The best restaurants in Hong Kong are located inside luxury hotels and the Four Seasons has two of the finest in town. I was lucky to eat at both during my trip; truly different but equally memorable dining experiences.
Caprice was opened by a team from the prestigious Le Cinq in Paris and quickly received two stars from the Michelin guide. The outstanding service and immaculate French cooking soon earnt head chef Vincent Thierry a third star – the ultimate accolade. When current chef Fabrice Vulin took over in 2013 the restaurant went down to two once again, but remains known as one of Hong Kong’s most celebrated eateries, and for good reason.
The grand dining room features opulent chandeliers and beautifully crisp white dressed tables. The open plan kitchen adds some drama to the room; I was particularly impressed to see all the chefs wearing tall white hats as they worked. We sat at a lovely table overlooking the harbour, and with floor to ceiling windows the room was wonderfully light even on a cloudy winter’s day.
Champagne was the perfect start to our French feast. We were served a variety that had more of a savoury taste as to complement our opening dishes best. Jerusalem artichoke veloute with beef tongue mille-feuille was a mouthful of heaven – creamy and subtle soup with a hint of meat, just to add a little salty seasoning.
Lunch guests can opt for the reasonable ‘set menu’ that offers two courses for £40 or three for £45. Despite the low price point there is still plenty of choice and variety, but to try the showstopper dishes it is best to pick from the à la carte. Everything sounded divine, with a noticeable inclusion of seasonal delicacies, such as Périgord black truffles.
Potato Gnocchi with beef and truffle consommé and colonnata pork toast was my ideal starter, light yet rich in flavour. The crystal clear consommé was poured over the delectable soft gnocchi and topped with shaved truffle. Poached duck foie gras was a great choice in the unusually chilling weather; a comforting and luxurious piece of velvety foie gras with Japanese inspired Daikon radish, black truffle and duck consommé.
For main course I ordered the Caprice signature dish, Caramelised Pigeon Breast with Moroccan spices and couscous style vegetables. It was the tenderest pigeon I have ever tasted, with a thin crisp skin, and seasoned beautifully with an array of fragrant spices. Often I find pigeon chewy but this meat melted in the mouth. Vegetables were served on the side, a pretty little accompaniment, dressed in an aromatic herbaceous jus. For seafood lovers the Royale Langoustine à la Plancha was a regal dish. Plump peach-coloured langoustine pieces sat amongst a pool of vibrant green watercress coulis and are sprinkled with Kristal caviar… it was almost too handsome to eat.
Struggling to pick just two desserts from the list of tempting recipes the waiter surprised us with a third. An exciting prospect, but my stomach groaned in protest at even more food. Each was as flawless as the next, but we both favoured the Passion Fruit and Victoria Pineapple soufflé with exotic sorbet, a tropical warm pudding with a light springy texture. Crispy Feuillantine with creamy Macae chocolate, Tanariva and Guanaja Chantilly was the showstopper in terms of presentation. Wonderfully assembled, hovering above the plate on thin chocolate rings and decorated with frozen drips of chocolate; it was a true work of art. A little less classic was the Grand Cru Chocolate Sphere with Agen’s dried plum marmalade and black truffle. This innovative dessert was too decadent for me, but brilliant nonetheless. A dense mousse with a strong truffle perfume, encased in a shiny chocolate layer and covered with gold leaf and truffle ornaments.
After travelling for four months and adapting to local food and specialties, I relished the French flavours and expertise at Caprice. This remarkable restaurant was a highlight of my time in Hong Kong and the best example of French cooking I have tasted outside of the country itself.
More information and book a table at Caprice here.