Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Ce n'etait pas si bon - bonbon Cafe

A Cordon Bleu trained chef, very favourable reviews and cute décor have not, in this particular case, added up to a good dining experience.

The service people seem incapable of smiling - and that is the smallest of my complaints about them. Our bread was microwaved (for goodness sakes, bread loses its moisture and HARDENS as it cools if you heat it in the microwave), they gave us sherry glasses for our sparkling and some wine glasses were cloudy. Food was served before the previous course was finished (this is a tiny fourteen-seater, mind you), they referred to our post-meal coffee/tea as 餐飲 (a "meal drink" as in one you'd have with your happy meal at Mickey D's)... No, the service was not good. I should really be getting used to it in Hong Kong, but alas.

As for food, I could have been in any old restaurant - French, American, British, it wouldn't have made any difference. The most French thing on my plate of pan-fried pigeon was probably the sad-looking french beans, which were boring, but probably only because I'd had them at home for lunch earlier that day and seen them on the supermarket shelves looking all yellowy and unhealthy.

Apologies - the photos didn't turn out too well because of insufficient lighting, my reluctance to use the flash mode because I hate white light, and basically, a sh*tty camera.

Goat's cheese and hazelnut in filo

Okay, for an amateur cook like me, filo may be a little tricky to handle - sheets prone to ripping, keeping it all moist etc. But for a trained chef, it really shouldn't look like this - a piece of crumpled up paper from a five year-old throwing a tantrum. Tasted fine, but I'm a hazelnut freak. Put them on mouldy toast and I'll still eat it. Point made I think.

Sweet potato and apple soup

Looked and tasted more like apple puree for babies, but who said baby food was bad?
Pan-fried pigeon with foie gras
See what I mean by meat and three veg? And I think it really takes a photo to communicate how huge my prices of pigeon were. I think I've had duck that's smaller! Perhaps it was the knife, but I had a hard time sawing through it. To that end, I'd better get my teeth checked too. It was slightly undercooked, and scared my bird-flu conscious relatives away a little.

Creme brulée
Likely to be the only thing I can't complain about in the meal, which doesn't really say much. It was fine; the texture closer to the bottom was better than near the top - can anyone explain? Some sort of sedimentary effect?

To their defense, it was a public holiday, but on the same note, we did pay a hefty premium ($400/head as opposed to around $250). Percentage-wise, this is huge, and it's a big ask for a little café like this. I can't believe I gave up Commercial Radio's awards ceremony for this.

bonbon Cafe
G/F, Shop A2-A3
96 Electric Road (Enter form Tsing Fung Street)
Tin Hau
Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2525 2523

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