Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Back to the Familiar Ground - Caprice in the Winter

I caught a breather of freedom tried to overcome the misery of losing CYY to the great land of Tokyo temporarily for the weekend with a trip to Caprice's dining room with friends S and J. I had a great time at a brand-new restaurant the night before, but was just as happy to be back at the familiar ground, excited for the dishes that was to come.

The menu has probably changed a couple of times already since I was last here for lunch and I love the selection this time, with some dishes I have tried and liked, and also some new, seasonal items that I was eager to check out. Turned out with a few comped dishes that they sent over along the way, my 3-course lunch felt like a feast.

We began with the amuse-bouche, a bowl of pumpkin puree topped with onion espuma and pine nuts. A simple combination of seasonal ingredients and I like the hint of sweetness from the pumpkin and caramelized onions in a soft, airy texture. The Fregola Sarda dish was one on the menu that I really wanted to try. I love the bouncy texture and the clean taste of this Mediterranean-style pasta which looks more like rice, contrasted with the soft and rich sea urchin mousse on top (with additional tongues of sea urchin sandwiched in between). Tasty in a mouthful of all these interesting textures coming into play.

Somehow this year we almost missed the entire white truffle season, which came and almost went without us even noticing it. We had a creamy truffle dish when we dined here a few weeks ago, and this time, it's a simpler (but just as sumptuous) version with a piece of poached langoustine, thin slices of Iberico ham and plenty of white truffle shavings. It's an interesting combination and I thought it worked well with the glass of champagne Sebastien poured us from a magnum bottle.

Even though it's listed under "Soup" section, my next course of chestnut veloute with duck foie gras custard could be as filling as any main course. In a deep bowl sat the silky steamed foie gras custard with the creamy chestnut veloute siphoned on top and bits of sautéed ceps mushrooms. The texture was somewhat in between a Japanese chawanmushi and Cantonese steamed egg custard, and it's like 10x richer in taste than both.

I was already 80% full by the time we finished our starter courses before our main course arrived. I always love the game dishes at the restaurant so for me it's a no-brainer when I saw the wild Colvert duck breast being offered as an option. The piece of the beautifully-scored duck breast was served with the duck leg and the rich and velvety meat jus poured on top. On the side was the well-arranged sautéed savoy cabbage with slices of button mushrooms on top. It took a bit of effort to cut through the fatty skin - I thought they were done entirely in oven or sous-vide without pan-searing so it's a bit chewy, but the meat was tender and tasty. This dish was simply classic.

Choice of dessert was another straight-forward decision. I love chestnut dessert, so I am sold the moment I spotted "Mont Blanc" listed. It's a slightly different version than what we were familiar with. The presentation was gorgeous with the “cake” dressed like a Christmas tree, with chestnut mousse covered in vanilla crème Chantilly, blackcurrants and meringue “sticks” coated with dried blackcurrant. And more chestnuts at the end with the chestnut macarons offered as one of the petit fours items. What a reminder that winter (and the holiday season) is finally here.

More photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/g4gary/albums/72157673113169233

When? November 26 2016
Where? Caprice at Four Seasons Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Wild Colvert Duck Breast, Buttered Savoy Cabbage, Natural Jus
Drinks?
Champagne P. Gimonnet et Fils Brut 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs NV
2011 Domaine Serafin Pere et Fils Gevrey Chambertin
Web: www.fourseasons.com/hongkong/dining/restaurants/caprice/



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