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Caprice in the Four Seasons – a true Hong Kong 3* Michelin

It is Michelin season here in Hong Kong as the 2011 guide has just been released. The big news is that there is a new Chinese 3* Michelin restaurant in Town – Sun Tung Lok – which specialises in sharkfin. This means Hong Kong allegedly has three 3* Michelin restaurants – Lung King Heen, Caprice and Sun Tung Lok.

As usual the normal grumblings exist saying either (i) Michelin are handing out stars willy nilly to sell guides or (ii) the Michelin guide isn’t relevant outside of France and that it doesn’t understand the Hong Kong food scene. So I thought it might be a good excuse to go and eat in a couple of the 3* places to test it out. So, off I dedicatedly went to Caprice in the Four Seasons and Sun Tung Lok up in TST. This post is about Caprice, the next about Sun Tung Lok. Six theoretical stars in two restaurants. So what’s the reality?

Pumpkin veloute, black sesame cappucino and sacristain

I went to Caprice with a friend from New York who has now been working in Hong Kong for six months and had given up on having serious European food here. Awful meals at Gaia (Zagat Top 10), Felix, Ole and everywhere in Soho have left her suspicious of any menus which aren’t primarily in Mandarin. Luckily Caprice with its chef, Vincent Thierry, was the place to restore her faith.

Japanese scallops a la plancha, oriental lentils in cucumber and yoghurt sauce

I don’t need to trouble myself too much with words in this review as Caprice is quite simply a 3* Michelin restaurant based in Hong Kong. Nothing describes it with greater ease.

Opulent surroundings, effortless service, big view, French food. However, it also glimmers with something a bit more interesting, a slight concession to location. I only want to talk about one dish properly, my starter, as it defines the meal for me.

Stewed lamb shoulder, mash potato, young carrots and green olives

It was a pumpkin soup with a black sesame foam. Like all the food in Hong Kong the constituent ingredients are imported from elsewhere – likely USA and China – but its result reflected the international many world mess that makes Hong Kong so special. The American-esque ingredient of pumpkin combined with the classic style Asian dessert of black sesame seeds in a foam. Quite frankly fantastic.

Caramelised apple tart, cinnamon mousee and green apple sorbet

This was only a working lunch and a run through the set menu so I don’t think it is the time or place to go into a definitive breakdown of the Caprice. However, consider me impressed. Interestingly the one let down in the meal was on what they were so renouned for – the cheeses. Caprice is known for having a “cheese sommelier” with cheeses from Bernard Antony but the cheeses which we chosen for us were nothing special apart from one wonderful decomposing blue and I preferred the selection at Amber.

  • Price – 500hkd and upwards
  • Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance Street Central, Hong Kong

PS next post is Sun Tung Lok which you can now find here

6 Comments

  1. Wow! That’s some serious food p0rn going on there! Looks utterly fantastic and seems like decent value compared to other 3* restaurants.

    • Expensive meals are proportionally cheaper here for some reason. Especially at lunch. Also the fact that I am having an alcohol sabbatical is helping the finances as well.

      That said, just visited Singapore and had a look at the set tasting menus at places there. Pretty much all the serious places are 200 quid a head!

  2. Kay

    Yippee…a worthy place to try when I next stop over in HK??

    • Hey Kay – already mentioned it on Twitter but probably not. There are a lot of cool local places that I would suggest.

      There are a couple I haven’t been to yet which are highly rated – The Chairman and Tim’s Kitchen – that you might want to have a look at!

      Tom

  3. I was going to reserve comment until i read your next post as i think that the two make a great compare and contrast in Michelin cuisine. But i just had to pop in and say: “working lunch!” You get a 3 * working lunch! I am plainly in the wrong job.

    • Haha – well work work didn’t pay… But the comparison is interesting and, I will suggest, very unflattering to Michelin’s HK Asian picks.

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