons Hotel was superb: immediate, unobtrusive, courteous, and always with a smile. But then again, you’d expect that from a Four Seasons.