Monday, February 17, 2014
Just off the edge of Central the neighbourhood of Kau U Fong is fast becoming a popular dining destination with its eclectic mix of restaurants. The Chairman has been there for a while as well as Celebrity Cuisine in the Lan Kwai Fong Hotel, but now there's also 85 South bringing barbecued pork from North Carolina.
And the latest addition is Le Port Parfume, French for the Fragrant Harbour, part of the Les Amis Group that includes Piccolo Pizza and Bistro du Vin. The dishes at Le Port Parfume are cooked European style -- mostly grilled and braised in Le Creuset pots and pans on a Josper grill, while the seafood is freshly caught locally.
The bistro is cozy and warm, with lots of dark wood, leather banquettes and wooden chairs. There's some French posters on the walls, boating knick knacks and a large collection of wines that servers fetch using a ladder used in old school libraries, and whiskies too. By the way feel free to bring your own wines -- there's no corkage here.
To keep things fresh, the menu is presented on a blackboard that is shown to diners and there's lots to choose from. There are many appetisers to choose from, such as the smoked eggplant with greens that has that wonderful smoky scent and the spread goes well with the bread, while crab cakes are chubby and substantial with a side of greens as well.
For those who love clams, be sure to try the butterfly clams whenever they are available at the restaurant. They are bigger than the usual clams you find in local markets and much meatier. Sweet and succulent, these clams are cooked in a mild curry sauce with a good dose of minced garlic and fresh coriander.
Other seafood options include grilled lobsters that are freshly cooked on the hot Josper grill, pan-fried prawns, and scallops cooked in their shells.
Carnivores will enjoy savouring the lamb spare ribs with peas -- the meat falling off the bone, and the braised beef cheeks are very hearty with a side of mashed potatoes. For a more delicate taste, the tea-smoked pigeon is tender and perfectly cooked.
Finish the meal off with French desserts, like freshly-baked Madeleines accompanied with a scoop of chocolate ice cream, or the floating island, actually a triangular piece of meringue surrounded by creme anglaise. It's light but you'll have a sugar rush from the caramel sauce.
There's an extensive selection of French wines to go with the meal and if you prefer by the glass, they are reasonably priced and are poured from a magnum for a more dramatic effect.
Le Port Parfume
Shop C, 6-10 Kau U Fong