Terroir Parisien and Kishoku, Hong Kong
Parisian super-chef Yannick Alléno opened his first Hong Kong establishment in August 2017. The cheerful bistro-style eatery is surprisingly affordable given its high-end location in Central’s Prince’s Building. There’s an open kitchen, island bar and two seating areas with booths and tables. Stylish black-and-white photos line the walls, while stainless-steel tables and paper table mats reminded me of my favorite café-bistros in Paris’s Montmartre district.
Starters include obvious staples like onion soup and oven roasted Camembert alongside some more intriguing choices. We opted for
Caviar de lentilles et blinis (“Beluga” lentils with nutmeg crème fraîche and warm blinis; HK$88/$11 US) and Bouchées de champignons de Paris aux escargots (snails baked in a Paris mushroom cap with parsley and garlic butter; HK$158/$20 US). The flavors were smooth and delicate, the snails fantastic, the lentils perhaps a little bland, needing slightly more nutmeg. From 12 main dishes, we picked
“Pilafaela” de noix de coquille Saint-Jacques (sea scallops cooked over simmered rice pilaf in an aromatic broth; HK$288/$37 US) and
Navarin printanier d’agneau (lamb shoulder ragu with seasonal vegetables; HK$348/$45 US). The scallops were cooked to perfection but it was the meatiness of the pilaf rice – cooked in a chicken broth – that most impressed me. The lamb, meanwhile, was smothered in fresh carrots, green beans and peas, flanked by tasty new potatoes and swimming in a delicious sauce – superb, hearty fare.
The signature dessert, Saint-Honoré (caramelized choux pastry, kirsch custard and Chantilly cream; HK$88/$11 US) was sinfully good, especially with its creamy combinations of texture.
The wine list is exclusively French; we tried a crispy sauvignon blanc and an excellent merlot-cabernet franc blend.
VERDICT A great place that largely succeeds in replicating a typical Parisian bistro. The hearty French fare is cooked very well, presented nicely and very good value. A fun place for an enjoyable meal in the heart of Hong Kong.