Friday, May 23, 2014

Le French GourMay Menu at Café Causette -

 HK Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s Café Causette is currently doing a French Lyon style Bouchon menu until the end of May.   We arrived later than usual during the month but it is never too late to report back the good news.   I even came here 2 nights in a role by coincidence with arrangements.   The 2014 French Le GourMay menu is more focused on Rhone Valley wines and the nearby Lyon food items,  which is otherwise known as the ancestry root of French gastronomy.




Some Wines -
Actually this was my 3rd visit within 2 weeks somehow to be precise. 
So some Pinot Noir during lunch.



Cheese Bread Loaf -
This is one of the main reasons we return to here often,  isn’t it?   ~  8/10





Spring Rolls -
I think they had too much julienned vegetables within,  which after frying,  released a bit too much water moisture and also slightly oily.   As a food snob it is easy to criticize on these points,  but try making it yourself is the ultimate benchmark as a litmus test.   ~  6.9/10



Chicken Rice Set – $280
Not my 1st time having this but it was the 1st time I was more impressed,  especially with the really fragrant rice with chicken and herbs flavour,  together with individual rice grains.   The sauces were also the same as you will find in Singapore,  which is slightly different from the Hainan versions.  The chicken is decently tasty although I think it is still a close 2nd or 3rd to HK Grand Hyatt’s Café.   Yet the rice and also soup and sauces here were easily more convincing to me.   In fact,  this chicken set is quite expensive but it performs better than Singapore Mandarin’s Chatterbox these days.   ~  8/10


Beef Pho Bo -
I didn’t try this but at $200+ a pop,  this looked a bit inauthentic.  My dining friend said this was just ok but not too shabby,  if not looking too right even at a hotel pricing point.   ~  N/A



Baguette Bread for Le French GourMay -



Kitchen -
I noticed they use a Lava Rock Grill for their meat items.


Kir Royal -
Made with Champagne and Cassis,  one of my favorite aperitifs.  


Seared St Jacques Scallops,  Jerusalem Artichoke puree,   Steamed and Fried Artichokes with Barigoule Dressing – $228
I love Jerusalem artichokes but they aren’t actually artichokes but a root vegetable,  but here it’s combined with the seasonal artichokes in 2 textures,  a smart combination.  The scallops for once were seared well to medium-rare although remaining almost meaty.  ~  7.5/10


Pork Pate de Campagne with Plum and Pistachio – $178
Served with a drop dead gorgeous spicy Grape Chutney,  also cornichons and crusty bread.  The French Breakfast radishes were surprisingly served as a whole.  The Pate itself was chunky and had a nice meat and alcoholic taste,  together with the fruits and nuts.  Definitely one of the best courses tonight.  It is just missing a bit of fat though it’s good for a Hotel setting.   ~  9/10


Goat Cheese and Zucchini & Eggplant Tart Provencal – $178
The pastry was nice,  the goat cheese component was surprisingly not too gamey or grassy.  This is more approachable than it sounds on the menu.   For mild cheese lovers,  this is really built for you.  If you have a strong palate for stinky cheese,   I think the baked Crottin de Chavignol also available was also exceptional.   ~  7/10



Andouilette Pork and Veal Chitterlings sausage,  Choucroute & Crispy Potato Strips – $258
The portion was bigger than I imagined,  it is priced really well.  The slightly stinky aroma was quite potent actually,  I like it how the prestigious Mandarin Oriental Hotel thinks it is cool to present such a powerful dish and which might affect the next table’s appetite,   just for the sake of promoting their Lyon Bouchon concept.  As a foodie this is always appreciated and always educational.   ~  9/10



Pan Roasted Skate Wing,  Brown Butter sauce,  Fennel and Lemon Salad – $288
This is a dish which is very unique in Hong Kong,  although my friends were right.  It was grilled crispy on the outside but a tad too dry inside,  and I think it needed more beurre noisette sauce or just some creaminess somehow.   ~  6/10




A Glass of Volnay Premium Cru -
Initially it has the forest berries note when it finally opened up,  but interestingly this carried a graphite note after waiting for 30 minutes, which wasn’t so apparent before.


Seafood Bouillabaise – $258 for Two
This had trimmed potatoes inside,  and lots of clams and mussels,  but to me can do with more fishes.  The usual rouille on the side,  was more like an aioli and not much saffron or chili input.   I initially thought there should be more soup to be a true bouillabaise,  but the bottom was lined with a thickly reduced seafood broth which I came to appreciate.   ~  6.9/10




photo 3-1
Bernard Antony Cheeses – $188
A bargain if you ask me.   Here we had a Livarot that isn’t as usually ripe,  but the crispy crust had a strong Crustacean or Salted fish taste to it.  It really grew on me as this is not a usual livarot representation but it was so unique.  The Bleu de Sassenage was my next favourite,  it is sharp and tangy but not too salty,  but it was the slightly powdery gritty base which intrigued me,  as no other blue cheeses ever gave me this sensation.  The other Camembert,  Buche du Gers,  Comte,  Pelardon were also good athough a bit young,  which when eating Summer cheeses,  I don’t mind.   Everyone is different in their opinions.  ~  9/10

Tarte Fine de Pomme Apple – $98
The tart looked really neat,  the pastry was buttery.  The Vanilla ice cream on the warmish tart,  surprisingly didn’t melt at all even after taking photos for a while.   This was neat looking.   ~  8/10


“ile Flottante”  Floating Island -  $98
The egg white meringues were poached well and smooth,  served in a vanilla crème sauce.  A lovely and classical dessert.   ~  8/10


Chocolate Macarons only for Le GourMay Menu -
Presented on top of a bed of cocoa nibs.  These macarons were actually dense in both shell and fillings,  but the taste was excellent with the quality dark chocolate.  Really wanted more of these but can’t fit them in.   ~  8/10


photo 4-1
Oh more Rhone Cotes du Rhone wines -  $850
This was recommended by the staff,  it was really complex and lovely for the price.



photo 5-1
Baked Crottin de Chavignol with Pear & Walnut Salad – $188
Usually Crottin de Chavignol is such an accessible cheese and affordable,  but it happens to me one of my favourites as it can be really refreshing though gamey.  This baked version was done well enough,  the side salad was also seasoned to be likeable.   I still think somehow that the baguette slices can be sliced thinner though,  as it is not easy to bite it through with the cheese easily.   ~  8/10 




Price:  $350 – $850 + 10% Per Person  (This was a review over 3 separate recent meals)
Food:  ♕♕♕♕ - ♕♕♕♕ 1/2

Address:  中環干諾道中5號香港文華東方酒店 Level M
Level M, Mandarin Oriental Hotel,  5 Connaught Road, Central,  Hong Kong
Ph:  2825 4005

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