Saturday, August 21, 2021

Longest Spell

This is perhaps one of the longest spells between our visits to Caprice for as far as we could remember, with the last one came right after Chinese New Year almost 6 months ago. Not that we haven’t tried, but it’s almost impossible to book unless you plan way ahead. Anyway, we were glad that they managed to squeeze us a table for a “quick and simple" lunch on weekend afternoon in July. 

Of course, who are we lying – meal here is never quick nor “just another simple one”. Chef Guillaume was out of town at the time of our visit but his lieutenant Chef Suveg took good care of us with a ”carte blanche” menu with some new seasonal dishes. We started with a few lighter courses, well suited in the extreme summer season. The cauliflower mousse was combined with white chocolate for a hint of sweetness and crunchy diamonds of raw almond, all of which contrasted well with the kristal caviar on top. Next was langoustine, quick blanched for the fresh, clean flavor and paired with mascarpone mousse, bits of razor clams and sauteed leek on the side. 

Next course was described as "My interpretation of tomato and burrata" with a unique presentation of what used to be a homestyle Italian starter. The burrata cheese was whipped to cream consistency, set like a round tartlet with tomatoes and melon in the center as "filling". On the side was dots of balsamic vinegar with more caviar on top. It's richer than it looked with good complexity. We moved up with taste intensity with the next dish which was Brittany lobster and foie gras (can it be called surf n "surf", I wonder?) In the glass bowl was the chunks of tender lobster meat and fatty and smooth foie (gently seared) served with a creamy sauce made with rich chicken broth, girolle mushrooms and French yellow wine, and on top, lemon verbena for the aroma and plenty of Australian black truffles for the crunchiness and deep earthy taste. 

We were served a pair of main courses. The fish course was an interesting one, with the fillet of John Dory lightly battered and finished on the pan; on top was slices of peaches and underneath was zucchini puree and a vanilla cream sauce. What sounded more like a dessert worked surprisingly well as a savory dish, with the refreshing taste and accent of sweetness. The meat course was pigeon, but it's unlike the previous version the team prepared using cocoa nibs. Instead, this time it was coffee, using beans from Ethiopian for the distinct nutty, smoky taste infused in the whole pigeon breast slow-cooked inside a cocoa pod. The meat has amazing texture and I also love the rhubarb on the side for the balance of acidity and sweetness. 

Made the tough decision of bypassing cheese course as we were totally stuffed after the main courses and went straight to dessert. The sweet course was almost like an exact replica of our first course in terms of presentation with the cake topped with rings of peaches and rhubarb and a quenelle of verbena ice-cream. Went with two glasses for an easy afternoon. The blanc de blancs champagne poured by Viktor the sommelier as soon as we sat down was bone-dry with pleasant floral notes and good intensity. The Raveneau chablis - albeit the petit chablis - was not something one would see normally being offered by glass, and not only that, it's poured off a magnum. It was medium to full bodied, with good grip of citrus acidity and plenty of lemon verbena and ripe lemon. Maybe the simplest of the great Raveneau chablis portfolio, but nothing simple from this winemaker, just like the restaurant and the meals we had here no matter what time and what occasion. 

More photos:

When? July 17 2021
Where? Caprice, Level 6, Four Seasons Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? "John Dory, Fresh Peach, Mashed Zucchini and Arugula, Chardonnay Sauce"
Champagne Agrapart & Fils "Terroirs" Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs
2018 Domaine Francois Raveneau Petit Chablis (en Magnum)

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