Incredible foie gras at Le Monde d’ Ulysse (Hong Kong)
It seems my food posts are a little backed up too.
Last year I was in Hong Kong to celebrate my wife’s birthday, and a friend recommended Le Monde d’ Ulysse, a best-kept-secret-type French restaurant that specializes in foie gras, or goose liver. I won’t profess to be a French cuisine connoisseur or a regular sampler of this delicacy, but I have had a few in my time and believe I can tell the good foie gras from the average from the bad. And Le Monde d’ Ulysse’s foie gras is one of the best I’ve ever had.
Located in an alleyway in Central, Le Monde d’ Ulysse is a tiny little restaurant (20 seats max) best known for its spectacular foie gras and fresh oysters. The store is owned and operated by a couple who have lived in France for years and insist on only using the best and freshest produce. They have apparently been asked by hotels and businessmen interested in franchising the store but refused on the grounds that it would compromise the quality of the cuisine.
The store’s ambiance is therefore not one of a high class French restaurant — it has more of a family feel — but the service is top notch and they have no problem patiently describing each item on the menu items to clueless patrons like myself. The price is also very reasonable for what you get — from memory it’s about HK$300-400 (AU$43-58) per person for 3-4 courses. I hear lunch sets are around half that price.
And the food. Wow, the food.
To start off we got two soups — an oyster and mushroom — and both came with fresh bread. Both were incredible — full and flavoursome with a natural taste and not too heavy. The bread was also nice and fluffy.
Next came the main courses.
We got a pan-fried foie gras, of course, which came with an assortment of different condiments to spice up the flavours a little bit. But to be honest this foie gras was perfect as it was and didn’t even need anything else. Pan-fried to perfection, the outside was slightly crispy and the inside melts in your mouth. The mix of textures was amazing.
The second main was a pan-fried duck confit with mushrooms and potato. The duck still had its crispy skin on and it was a little on the oily side (as confit is cooked with the duck’s own fat), but the meat inside was so soft and succulent that it almost tasted like chicken. Not a lot of sauces with this one as the natural flavour of the duck with some salt was good enough.
The mains looked too good to pass up, so we ended up getting a third main, a lamb cutlet. No complaints here as the lamb was extremely juicy and tender. Another dish that really brought out the essence of the main ingredient without a lot of fancy condiments or complimentary sides.
For dessert, we got a free birthday chocolate cake, a mango sorbet and a strawberry creme brûlée. I wouldn’t say dessert is their biggest forte but it was still really really good.
In all it was simply a fantastic meal highlighted by some of the best foie gras I’ve ever tasted. A tasty, friendly and scrumptious experience.
Le Monde d’ Ulysse
Address: G/F 9 Gage Street, Central, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 2526 2621
Hours: 12pm-2pm, 7pm-11pm
Open Rice website: http://www.openrice.com/english/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=11229