G/F, 49-51A Gough Street, Central
Tel: 2590 6188
Open: Monday-Saturday noon-3pm, 6pm-10.30pm
Price: about HK$615 without drinks or the service charge.
Ambience: little effort has gone into giving this place the kind of charm it needs to attract customers, but the tables at the front at least give you the feeling of dining alfresco and close-up views of Gough Street's passers-by.
Pros: even on a Friday night the restaurant was relatively quiet, which was handy after a long week. The generously sized roasted king prawns and mango fresh fruit salad (HK$118) could have made a meal on its own, although it is a starter. The food exceeded expectations, which were, admittedly, low after we perused the menu filled with bright 80s-style photographs of dishes.
Cons: for a French restaurant there were surprisingly few French dishes, apart from the rack of lamb provençale, baked escargots with mashed potatoes, and French apple tart with ice cream. The glass of cabernet sauvignon (HK$60) was served over-chilled by a waitress, who, in her eagerness to please, described all the dishes on the menu as French, even the Parma ham and melon and Japanese-style baked scallops.
Recommended dishes: the roasted deep-sea pomfret with black truffle cream sauce (HK$580) was the priciest main course for one but also the star of the night. Fleshy, firm and juicy with delicious slightly charred skin, the fish was big enough to share and a treat with the rich, moreish sauce served on the side. My guest's verdict on the roasted Canadian bone-in pork chop (HK$288): full of flavour, tender, perfectly seared and great with the tangy barbecue sauce. Of four sweets offered, we chose the lovely French apple tart with ice cream (HK$78) to share. It was simple, not too sweet and had a flaky crust - everything you could ask of this classic dessert.
What else? The bone-in roasted smoked pork leg ("for party"), which costs HK$1,280, has to be pre-ordered. Charmaine Chan