On Lot 10

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 October, 2009, 12:00am

Fare Homely French cuisine. Reviewing this restaurant is a mixed blessing: brilliant food and a comfortable setting, but it's also the kind of treasure you wish to keep for yourself. If this restaurant does not require at least a day's notice for lunch or dinner by year's end, it will be a great shame. This place proves you can eat great international cuisine without committing stock market fraud. The food was inspired, from starter through to dessert.

Ambience Eating good international food need not require subjecting yourself to tacky uninspired restaurants better suited to theme parks than prime city locations. On Lot 10 demonstrates that. Here la Tour Eiffel is thankfully absent, with photographs on the wall instead depicting classic Peel, Elgin and Ladder street scenes. The seats and tables are modern yet comfortable, and there is a terrace just waiting to host a long lunch this autumn. On the night we visited, there were two Frenchmen sitting next to us who could only praise the fare. While the extra slice of black truffle-topped brie delivered personally by chef David Lai may have helped their platitudes, this restaurant deserves to attain institution status.

Cost Three courses and a bottle of good house wine (Australian) came to around HK$900 for two.

Turn-ons The food, atmosphere and bonhomie between guests, as the tables are rather close together. The sliced artichoke heart, black truffle and egg (pictured left) was a delicate delight, while we couldn't get enough of the Kagoshima black pork belly with lentils.

Turn-offs A nosy neighbour could pose a problem, but it's a minor quibble.

Drinks Good small selection of French and New World wines. Chef Lai seems to enjoy his wine: the night we were there he periodically wandered in from the kitchen to sip from his glass.

34 Gough Street, 21559210