Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Hong Kong] Caprice

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Caprice

Address: 6F Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 3196-8888
Hours: 12:00pm~2:30pm, 6:00pm~10:30pm
Website: www.fourseasons.com/hongkong/dining/caprice/
Prices: [lunch] 460~520HKD + 10%/set, [dinner] 1000+ HKD
Visited on: 2011-12-23

Caprice barely needs an introduction. The only French restaurant in Hong Kong with three Michelin stars, Caprice is led by Chef Vincent Thierry (ex-Le Cinq of Four Seasons Hôtel George V, Paris), who orchestrates a contemporary French menu around seasonal and imported ingredients, many air-flown in from France. All these takes place in surroundings of opulent gold, custom-made Swarovski crystal chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling windows, a spectacular vista of the Victoria Harbour, and a chandeliered open-kitchen as the focal point. Even the air smells elegant.

Caprice

Swarovski chandelier 

Open kitchen

It is also worth mentioning that the maître d’, pastry chef and sommelier all have Le Cinq on their résumés. An impressive lineup, for sure.

Plating

Bubblies

Table setting

Lunch sets at Caprice are priced at 460HKD for two courses and 520HKD for three with an additional 10% service charge. As it was my first visit to Caprice, I simply took the waiter’s recommendations. No fuss.

Lunch set menu

Four Seasons 

Garlic herb bread stick

First arrived a selection of breads, served with salted and unsalted Bordier butter. This hand-churned, ultra premium butter is made with cream from the milk of cows that graze on organic farms in Normandy and Brittany. The result? A slightly sour and supremely creamy butter. The best way to enjoy this butter, according to Bordier himself, is to “place a small chunk on a piece of bread – or on the tip of a knife, finger or fork – and slip it gently onto the tongue. There, it begins to melt immediately, flooding the mouth with flavors that evoke spring flowers, warm sun, sea air and lightly toasted hazelnuts.” Mmm…this is not the time to be counting calories.

Bread & butter

Of course I had to try all four types of bread: sesame, olive, whole wheat, and baguette – the first and the last were my favorites.

Sesame, olive, whole wheat, baguette 

Baguette

The amuse bouche, poached quail egg with chestnut cream nestled within an egg shell, was a dainty start.

Amuse Bouche

Poached Quail Egg with Chestnut Cream

Our first course, Free Range Chicken, Foie Gras and Artichoke Terrine in Walnut Vinnaigrette, came beautifully plated. Cubes of chicken, foie gras, and artichoke were pieced together with chicken stock jelly, wrapped around with leek, then encircled by a delicate mix of walnuts and mushrooms. Clean taste, but it seemed to be missing something. I was, however, very impressed by the chicken, and later found out that Caprice imports the highly sought after Bresse chicken. This breed originates from the Bresse area of the Rhône-Alpes region of France and is reared to exacting standards by small farms in a small designated area around the city. The quality is easily discernible – an inimitable gamey flavor with fine, tender flesh.

Free Range Chicken, Foie Gras and Artichoke Terrine in Walnut Vinnaigrette

Free Range Chicken, Foie Gras and Artichoke Terrine in Walnut Vinnaigrette

Our other first course was Shellfish Bisque, Fondant Daikon and Alaskan King Crab Ravioli. The bisque, though rich with flavors of the ocean, was slightly on the salty side and drowned the subtle taste of the Alaskan king crab ravioli.

Shellfish Bisque, Fondant Daikon and Alaskan King Crab Ravioli

Alaskan King Crab Ravioli

For main course, we first tried Wild Boar Parmentier, Celery Root Mash and Cranberry Jam in Natural Jus. Wild boar meat is leaner and in a deeper red than domestic pork, and tastes somewhat like a cross between venison and beef. Though too salty (again), this was a very nice dish with dynamic layers of textures and flavors – the crunchy croutons and tangy cranberry jam especially brought the dish alive.

Wild Boar Parmentier, Celery Root Mash and Cranberry Jam in Natural Jus 

Wild Boar Parmentier, Celery Root Mash and Cranberry Jam in Natural Jus 

Wild Boar Parmentier, Celery Root Mash and Cranberry Jam in Natural Jus 

Our other main course, Tiger Prawns a la Plancha, Carrot Puree, Sesame Pastilla and Sweet Spice Infusion, was pleasant but less memorable.

Tiger Prawns a la Plancha, Carrot Puree, Sesame Pastilla and Sweet Spice Infusion

Tiger Prawns a la Plancha, Carrot Puree, Sesame Pastilla and Sweet Spice Infusion

Tiger Prawns a la Plancha, Carrot Puree, Sesame Pastilla and Sweet Spice Infusion

For desserts, Pecan Nut Profiteroles, Quince and Hazelnut. Airy and crispy puff pastries were filled with quince sorbet, topped withhazelnut cream and a crunchy pecan, then drizzled with hazelnut sauce. Light, yet perfectly satisfying.

Pecan Nut Profiteroles, Quince and Hazelnut

Pecan Nut Profiteroles, Quince and Hazelnut

We finished the meal with a cup of coffee and petit fours, the most memorable being the caramel candies and the madeleines.

Coffee & Petit Fours

The dishes at Caprice are refreshing, yet rich in flavor. I wasn’t wowed (like I was by a meal at Quintessence), but was happy with the experience especially at the 460~520HKD price point. Most definitely worth mentioning was the professional service – prompt, attentive, pleasant, and never intrusive. I also heard that Caprice has Hong Kong’s widest selection of artisanal cheeses and a wine list to match. I might just have to come back again.


Caprice

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Written by sugarednspiced

January 1st, 2012 at 12:12 pm