Dining at Caprice

July 27, 2010 in Best Of, Food, Hong Kong, Travel by pacejmiller

Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, with the reflection showing the inside of Caprice

The latest restaurant to be awarded 3 Michelin Stars in Hong Kong is Caprice, making it only the second restaurant in Hong Kong to hold the prestigious honour (the other being Lung King Heen).

It was our last night in Hong Kong so we thought what the heck, we’ll go check it out.  Also at the Four Seasons Hotel, Caprice serves classy French cuisine cooked in plain sight (in a central kitchen) by top chefs.

Having been out for most of the day, we were notably underdressed for the occasion as almost everyone else there (except for the kids) were in suits and dresses.  On one side of our table sat some fancy American businessman and his wife.  On the other side, a bunch of wealthy mature housewives enjoying a loud night out.

We sat down at the dimly lit table overlooking the harbour and grabbed some fresh fruit juice to kick things off.  Seeing that this was literally a once-in-a-lifetime experience, we naturally went with the degustation (“Taste of Caprice”) menu.  Six courses plus dessert, I believe it was, though they were flexible enough to change certain dishes if you decide particular things aren’t for you.  They even let us have half a cheese plate and exchange the other half for a different dessert.

What about the food?  The food!  Was it worthy of 3 Michelin Stars?

(click on ‘more…’ to find out and see the pictures)

Yes, the food was divine.  Beautifully presented with an assortment of contrasting and complementary flavours.  As it turned out, it was the stuff that we wouldn’t normally eat that tasted the best of all.  As usual, I would say that the first few courses were better than the last few (ie the appetizers were better than the main courses).

Let’s have a look at some photos.

You get to choose from an assortment of complimentary bread -- I went with these two

I can't believe this is butter! Salted and unsalted.

Obsiblue Prawn and Caviar with Royale Cabanon Oyster and Yuzu Granité

Alaskan King Crab with Spring Tomato and Shellfish Sauce

Petit Gris Snails Fricassee with Japanese Black Garlic Emulsion and Parsley Coulis

Steamed Duck Foie Gras with Saffron Fennel, Liquorice and Orange Blossom Foam

Above were the courses before the mains — and as I said, they were the best, especially the first one with the raw prawn which was unexpected excellent.  The next best would have to be the snails, though the other two were also exquisite.

It took a while for the courses to come on (they were pretty busy), and in between each course a waiter would come over to check up on us, refill the water and make sure we were happy with everything.  Nothing wrong with that, except that are forced to stand there and smile and make hopeless small talk.  It was very amusing.

Below are the main courses — you get a choice of two and we selected one each.

Bresse Guinea Fowl Breast with Wild Mushrooms and Olive Oil Mash Potato

Monkfish Fillet with Smoked Bread Crumb and Brittany Artichokes in Sercial Madeira Sauce

I must say, while the chicken was pretty good (tender and all), the monkfish didn’t do a whole lot for me.  That foam is the Sercial Madeira sauce — it had nothing to do with me.

Next, the cheese platter.  Two waiters brought this massive wooden bench over to our table and plonked it right beside us.  They went through each cheese, one by one, and we got to choose a few to sample.  I have no idea about cheese but some of them were really strong, and we chose the “weaker” ones.

The cheese platter...or is it board...or log?

It was around about this point the highlight of the entire night happened.  You see, when we came in, the waiter offered to put my man bag (it’s European!) on a little stool which he kept beside my chair.  During the night, I picked up the bag to check on my phone, and when I put it back, I left the strap dangling.  Then the waiter came over to do something and when he left he tripped on the strap and went sprawling face first into the ground.  The way he fell was so classic, but at the same time he tried to remain composed and appear as though nothing had happened.  It was hard to keep a straight face, and when he left my wife asked me why I tripped him, and it was at that point that I lost it.

Anyway, after the cheese came the desserts.  We swapped one of the cheese platters for an additional dessert, so we ended up getting a few.

I can't remember what this is but it was definitely something...

Cavaillon Melon with Biscuit de Gêne and Aromatic Mint Cream

Tainori Chocolate Delight with Fresh Lychee and Samba Sorbet

The dessert was good but not spectacular in my opinion.  The chocolate one at the end had sorbet that was already half melted, which never should have happened!  Maybe it was because the waiter thought I had tripped him…

In all, Caprice was a pretty pleasurable experience.  Personally I wouldn’t call it one of the best restaurants I’ve been to (especially for the prices) but I can’t complain about the quality of the food across the board.

8 out of 10