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2011-07-08 126 views
A group of friends gathered at Cépage for a relaxing brunch. Sitting in the private room with a round table gave us great privacy to chat and relax for 4 hours during the Saturday brunch! How nice!I hadn't visited the restaurant since the new (well, not so new now) chef Sebastien Lepinoy from L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon joined the Cépage's team. This was a great opportunity for me to try the revamped menus. We were not too interested with the dishes offered in the brunch set menu, so instead
I hadn't visited the restaurant since the new (well, not so new now) chef Sebastien Lepinoy from L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon joined the Cépage's team. This was a great opportunity for me to try the revamped menus. We were not too interested with the dishes offered in the brunch set menu, so instead all of us picked something from the a la carte menu for substitutions. Some of the dishes below were from my friends, so I wouldn't provide detailed comments on those.
Beginning with bacon bread stick and brioche for my bread service which were pretty tasty, though I liked the bacon bits more than the bread itself. Butter was served properly at room temperature (you will be surprised how many restaurants don't manage to get this right)
Starter: Cinco Jotas jamon iberico
"Bruschetta" with sourdough toast The ham wasn't particularly fatty yet qiote flavorful. Would have been nicer if the toast was crispy
Amuse bouche 1: Almond Panna Cotta, Orange Juice, Fried Capellini
Amuse bouche 2: Sweet corn bouillon, Caviar I wasn't very fond of the almond flavor in the panna cotta, but the citrusy orange juice was quite refreshing. I did enjoy the natural sweetness of the corn soup which was complemented nicely by the savory caviar.
Cream of artichoke soup, freckles of black truffle, chervil I wanted something warm and soothing and went for the soup. The artichoke flavor, however, wasn't as profound as I would have liked. I wish there were more roasted artichoke pieces at the bottom. The black truffle bits did help to add more complexity to the soup.
LA SAINT-JACQUES de Tasmanie, cuit dans un beurre «Bordier» aux algues
Tasmanian seared scallops with Bordier seaweed butter My friend's scallops swam in delicious Bordier seaweed butter which was heavenly , despite the the scallops being slightly overcooked for his liking.
Stuffed squids with melody of olives, Iberian chorizo and Japanese mustard A Spanish oriented dish, the tender baby squids were stuffed with veggies and squid tentacles and matched briliantly with the the pungent olives. Further fueled with spicy chorizo and the mild kick of the mustard, this dish was packed with full flavors!
Caramel roasted quail with green salad Those who had been to Robuchon should be familiar with this dish which is a Robuchon's signature that is served in all L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon. This was executed skillfully like it was at Robuchon. Crispy skin and tender meat with luscious foie gras fillings. What's not to love here?
LE BLACK COD
Marinated black cod cooked in hooba leaf, young pickled Japanese ginger, miso sauce Couldn't help but to think of Nobu's signature miso black cod, and this version was not too shabby. My friend had always loved this dish which was very moist and flavorful.
LE CANARD et le foie gras en duo
Duo of steamed duck breast and foie gras I was intrigued by the name as the foie gras was steamed instead of the normal pan-fried or terrine version in French cooking. An interesting idea and presentation to have the breast and foie gras adhered together to form a whole slice. My duck breast was a bit tough and chewy which surprised me a little, but the foie gras was extremely silky like a piece of butter that just melt in my mouth. There was more foie gras "sandwiched" in between the daikon discs. The microgreen was very aromatic! I think Cépage has a strenght in dealing with foie gras.
Poached Conference pear, pink guava sorbet, plum powder medallion
Fresh strawberries, almond “Pain de Gênes” biscuit, lychee-raspberry sorbet My pear dessert was beautifully presented and the flavors were as dreamy as it looked. I loved the refreshing guava sorbet and the pear was not cloying sweet. A great light dessert particularly during the hot weather.
My friend seemed to be more fond of the lychee-raspberry sorbet than the rest of his strawberry dessert. But it was at least an eye-candy.
Apple tarte tatin, served warm with Bourbon vanilla ice-cream
Michel Cluizel 63% dark chocolate tart, “café viennois” shooter My other friend raved about the apple tarte tatin which delivered a nice contrast of warm and cold temperatures and in textures. The chocolate tart also received great compliments with its chocolatey flavor that wasn't too sweet or bitter.
3 platters of Petits Fours We were certainly VERY excited when the 3 big platters of petits fours arrived at our table.
(one plate at the back)
How generous! There were madeleines, cranberry and almond cookies, white chocolate with dried fruits and nuts, salt caramel (YUM!), marshmallows, jellies (red is mulled wine), macarons, etc. Cannelés stood out to be the winner - hard crust outside, soft and moist inside. Delectable flavor!
Overall, another enjoyable meal with my great friends. The service was very attentive. I was most impressed by the beautiful artistic aesthetic of every dish at Cépage- they look so beautiful that you almost don't want to eat the food and ruin the presentation. Flavor-wise, not every dish was sensational or breathtaking, but they are still better than most French restaurants in HK. Some fine-tuning in executions would have perfected most dishes.
I also saw some feedbacks regarding the set menu items. I can't verify if the food in the set menu is compromised in quality or portion, but I would recommend doing the a la carte menu items anyway, as they are a lot more itneresting and seem to better reflect the true ability of the ktichen.