La Fourchette has taken over where La Cité used to be, a revamp we appreciated compared to the earlier outdated dishes from its predecessor. The newcomer meets the present times defined as a ‘modern French bistro’ and is ready to satisfy the urbanites passing through Pacific Place. I am not too sure whether the nationality is very accurate when the French menu is diluted from accommodating international dishes including Vietnamese and Italian specialities. One thing is for sure, you will leave feeling as satisfied as after enjoying a hearty meal in France.
La Fourchette is divided into three areas that make this venue versatile and varied. One can go to the Bistro Moderne for lunch or dinner, but also to La Cave for a drink after work or to recharge your batteries at La Terrasse after you shopped till you dropped. Each section has its own distinct display and menu depending on your mood or appetite. La Cave proudly exhibits the only ‘enomatic machine’ in Hong Kong; this wonderful piece of engineering allows the serving of wines by the glass inhibiting the oxidation of the open bottles. A mouthwatering spread of sweet and savoury home baked pastries, sandwiches and other exquisite morsels are on the La Terrase. The heart of La Fourchette, though, is in the Bistro Moderne occupying most of this establishment and where we savoured our wholesome meal. Patrice Gabet, the executive chef, came over to share his advice when it was clear the diverse menu was somewhat bewildering. The talkative Frenchman helped us choose what we were about to taste.
His recommendations started with a broad selection of appetizers including Crab cakes, Salmon rillettes and Vietnamese fresh Spring rolls. The small warm cakes were crisply fried and gave way to the subtle fresh crabmeat centre. The salmon rillettes were original and more delicate than the original pork classic. The Vietnamese rolls on the other hand, were less memorable especially the fresh version as the rice wraps weren’t bound tightly and the filling fell apart before I had a chance to take a bite.
The stars of the evening were the mains and each plate that landed on the table was a feast before our eyes. The saffron-infused risotto topped with a fiery red lobster exposed, tantalized our taste buds as it looked like sunshine on a plate. The meat dishes of the neatly arranged duck confit and the seasonal venison were superior than most, especially the latter that was hearty and cooked medium as requested. Drizzled with the tangy berries which complimented the gaminess of the meat, this was a well-balanced combination of tart and rich flavours.
The mouth-watering desserts concluded our meal; the must-have is the mango mousse. A tropical element came through this sweet custard-like serving although it is arguably a fusion effort, surrounded in bath of sweet fruity syrup with Chinese dextrous fungi, a popular remedy in alternative medicine. I must confess I tasted and then ignored the unusual fungi dressing. The dessert assortment included a fruit tart accompanied with a supersweet green tomato jam, as well as an tasty unusual looking black sesame crème brûlé with a perfect texture and familiar yet new flavours.
Worrying about the afternoon ahead after such copious feast we considered two options. One was to head home and enjoy a good healthy siesta, the other one was to have a reviving espresso coffee. I opted for the later and was delighted with my choice. I don’t think I have had a better espresso in Hong Kong than the cup served here: rich, strong and delicate, it was coffee essence at its best. My guest had an innovative hazelnut coffee, which left her sipping happy. The nut was grounded and dispersed in this beverage (not sunken at the bottom) which didn’t just leave a sweet and smoky flavour but a welcome bite to each sip.
Review by AK
La Fourchette Garden Court, Pacific Place, Hong Kong Tel 852 2252 8830