In the softly lit dining room it was possible for diners to forget they were in a shopping mall. As the procession of traditional French comfort dishes and bistro fare came one after another, one could almost forget you were in Hong Kong as well.
Thursday marked the first preview dinner of Le Salon Restaurant et Croissanterie. It is the latest offering from celebrity chef Tony Cheng Shai-yin and his first foray into traditional French food.
Cheng does not shy away from using new techniques and ingredients in his creation of French classics. His beef bourguignon and coq au vin both depend on sous vide cooking, and his beef tartare is gathered around a soft-cooked quail egg and topped with beef jelly.
"It should have that melt-in-your-mouth texture, like a xiaolong bao," Cheng told a table full of rapt foodies.
La Salon's biggest innovation is the croissanterie. These are not your typical croissants, coming in flavours including chestnut and tiramisu, and served in an area set up like a traditional French cafe.
Even though customers may feel as though they are enjoying a snack on a Parisian roadside, they are in fact in a mall: the newly opened Hysan Place in Causeway Bay.
Although the mall opened just last week, it was already packed with shoppers. When one guest expressed surprise at the size of the crowds, another diner commented without sarcasm: "Of course, we're in Hong Kong!"