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2018-01-29 2052 views
Summary: Fun, quirky place with great casual French food. Try the awesome Raclette platter! (Warning: unless you’re French or Swiss, one serving feeds 3 people)Cantoche is pretty cool. It doesn’t take itself too seriously but also serves up classic casual French food dishes in a young, fun setting. Cantoche apparently means canteen in informal French, and they embrace the theme. A Super Nintendo (what’s the Euro version called? Super Famicom?) hangs on the wall along with a bunch of games, oppos
Cantoche is pretty cool. It doesn’t take itself too seriously but also serves up classic casual French food dishes in a young, fun setting. Cantoche apparently means canteen in informal French, and they embrace the theme. A Super Nintendo (what’s the Euro version called? Super Famicom?) hangs on the wall along with a bunch of games, opposite a giant projection screen, which they welcome you to play at any time (they said they have a hard time finding people to play!). It is equal parts bar and restaurant on the ground floor, though most people were there for food. Drinks are reasonably priced, though I was surprised how small their wine list is – just a page! In that vein, I loved that when I asked for the cheapest wine on the menu (a test!) they didn’t blink an eye, and recommended it whole-heartedly. An utter lack of pretension radiates throughout La Cantoche, and that might appeal to people who find French food in HK a bit... uninviting.
The food is the star though – full disclaimer, we actually didn’t try much besides the Raclette because the cheese platters were HUGE. We had four people but we barely finished two Raclettes, and wouldn’t even have been close without my friend’s individual above-and-beyond effort. Don’t listen when they say it feeds one person holy cow… so much cheese. Here’s what we tried:
I insisted on this because anchovies are life. Was actually really delicious – light flaky phyllo (I think?) pastry tart with anchovies, tomatoes and a bit of cheese on top. Looks a bit like a pizza but it’s much lighter. A great appetizer.
I’ve yet to try a bad Merguez in my life and these were delicious as expected. Spicy and bit denser than other sausages, these really pop with a bit of mustard. We ordered Ratatouille as a side, which was excellent too. Not overly oily and overcooked like many versions of this, la Cantoche manages to keep the texture of each vegetable intact while still marrying the flavors together – just like my non-existent French mom used to make.
Basically the best tater tots you’ve ever had, fluffy potato balls gently deep-fried to crunchy but not till CRUNCHY. If you like deep-fried potatoes, these are killer.
Aaaah my Raclette. This can only be a once-a-winter thing for me, but man is it delicious. La Cantoche serves a giant platter of cured meats along with a large serving of bubbling, gooey Raclette, and even throws in a glass of house wine for HKD 268. Besides being pretty serious value, they do it right, even reheating the Raclette to bubbling as many times as you like over the course of the meal. Raclette and bread / meat / pickles / anything is delicious, so you like cheese, give this a shot while it’s still available (I think it’s Winter-only).
Massive homemade brownie with ice-cream. Obscene but the others loved it.
Sadly we didn’t get to try much besides the Raclette, but what did try we had was great. We only had a glass of wine each, so the price per person topped out at HKD 300-350. which is a pretty great value for excellent food and service. Try La Cantoche for a fun casual dinner with friends, and it may just be the perfect HK Western-restaurant-first-date-spot – unpretentious, tasty and fun. Get that Raclette before it’s gone, but for God’s sake, don’t try to finish it alone.