Thursday, December 22, 2022

Get A Room

A dinner conversation with friends one evening led us to a weekend lunch at Caprice a few months later. We haven't been back since mid summer so when our friend suggested that we organized one for a bigger group, we obliged and made the booking.

There are no better place to host a serious meal than the private room at Caprice, located at the far end of the dining room with a long table which can seat up to 12 comfortably, tastefully decorated with an unobstructed harbor view from the window. We told the kitchen team most of us have not visited the restaurant for a while, so they got us a tasting menu with a few classics. 

We began with something seasonal and refreshing and remarkably "Caprice" - Gaboriau Fine de Claire oysters were at its best during winter months and it's served with celariac puree and green apply jelly underneath plus a generous quenelle of Kaviari Kristal caviar on the side. Almost felt like a caviar tasting of sorts with a second caviar dish right after, this time another signature dish with picked king crab with crustacean jelly and Oscietre Prestige caviar, also from Kaviari Paris. Both dishes featured clean umami flavor with a strong hint of minerality balanced with a touch of acidity. 

The next few courses highlighted the many unique and perfectly done sauces that have evolved over the years since Chef Guillaume took over at this iconic restaurant.  Langoustine was our first warm course of the afternoon with the whole piece (from Norway) deshelled, gently poached and served with the intense "ruby sauce". I never asked Chef Guillaume his secret recipe of the sauce but I am guessing a crustacean bisque base with added tomatoes, black berries, and beetroot for this interesting combination of savory and sweet flavor. On the side was another unique combo of beetroot and cocoa which brought a dimension of nutty and slightly bitter flavor for balance. 

We were told the piece of Kinmedai (goldeneye snapper) only arrived at the kitchen before noon, jetted in fresh from Japan. The fillet was slow cooked on the stove and served with razor clam mousse and fennel ragout underneath plus champagne sauce and oh, more caviar. The fatty texture of the fish worked very well with the acidity of the sauce and the razor clam and caviar added the umami taste in the flavor profile. 

Once again, the sauce was the highlight for the main course of pigeon, roasted whole in a cocoa pod and carved into serving portion with the sauce prepared with jus reduction and cocoa. The cocoa intensified the sauce with an astringency umami hint. On the side was a soft pumpkin "flan" for the sweetness and also the pigeon leg confit. 

Cheeseboard has been the staple at this restaurant since Day One and we were served a nice and long sample this time, including our all time favorite of the well-aged Comte. Meanwhile, dessert was a new dish inspired by the classic Christmas pudding, with a spongy raisin cake topped with coffee ice-cream and caramel espuma.

We did with a mix of our own bottles and a couple from their award-winning wine list. The bottle of champagne came to life nicely in a relatively young age, with white flower aroma, ripe pear and apple and marzipan on the palate with good acidity. The Chardonnay from Jura got a good balance of minerality and acidity made it a good match with the seafood courses. The 2003 Montrose was outstanding and fully matured and paired extremely well with the pigeon dish with rich, black berries and hint of cocoa and wood and rounded tannins having spent almost 2 decades in bottle. The Austrian pinot was almost like an "encore" that we added onto the flight unplanned, with a more restrained palate from a colder wine region but with a medium body and notes of red berries, earth and low tannins, I enjoyed it very much with the cheese and even to the rich dessert. 

People always said it's the company that matters, but hey, having some good food and good wines at the same time won't hurt too. 

More photos in my Flickr album: 

When? December 3 2022
Where? Caprice, Level 6, Four Seasons Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Hong Kong
Menu Highlights? Langoustine from Norway, Beetroot and Chocolate with Ruby Sauce
Champagne Henri Giraud Ay Grand Cru Brut, MV16
2020 Philippe Bornard et Albert Ponnelle Les Viandris Chardonnay, AOC Arbois-Pupillin
2003 Chateau Montrose, AOC St-Estephe
2015 Weingut Brundlmayer Pinot Noir, Kamptal, Austria

No comments :