Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Parisian Flair at Hysan Place


Food guest blogger hkLifestyleGeek visits Le Salon and give us her thoughts.
Le Salon is doing brisk business in Hysan Place, one of the few restaurant outlets in the mall that's doing well thanks to its combination of fine dining and small take-out counter for its prized croissants.

Here's a tip -- if you want to get your hands on those flaky, buttery double-baked croissants (HK$23) with various fillings including mango, tiramisu and chestnut, be sure to swing by the croissanterie before 1pm, otherwise there's no point in schlepping up 13 floors as I did once.

But, for some fine dining Gallic fare in a mall, this is the place to go. The interior is very classy with leather upholstered banquette seating and chairs and striped walls along with views of the Causeway Bay skyline.

We went in the evening, but we imagine during the day the place would definitely have a Parisian feel.

Practically everything on the menu is a classic bistro dish, but some have slight variations to keep things fresh, like the amuse bouche which was a creme brulee -- of foie gras.

Next came the steak tartar (HK$168), strongly seasoned with shallots and came accompanied with delicious McDonald's-like fries we could not stop eating.



For a seafood starter, there was a large bowl of mussels de Bouchote a la marinese (HK$158) that were on the small side, but good for sharing. They were flavourful in a white wine sauce with shallots and croutons and garnished with a sprig of thyme.



However we were quite disappointed by the bouillabaisse (HK$268). It arrived at the table with a large prawn, a piece of fish and clam before the broth was poured from a teapot. And how thin it was! We've been told it takes hours to make the bouillabaisse, the broth simmering in lots of shellfish and fresh seafood, but the end result is a diluted version of what should have intense bisque flavour.

Nevertheless, the chestnut soup (HK$168) made up for the bouillabaisse, a thick, hearty and richly-flavoured soup ideal for winter. It was very smooth and good to the last spoonful that we had to stop ourselves from licking the bowl.

We then had the mains, the duck confit (HK$198) were two duck legs that was seasoned with herbs and slow cooked in duck fat until it was tender. The legs were then pan fried for a crispy layer and the dish went very well with the orange slices.



A winner was the beef bourguignon (HK$268), thick cubes of braised beef on a bed of sinfully smooth buttery mashed potatoes, and came with a side dish of baby asparagus, carrots and a roasted cherry tomato. This was another hearty dish to warm up to in the cold season.



The dessert options are intriguing. The brulee waffle with strawberries and fresh cream (HK$88) is combination of the custard generously slathered on the waffles and then torched on top for the burnt sugar crust. It seemed strange at first, but it's a nice play on textures, soft and crunchy and not too sweet.

Another delish dessert is the mille feuille (HK$78), perfectly flaky layers of pastry that make it a good excuse not to share.

If you have trouble narrowing down what to order there are set menus available.

Bon appetit!

Le Salon Restaurant et Croissanterie
Shop 1304, 13/F, Hysan Place
500 Hennessy Road
Causeway Bay
2115 3328

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