Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Caprice Bar Lunch

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to try out the new lunch offering at Caprice Bar of Four Seasons Hong Kong. I loved the idea when Caprice Bar was first opened for lighter fare in the evening with a more casual food and drink menu than its fine-dining "big brother" next door, something we have enjoyed much either for a late-night "simple" supper with just wine and cheese, or a chilled evening out with friends, chatting over a few drinks and charcuterie platter. I am glad that now the similar concept is extended to weekday lunch hours.

The menu at Caprice Bar is completely different than that of Caprice but the dishes were still coming from the same open kitchen in the restaurant. There were several options for starters, mains and desserts available a la carte - while there's nothing wrong for one person opting for a sumptuous 3-course meal all by oneself, I thought the menu is perfect for sharing, especially if you are looking for something lighter.

The line-up of starters looked like something out of a French picnic basket. The pumpkin soup and caesar salad are probably the comfort food of choice for many, and both were excellent - I especially love the rich pumpkin soup with only a light touch of cream with a few cute crispy foie gras ravioli served on the side. The classic pate and terrine - both made of pork and duck - worked best with the mini baguettes served in a drawstring bag on the side. That plus the 3 types of Bordier butter. I felt I could totally go non-stop on just those, and I almost did.

I was quite full already when we finished with our starter and the mains were brought in, out of my surprise. Oops. Of course that didn't deter me to dig in to try out a fair bit of them. Did someone say there's always room for mains? Well, or something like that. Anyway, my favorite main dish was the spelt risotto served with deep-fried frog legs, watercress veloute and mushrooms in a classy cast-iron cocotte. Love the texture of spelt risotto with a good bite and the creamy watercress veloute which seems to be Chef Fabrice's favorite sauce, having seen this or slight variations of that on several other dishes previously. I love the smoothness with a hint of grassy taste.

We didn't manage to finish the beef - the Simmental 90-day dry-aged rib eye served with a stacks of pomme frites said to be for 2 persons - a bit of a shame  really as it was super delicious with great meaty flavor, a slight touch of gaminess and real tender, but the beef leftover reincarnated as my packed lunches for the next couple of days and it was still very good after reheat.

The dessert choices based on daily selection was available on view inside the glass cabinet near the bar, with a few choices of cakes and pastry and some more in a jar. We have been eyeing on those gorgeous sweet creations the moment we were seated and glad the time has finally come for our desserts. The portions were ridiculously huge - not that anyone would complain about that. The Vanilla and Caramel Saint-Honore and Lemon Meringue Tart were so beautifully-made that we felt bad for breaking them apart (but never regret once we tried them). The baked Comice pear in maple syrup looked filling at first, but it was actually quite light, with a balance of flavors from the heavy flavor of maple syrup and the syrup-poached pears cut in dices.

But nothing beat the praline and hazelnut chocolate mousse - our favorite hands down. The chocolate mousse was rich and thick yet velvety smooth - so good that it gave me goosebumps as I put my spoon in. And that combined with hazelnuts and pralines? Heavenly. It's something so simple yet so elegantly-made. Even now I still dream about it every now and then, and I drool every time I do. Needless to say, we emptied the jar in no time and yearning for more as we finished up this lovely lunch at this lovely venue, much to my reluctance to return to office after such a satisfying meal.

(Lunch organized and paid for by Four Seasons Hong Kong)

Where? Caprice Bar, Four Seasons Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central
Menu Highlights? Spelt Risotto, Frog Legs, Watercress, Mushrooms; Praline and Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse
Web: http://www.fourseasons.com/hongkong/dining/lounges/caprice_bar/

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