Chez Moi - The art of fine dining

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 October, 2008, 12:00am

G/F Arbuthnot House, 10-12 Arbuthnot Road, Central, 2801 6768

FARE Contemporary European. AMBIENCE Opening the heavy wooden door and stepping into this quirky space has an Alice in Wonderland feel to it. A large mural reminiscent of a Henri Rousseau jungle scene complete with owls, a leopard and E.T. is the first thing to hit you, followed by the realisation that you could be inside a Victorian ship. There are curved wooden windows, hanging brass light fittings and padded walls with portholes. It has a quirky but elegant feel to it. COST About HK$400 each for three courses without drinks. WHO TO BRING A date who likes art or a group of friends willing to walk the few extra steps up the hill from Wyndham Street. TURN-ONS The white gazpacho, angelically light and zingy, tasted like the concept of freshness had been captured and put in a bowl. The gnocchi in the sauteed scampi, potato gnocchi, spinach and gremolata (right) was deliciously doughy and the scampi soft and succulent. All elements in the fillet of halibut, foie gras crushed potatoes, braised leeks and bacon brought out the best in each other, and never have leeks tasted so buttery and sweet. Diners not used to homestyle tapas might be put off by the look of the grilled baby squid, patatas bravas, aioli - various shades of brown drizzled with a pale yellow sauce - but it tasted like it came straight from an Andalusian kitchen. The potato squares were cooked till just about crispy, giving them a rich nutty flavour, and the squid left us wanting more. The dark chocolate and hazelnut torte was sinfully rich and the summer pudding with clotted cream ice cream was delightful, with its tart concoction of summer berries. TURN-OFFS While many diners will be pleased that the portions are on the light side as it leaves room for all three courses, if you are after a big, filling meal, this might not be the best choice. DRINKS A small but well chosen selection of red and white wines, some available by the glass or carafe.