Well, maybe I can because the first time was a bit of a flop, and the second so average I failed to remember much (or maybe it was the wine, ahem). But - I must admit that I didn't have cheese either of those first two times, which was a huge boo-boo seeing they have their own cave and all but alas, birthday cakes reigned. Caprice is a restaurant for occasions, n'est-ce pas?
This time was actually no different, it was also a birthday, that of my dear friend's father. (Thank you uncle!) But this time I HAD CHEESE.
It seems weird to start describing a meal from the end, but then again, it was one of the highlights. So here you are, the obligatory cheese cart photo.
|Mmmm... oui... 'ello mes chers...|
And my selection:
The server said all the names at least twice to me, but I could never catch them so... Starting from the left, clockwise: soft goat's milk cheese, Mimolette, Comte, a softish blue. I can't say much else except that all were delicious and a real highlight. The cheese course is no afterthought (ahem Riquiqui), but then again, a cheese platter at Caprice probably costs more than a multi-course dessert at Riquiqui. Anyway.
|Amuse bouche: tomato sorbet inside a tomato, with basil coulis and mozzarella cream|
|Carabineros in a spring roll and carpaccio|
|Australian black truffle scrambled egg with truffle toast|
First up was the breast - they carved it tableside.
The breast of the Bresse chicken. The juiciest, most tender chicken breast I've had in a long time. Remember all that chicken talk ("if you know of a big fleshy chicken absolutely packed with flavour, we need to talk")? Well, folks, voila.
I also really liked the presentation of the veggies, so bright and perky, with a slight farmhouse feel - a refined sort of rustic, I suppose. The cheery tomatoes were amazingly rich, like a natural ketchup. I stole the rest off my friend's plate. (Manners? Say what?)
Thigh of the Bresse chicken, served on salad. The plate was really warm, so the salad kind of wilted and went warm too, and the skin wasn't crispy anymore. For once I liked the breast better. This wasn't bad, but it was the breast that really stood out. Our guess was that they roast the chicken so that the breast is just done, meaning the other parts, like the thigh, would be undercooked. They'd serve the perfectly cooked breast, then take the rest of the chook away and cook the thighs a bit more till they're done too.
Dessert - presented in a very Mandarin Grill way. with "soils", intense greens etc. Pretty darned delish, love the addition of fresh fruit, in the form of awesome white peaches. The quenelles of sorbet, cream etc. gave a good amount of moisture to the pistachio sponge cake "base". It was all quite refreshingly sweet rather than the cloying kind (which can also be good!) but to round up an epic meal like this, the subtlety and lightness was very welcome. This felt well balanced on every front.
|Cavaillon melon sorbet with lemon jelly and lemon biscuit|
I kind of keep forgetting that Caprice was awarded 3 Michelin stars (if I remember correctly, they started off with 2 the first year Michelin came to HK and were promoted to 3 the next year). I forget because the Michelin Guide to Hong Kong is, to me, rather bizarre and not really a reference I'd use for my dining decisions. Anyway, this was a pretty good meal, if not a little hurriedly paced, possibly because of all the different course configurations - some had chef's menu, some a la carte, and some dual-course a la cartes (Bresse chicken). There were a few letdowns - the Aussie truffle, spring roll and the petit fours, but the chicken breast alone is enough incentive for me to come back. I never thought I'd ever enjoy a chicken breast so much. And duh, of course I enjoyed the cheese. The one dessert I tried was well-made too.
It had been a while since I'd been to Caprice and this was the best meal I'd had there. Is it a 3 Michelin star experience? I don't know, but I'm glad I came.
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