As part of my birthday celebration, my partner decided to book a weekend stay @Shangri-la as a short getaway, which means no cleaning and cooking. Hoo Hoo Hoo!
I thought we should give some of the dining joints at Star street a go. So I booked a dinner for two at La Fleur@16 St Francis Yard within Star street area.
To say I was not dubious about the place hailing as a French cuisine joint will be a straight out lie. For one, the outward appearance looked dismissible, and it didnt have any French chef to boot. Then again, food is food. It doesnt mean that only the French can cook a good French meal. Plus, the general HK diner reviews for the place seemed rather alright.
No venture no gain right?
So came Friday, we called to push back the appointment from 730pm to 8pm as my partner got held back by another one of those late night meetings. When we arrived, the place was packed. I would best describe the place as a cosy small cafe-like French dining spot. It's not a bistro, just cafe style seating. We were greeted by a rather jovial looking HK chap who sat us down by the window, good for me since I didnt want to be anywhere near the long table of jolly, intoxicated Westerner expats.
The menu had a decent offerings from starters to dessert. It was the usual suspect for me. I ordered the pan fried foie gras, a mushroom soup and Duck confit for main. The husband of mine had wanted the mussels in broth but since they ran out, we were offered clams instead. The chap was very confident of the clams and so we thought, what the heck. Let's give it a go. For his main, we went with the recommended lamb rack as its the special.
While the decor may not be impressive, the food definitely was not a let down. Let's be honest here, I wont stick my neck out and say its an authentic French cuisine. It definitely hasnt reached the "Oh this is yummy french food" state yet but cast that aside, it was good wholesome food, well cooked. I mean, I am not going to quibble over its authenticity. I just want to have a nice place that serve relatively good quality food and not ruined by bad cooking.
The clams were indeed fresh and decent size. I was afraid of being dished out those puny small clams but no, these has a good bite size and yes, repeat, fresh! Not frozen chewy rubber, but delectable sweet succulent ones. The broth was light and not overly seasoned.
The server decided to split all our starters for us. So we shared the next 2 dishes. The foie gras was done nicely! Infact, better than Brasserie on the Eight@Conrad hotel. It was nicely crisp on the outside and warm on the inside. The mushroom soup however, isnt to my liking as it didnt have the richness and creamy texture I favor, and it was lacking the truffle taste. A few drop of truffle oil might do it some added enhancement, but that's just me. Before I forget though, this place serve the most delightful basket of bread, or rather baguette sliced. I dont usually like bread served in some places but this place had simple good warm bread! Plus points!!!
My duck confit came and I love the fact they served the skin crispy as it should. It sat on a bed of veges and potatoes but I think they need to be more generous with the sauce. Speaking of sauce, ummmm...I think it could be better. That said, the dish was good dont get me wrong, but somehow, I think they need a stronger, more salty sauce for it. the current sauce is lacking something, I dont know what but I know its not a 100% good match. I would give it 80% compatibility. Still, I polished off everything on my plate.
My husband's lamb rack was also perfectly good for medium, pink on the inside. All these without being told. Perfect! Shows the chef knows what he is doing for SOP stuff.
Dessert offering wasnt that spectacular with Tiramisu, cream brulee and choc mousse and cheese on the list. We went with choc mousse. It stated with orange sauce on the menu but it came with whip cream instead, which was perfect for me since i hate orange sauce in anything I eat.the cake was nice, not too rich and not too creamy. We asked for English breakfast tea and for some reason, it was on the house. Happy! But we tipped them so it kinda cover for that as well.
All in all, a rather good meal. Did it live up to the "french cusine" namesake? I canx say it is there, but did it live up to reputation of solid good food with good size at reasonable price, it certainly did! So will I return? It's a positively resounding yes!