LoveBites Lunches: Chez Patrick Restaurant

It’s Restaurant Week in Hong Kong and for the first time, I went online and checked the list of participating restaurants. DW and I went to check out Chez Patrick restaurant in Wan Chai, which moved here from it’s previous location in Soho, where Chicha now stands. I’ve been meaning to check it out, and a 3-course set lunch at HK$ 248 was a good motivation to do so!

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This event is a good way for some restaurants to gain some extra coverage, perhaps attract some clientele that would have not considered dining there before. Chez Patrick is not one of those restaurants, as chef Patrick Goubier has built a very solid reputation for quality ingredients and excellent French fare, as seen by the success of his restaurant and Chez Patrick Delis. It does give diners a chance to sample some of his cooking at a reasonable price (the 3-course dinner is HK$438) – if this sounds enticing to you, then go and book your table now, as restaurant week ends this Sunday 3rd March!

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His Wan Chai restaurant is tastefully decorated, ash grey wood paneled walls, golden lighting fixtures and a little splash of colour (love that bright yellow banquette!) It’s warm, inviting, and cozy. The Restaurant Week menu covers some French favourites (escargot, quail) a little of the norm (crab ‘cakes’, salmon fillet), and something a bit different (fresh goats cheese nougat). It was easy to make our choices, and while we were waiting for our starters, we were served an amuse bouche.

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As we were about to start, Chef Patrick himself personally came to our table to greet us. He said hello, took our hands and kissed them (!), thanked us for visiting his restaurant, and then proceeded to explain the reasoning behind his amuse bouche. For the chilled gazpacho, he described how he soaks cherries in kirsch overnight as part of his base stock, and adds a touch of lavender. “The goal is to refresh your palate” he says – and refreshing it was, and particularly welcomed on another uncharacteristically warm February day. The salmon rillette is chilled and mixed with shallots, capers and lemon juice – a really wonderful combination that can never go wrong.

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For our starters, we both chose there Crabmeat Cold ‘Cake’, with Fresh Tomato, Basil and Pine Nuts. It was a very generous portion of crab, and although we enjoyed the dish I felt that they might have gone a little easier on the basil. The pine nuts gave a nice bit of crunch.

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For the main course, the Pan-seared boned Quail, Confit Onions and Smoked Bacon Tartlet with Red Wine Sauce was wonderful. The quail was nicely cooked, and I really enjoyed the deconstructed tartlet underneath. I couldn’t remember the dish from the menu, so I asked the waiter what it was, and he told me it was choucroute – I think he’s got his French terms mixed up! A small round of crispy pastry was topped with confit onions and little pieces of smoked bacon, and finally with the quail resting on top.

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Chef Patrick approached us and we asked him lots of questions about the food. He is a wonderfully sweet man, passionate about his restaurant, so friendly and happy to answer any questions that we had – I felt like we could have talked to him for much longer. He speaks with a soft French accent, and punctuates his sentences with a lot of “ya’s”. Where does he source his ingredients? All of the poultry at Chez Patrick is imported from France, and his beef, seafood and other such items are sourced from wherever he finds nice products. Beef from Australia, lamb from New Zealand, lobster from Maine … he mentioned that he is more and more sourcing his seasonal organic vegetables from Hong Kong, and that they ‘are getting much, much better at that, ya.” We are much less affected by seasonality here, and are in a central location for produce. “Not like in France, ya. When there is no asparagus, there is no asparagus!”

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DW ordered the Salmon Fillet, with Red and Yellow Bell Pepper Sauce. It was the most beautifully presented dish, salmon surrounded by a yin-yang of sauce, nestled on a bed of wild red rice. Where is the rice from? It’s imported from France, from the Camarague region at the end of the Rhone River, where there is more wetland, and where the rice is grown. It takes longer to cook than Asian rices, with a nutty taste and is a little more chewy in texture. It was a nice addition to the dish, and almost nicer once we knew exactly where it had been harvested!

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Made in HK, local artisans pop-up market brought to us by the fabulous Green Queen!

Hong Kongers, search your memory banks! Has there ever been an food and drink-centric event 100% dedicated to products that are sustainably made here in Hong Kong, focusing on all these wonderful things: organic/vegan/artisanal/homemade/unprocessed/eco-friendly/gluten-free/homemade? Sure, there is East Island Markets, and I am not putting it down as it is a huge organisational challenge to have this market up and running for all this time.  But when I saw Pizza Express there, I felt that maybe EIM has somewhat lost sight of it’s initial vision. When I visited, I was disappointed. I had been hoping for all homegrown companies, selling interesting products that I would actually want to take home with me, but I left pretty much empty-handed apart from some locally-grown strawberries (which were by the way, incredible).

