A journey across the Michelin starred French restaurants in HK

In 2010, we set out on a quest to try out all the Michelin-starred French restaurants in HK island. Here was the list (per the 2010 guide):

3 stars – Caprice

2 stars – Amber; L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon; Petrus

1 star – Cepage; Pierre

It’s taken a few years (there are only so many special occasions to justify the indulgence :-)), and a few ratings have since changed, but the quest finally culminated with a dinner at Pierre last weekend.

Here’s a round up of my take on these restaurants.

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L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (The Landmark building) – THE WINNER!

This one’s my favorite! The quality of food, the flexibility of menu choices and value for money just keep beckoning us back, again and again (and part culprit for the Michelin trail to have taken so long). The view of the open kitchen and the counter top seating makes it a nice, relaxed experience (though not really appropriate for dining in a group of more than 3). Quite honestly, if I could have nothing but Le Burger for the rest of my life, I would be a happy, happy girl (even though my arteries may not)! In 2012, it was upgraded to (a thoroughly deserved) three stars.

Caprice (The Four Seasons Hotel) – CLOSE RUNNER UP

Perfect for special celebrations… Fine dining at its best. Divine food complemented by absolutely flawless service. I can’t wait to go back for their Japanese Wagyu Striploin (and I must shamefully admit that I asked to take the leftovers home… and even enjoyed them the next day!)

Pierre (The Mandarin Oriental Hotel)

In terms of ambience, I would rate it the highest among the six, lovely place for a romantic dinner. The dishes are complex, suggestive of molecular gastronomy and the amuse bouche platter is quite a spread!

Amber (The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel)

Amber has been ranked among the world’s 50 best restaurants. The food, the ambience and the service, all hit the spot. Maybe my taste just isn’t as discerning… but there just wasn’t any one thing outstanding, except perhaps that chandelier… the memory of which has certainly lingered on.

Petrus (The Island Shangri-La Hotel)

Breathtaking views from the 56th floor of the Island Shang. Classy décor and harp music… very old-world and very charming. The service unfortunately does not measure up. Little wonder then, that it no longer has the Michelin stars.

Cepage (Wing Fung Street)

Cepage serves Japanese-French fusion cuisine. It just didn’t cut it for me, but seems to appeal to others… seeing as it retains its star rating year after year. I thought I might have been unfair and should give this place a second chance, but it seems they have or will soon be closing down. That’s Hong Kong for you!

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Of course, taste in food and décor is a matter of personal preference, and service experience may well vary from one occasion to another… so tell me if you’ve been and what you think of these places!

P.S. Spoon by Alain Ducasse entered the list in 2012 with 2 stars. Located in the InterContinental in Kowloon, it technically isn’t on HK island. But guess where we might be headed for A’s birthday next month ;-)? (UPDATED – check out the review of Spoon here)

P.P.S. The 2013 list can be found here.