Monday, August 18, 2014

Francesco, by Franck Muller

 When I arrived at the Franck Muller watch store,  I was not really sure where is their restaurant space – it turned out it was actually upstairs on the first floor.   Us and a bunch of other foodies were invited over to try out their new menu items,  and whilst it was exciting in a sense and thoughtful,  somehow the biggest impact about this place has on me is that I didn’t expect the food to be so affordable.  Not as affordable as nearby Fiat Caffe,  but for the quality of food it was definitely reasonably priced.   



Bar and Table Area -



Slow cooked Abalone & Japanese Daikon,
with Sauce of Bonito, Soy, Sake & Seaweed – $138
Quite Japanese in concept,  this was cooked well and tender.   However I personally prefer more sauce.   ~  7/10





Hokkaido Octopus Salad,  Pickles and Basil Dressing – $138
This was my one of favorite dishes.  The Octopus texture was so bounciful right,  the dressing was just right.   Initially I thought this dish could have been bigger,  but looking back on the price of only $138,   it was reasonable.   ~  8/10



Hokkaido King Crab Leg Salad,  Cherry Tomatoes with Cilantro Lemon Dressing – $138
This was pretty decent and fresh.   The price tag was also about right.   ~  7/10




Japanese Mentaiko Cream Sauce Spaghetti with Sea Grapes and Japanese Mushrooms – $148
Probably the only disappointing dish of the night.   The concept was sound and I liked the presence of sea grapes!  But somehow the Mentaiko roes taste was missing and so was the mushrooms part.  *Apparently they have since fixed it since this visit and review.    ~  6/10



Baked Chicken Casserole on Japonica Rice,  Scallion & Ginger – $208
This felt a bit Chinese to me,  but in a way you tend to forgive it when it’s served in Le Creuset ware!   The chicken was nicely brown,  and the rice cooked accurately.   I personally think I won’t order this again at $208 but it’s cooking accuracy was spot-on indeed,  if not a bit too Chinese fusioned.   ~  6.9/10




Black Cod Saikyo Yaki with Bonito Onigiri rice balls – $268
The miso marination wasn’t too apparent,  and the black cod texture was not as smooth as the one served at say NOBU,  which is like a global litmus test!   This was fair on it’s own but unfortunately,  NOBU has set such a high benchmark for this dish in comparison.   ~  6/10




Stewed Wagyu Beef Cheek in Signature Sauce,  with Inaniwa Udon – $228
This was a little spicy but very tender,  instantly likable.   ~  7.5/10



Grilled Boston Lobster on Japonica Rice in Lobster Bisque – $248
A signature dish here,  this was so likeable.  There wasn’t an abundance of lobster bisque taste in the rice,  but it is Japanese rice grains and not Risotti rice,  which both are related in DNA.  I liked the concept behind this and the plus is that the lobster was grilled really well and slightly charred.  ~  8/10




Stuffed French Chicken - with Shiitake,  Button, Golden Chanterelle Mushrooms,  Spinach.  With Asparagus,  Carrots and Mushroom Gravy.   $268
My favorite dish,  this was stuffed with an array of fragrant ingredients especially the mushrooms.  The meat was tender and aromatic by HK context.   At this pricing point,  it is quite reasonable as there’s a lot of work and effort to create this dish.  ~  8/10  




Dessert Platter of Tiramisu,  Panna Cotta with Mango & Passionfruit Coulis,  Chocolate Mousse with Almond Cookies – $198
I find it hard to rate desserts in Hong Kong as always.   Compared to Paris and Japan,  you can always pick out the minor differences instantly in recipes and taste.  The ones here looked very presentable though. 


Mixed Berries Napolean,  Chocolate Brownie with Strawberry Mousse,  Chocolate Roulade with Ice Cream – $198
Before I walked into Francesco,  my expectation was that this will be higher Fine Dining,  especially when thinking about the Franck Muller watch brand name behind the concept.   Yet I came in and walked out thinking it was reasonably priced and thoughtful,  mostly smart casual food and desserts.   It definitely appeals to the younger crowd and on the night of visit,  we saw some young models eating here to celebrate too.   Most people were impressed with here for their new change as a conceptual restaurant addition,  and not going all out to become another pretentious or pricey restaurant just to support the Franck Muller brand name.   This approach is definitely respectable in today’s HK Dining Scene.   Highly recommendable at this price point!




Price:  Around $300 + 10% per person
Food:  ♕♕♕♕

Address: 銅鑼灣霎東街15-21號2樓
2/F,  Sharp Street, Causeway Bay,  Hong Kong
Ph:  2153 3136

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