Anyway, I digress. The point is, last weekend, I think a lot of us Hong Kongers finally found what we were looking for – a foodie market event that actually gave us what we want! And even if you didn’t end up taking something home (which is highly unlikely), then at least you would have had a great meal – there were lots of healthy food choices available, as well as picnic benches to eat them on. By the time  I arrived at 1.30pm, most of the food had sold out!

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All of these wonderful, local vendors were at the Made in HK Pop-Up event, including more well-known companies such as Stephen James OrganicsThe Genie Concept and Homegrown Foods, although my favorites were these lesser-known but equally as interesting companies. I look forward to seeing more, and will keep you in the loop as to when the next event will be! Believe me, you will not want to miss out, and it is in our best interests as a community to support initiatives such as this – they add that little bit of colour to our weekend, promote local small businesses,  as well as open our minds to eating and living a healthier lifestyle. Well, just so long as you don’t eat too many cupcakes and ice cream…

Happy Cow (Dairy-Free) Ice Cream

IMG_6352Established in 2012, this fledgling Hong Kong brand makes their ice cream from scratch using coconut cream (instead of dairy) and coconut tree nectar (instead of sugar) to make truly delicious ice creams that are healthy! Dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free and containing no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, they truly taste great! Fact, coconut cream is quite fattening, but a little of this ice cream goes a long way – one scoop is enough to satisfy your ice-cream needs. We tried the Mint Chip and the Piña Colada. Their most popular flavour, Lime in the Coconut, was sold out.

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Both of the ice creams that we tried are the same in appearance, but the flavours were crisp. Love those ocean blue cups too!

Happy Cow ice cream is available by the scoop at Grassroots Pantry, coming soon to JCC Kosher Mart (conveniently located in my apartment complex, woohoo!). Visit their website, http://www.happycowhk.com/, to see all their flavours!

Anything But Salads

Coco drillThe people at this stall were super-friendly and even if nothing had tempted me, I still would have bought something any way because they were just that nice. Luckily enough, PB was there to control me, or else I would have bought everything! Kale chips, organic raw chocolate, raw cheesy nuts (ignore the name, and they are delicious!) I left with a container of living almond butter (all natural, no sugars or additives) and the neatest new contraption in my kitchen, the Coconut Drill.  Because hacking away at a coconut with a big  knife always made me a tad nervous!

You can order their products online, and delivery within Hong Kong, Kowloon and New Territories is free for orders above $500.

Website: http://www.anythingbutsalads.com/ or Tel: +852 6743 5000

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Lunches ‘n Brunches

Lunch for me is a great chance to escape ‘the office’ in the middle of the day when I need a breather. It isn’t something that I indulge in often, but when I do – I savour every moment and every bite.

Brunch is one of my favorite meals! It usually involves eggs (those smooth, runny, rich yellow yolks, mmmm), buffets, lots of choice, free-flow champagne and a few hours of doing nothing by talking to friends and eating. Love it.

Here I share with you some of my favorite lunch and brunch spots!

WEEKDAY LUNCH SETS

Central:

Gyotaku Stanley Street – #Japanese #Casual
Hatsu Japanese Restaurant, Bank of America Tower – #Casual
Mo Bar, Landmark Mandarin Hotel – #International #Ladies Lunch #Power Lunch
Otto E Mezzo, Alexandra House – #Italian #Power Lunch #Michelin
Sushi Kuu, Lan Kwai Fong – #Japanese #LoveBites Favorites
Tokio Joe, Lan Kwai Fong – #Japanese #Casual #Ladies Lunch #Great Combo Lunch Sets
Bellbrook Bistro Oz by Laris, Soho – #Australian #Bistro #Not recommended
Aberdeen Street Social, #Soho #Modern British Cuisine #Sophisticated lunch at a good price
Cocotte, #Soho #French Brasserie #Sophisticated lunch at a good price

Wan Chai: 

Chez Patrick Restaurant –  #French #Casual #Power Lunch #Ladies Lunch

Admiralty:

