It was a Sunday, and our mission was to find a restaurant to celebrate my dear friend DL’s birthday three days later. At first we booked Tango, but when they asked us for a deposit (which is understandable, considering it was a booking for 14 people), AND a minimum spend of HK$750 per person (which I thought was utterly preposterous), I decided to find another option. Regardless of the fact that we most likely would have spent that much anyway, Tango is not fine dining. It is not a private kitchen, nor were we booking a private room, and it was a rather hoity-toity of them to ask this of us!
I called around and amazingly, On Lot 10 was able to seat us! I’ve been there once before and I had good memories of it, but I must say, this visit really secured it a top place position in terms of favourite restaurants in my mind.
Spread over two floors decorated in clean whites and chocolate brown, On Lot 10 is an unassuming and understated gem serving French cuisine in large portions made to share. I am a fan of David Lai’s restaurants, and whilst Bistronomique in Kennedy Town is a bit far away for me, I always have to pop by Boulangerie Bistronomique whenever I am in the area, and I’m a regular at Kushiyaki Beco, one of my favourite places to go for a fun dinner with friends.
The menu is seasonal, and consists mainly of classic French dishes with a focus on what is in season and freshly available on the day. As a result, there are always daily fish and meat specials which are not on the menu, and other daily specials that can only be pre-ordered because of the longer cooking times.
Hold the celery and this is one of the best versions of beef tartare that I’ve seen (the one at Upper Modern Bistro is pretty original also). I love the mandolin-sliced champignon de Paris, and the fresh foie gras adds an element of irresistible over-the-topness that is just so deliciously tempting!
A little birdy told me that On Lot 10 uses the same boudin noir as La Cabane a Vin. Some interesting facts were gleaned from my further research – I found that Christian Parra is a 2 Michelin-starred French chef of restaurant Auberge de la Galupe in Urt who is famed for his boudin recipe, which is sold commercially and … it’s canned! I can’t wait to get my hands on some the next time I go to Paris.
This was just bursting with so much rich flavour and a perfect combination of textures that I could have ordered it for a main and been perfectly content for the rest of the evening. It was a favourite of the table – big chunks of marrow, creamy Acquerello risotto topped with a wonderful beefy sauce and crispy shallots.
Next came the main courses. The menu states that the large dishes are for two to share, but really by two they actually mean three (and for the whole roast chicken, even four).
The photo I really regret not taking is the one of the Whole Roasted Chicken with morel rice pilaf and vin jaune sauce. I opted for the locally farmed chicken, and Henry (the awesome manager) suggested that this was a nice option because you could have it with foie gras and truffles! Who’s going to say no to that?! What he failed to mention was that there was an extra charge for both of them (HK$ 125 and $120 respectively), but they made the dish so amazing that I couldn’t imagine eating it without them. I haven’t enjoyed chicken like that in a while – blow the extra, live a little, and order extra foie!
I didn’t even manage to get my hands on some of the short ribs …!
We also ordered the Roast Pigeon, which was cooked to a perfect pink and very meaty. The French Wild Hare “lievre a la royale” was very strong flavoured and not for everyone.
The Wagyu M4 beef prime rib was a special item on the day; it melted in your mouth and had a depth of beef flavour that only a good quality wagyu can have. The bed of romaine lettuce on which is was served was covered in a beef jus dressing. I have to say though, it was a pricey option at HK$920.
While On Lot 10 might have started off several years ago as an affordable French restaurant, it seems as though they have been steadily improving the quality of their ingredients, and their prices have risen steadily as well (we paid HK$870 per person with 7 bottles of wine). Still, you get for what you pay for – the food is truly delicious and worth every penny. The set lunch menu is a different calibre of cuisine (so I’ve heard) and very reasonable. If the dinner menu was priced slightly lower, I’d be eating there every two weeks.
Service is excellent at On Lot 10, and as such it’s a great venue for a large gathering as well as a more intimate dinner (there was another large birthday party there together with us). They asked for a HK$2,000 deposit for our booking, and upon request, Henry the manager whatsapped me the photos of every page of the food and wine menus prior to the dinner, allowed us to bring balloons and didn’t charge us for cake cutting (we ordered a really good tiramisu from Il Bel Paese for the birthday cake!) The corkage fee is $150 per bottle, and they also have a great selection of well-priced wine.
The next time I have to organise a party, On Lot 10 will definitely be high on my list of venues!
On Lot 10
Address: 34 Gough St, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2155 9210
A sneak peak at the menu …