Nadaman Pacific Place – #Japanese #Set lunches HK$240-$530

LUNCH ON THE RUN

La Rotisserie, Wan Chai/Sai Ying Pun/Sheung Wan – #French Roast Chicken #Takeaway Lunch Set HK$68

WEEKEND BRUNCHES

The Grill, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Wan Chai – #Poolside BBQ #Freeflow #Buffet
Domani, Pacific Place, Admiralty (this restaurant is now closed)
Oolaa, Soho – #brunch menu #eggs

Chicha – a refreshing and tasty addition to the Soho scene

Chicha is a traditional Latin American fermented (0r non-fermented) drink made with maize , and it is also the name of a hip new eatery in town. I’ve been hearing whispers of “black cod at Chicha”, and all of a … Continue reading

Hong Kong & Macau Dining

Hong Kong & Macau Dining

Here is a list of the Hong Kong restaurants that I have written about on this blog. It’s still a tiny list, but it will get bigger. Let’s just hope I don’t get bigger along with it!!

French Cuisine:

Brasserie L’île, Soho (This restaurant is now closed)
La Cabane a Vin, Soho 
Chez Patrick Restaurant, Wan Chai
La Rotisserie, various locations
Upper Modern Bistro, Sheung Wan
On Lot 10, Central/Sheung Wan
Cocotte, Sheung Wan/Central
Alchemy in the dark, LKF/Central
Cococabana, Shek O

British Cuisine

Aberdeen Street Social, Soho area

Greek Cuisine

Souvla, LKF

Australian Cuisine

Bellbrook Bistro Oz by Laris, LKF

Chinese Cuisine:

The Monogamous Chinese, Soho

International Cuisine:

Madame Sixty Ate, Wan Chai
Cinta J, Wan Chai (Filipino, Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai)
The Principal, Wan Chai (Modern European)
Blue Butcher, Sheung Wan/Central
MO Bar @ Landmark Mandarin Hotel, Central
Wild Grass, Soho/LKF
NUR, Soho/LKF (Nourishing Gastronomy)
Black Sheep Restaurant, Shek O
The Boathouse, Stanley
Gusto, Happy Valley (This restaurant is now closed)
Edo & Bibo, Causeway Bay (oysters, steak)

Japanese Cuisine:

Gyotaku, Central
Tokio Joe, LKF
Sushi Kuu, LKF
Kushiyaki Beco, Soho/Sheung Wan
Taku, Soho
Hatsu Japanese Restaurant, Admiralty
Sushi Shin, Tai Hang
Katte Shabu Shabu, Tai Hang
Sen Ryo, various locations
Nadaman, Admiralty

Korean Cuisine:

Kaya Korean Restaurant, Causeway Bay
Sanche Modern Korean, Soho 

Thai Cuisine:

Tangerine, Soho

Vietnamese Cuisine:

Chom Chom, Soho

Latin American Cuisine:

Chicha, Soho
Sal Curioso, LKF (This restaurant is now closed)
Brickhouse, LKF

Dim Sum:

The China Club, Central
City Hall Maxims Palace, Central
Dim Sum, Happy Valley
Dragon-I, Soho
Dragon King Restaurant, Causeway Bay
Fook Lam Moon, Wan Chai
Man Wah @ The Mandarin Oriental, Central
Moon Koon, Happy Valley
Peking Garden, Central
Tim Ho Wan, Sham Shui Po
(see also Michelin Star Restaurants)
Victoria City Seafood Restaurant, Wan Chai

Buffets:

Grand Hyatt Hotel Poolside BBQ, Wan Chai
The Blue Bar @ Four Seasons Hotel, Central

Vegetarian/Organic Restaurants:

Life Restaurant & Bar, Soho
Grassroots Pantry, Sai Ying Pun
Locofama, Sai Ying Pun
Maya Cafe, Moon Street/Wan Chai

Private Kitchens:

TBLS, Soho (This restaurant is now closed)

Seafood:

Oyster Station, Soho (this restaurant has moved)
Lung Tang Restaurant, Lei Yue Mun
Lin Heung, Tai O, Lantau
Edo & Bibo, Causeway Bay (also under ‘International Cuisine’)

Bakeries: 

Boulangerie Bistronomique, Kennedy Town

Michelin Starred Restaurants:

Otto e Mezzo Bombana (***)
Tim Ho Wan  (*)
Robuchon au Dome, Macau (***)
Fook Lam Moon, Wan Chai (*)
L’Altro, Central (*)
The Principal, Wan Chai (*)
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