Diner’s Diary

Bistro du Vin serves up lighter fare amid the summer heat

A chilled seasonal soup, foie gras with some added crunch, miso salmon, and Yuen Long pigeon cooked sous vide are among the summer specials at Kennedy Town restaurant

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 July, 2015, 5:54pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 February, 2016, 11:56am

Bistro du Vin in Kennedy Town is best known for classic French dishes such as bouillabaisse, suckling pig confit, homemade duck rillettes, and escargots. But amid the summer heat, owner Randy See has come up with some lighter dishes.

In addition, the restaurant is offering a two-course lunch for HK$118, or three courses for HK$128.

On the à la carte lunch menu until August 31 is a chilled cucumber and apple soup (HK$60) – refreshing if you’ve just walked from the MTR station in the midday sun.

Taking his cue from Parisian bistros, the Singaporean restaurateur is serving a squid with squid ink risotto (HK$210). It’s a little bit salty. And See offers his own take on pan-fried foie gras (HK$200), by sprinkling crushed dragées - candy-covered almonds – over the fried goose liver, giving it some crunch. The accompanying slices of pickled ginger with vinegar and ketchup, which look rather like rose petals, help cut the richness of the dish.

For main courses, one option is miso-coated salmon with caramelised turnip (HK$210) – light and healthy, if not quite French. The miso paste seems on the thin side, but the Norwegian salmon is perfectly cooked. Another choice is slow-cooked pigeon on a bed of spaetzle pasta (HK$210). The pigeon is sourced from Yuen Long, and the meat is tender and juicy, having been cooked sous vide. However, the spaetzle is overseasoned, with too much black pepper.

For dessert there is a pink tiramisu (HK$75), featuring mascarpone, raspberry sorbet and finger biscuits dipped in champagne, topped with whipped cream, and madeleines (HK$90), a staple at Bistro du Vin that is a favourite with regulars.

Bistro du Vin, Shop D, 1 Davis Street, Kennedy Town. Tel: 2824 3010

Chef's trick makes octopus tender

We’ve never tasted octopus served quite like this before – roasted with a red pepper sauce, beetroot and cherry tomatoes – nor with such tender flesh. The latter comes thanks to the technique of chef Mauro Zanusso, who’s guesting at Sabatini in Hong Kong this month.

Chef Mauro’s secret? While most seafood is best eaten fresh as possible, octopus needs to be tenderised - and the best way to go about it is to freeze and defrost it. He then boils the octopus in water and red wine for 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size, before removing the pot from the heat and adding salt.

Once the liquid has cooled to room temperature, Zanusso says, the octopus can be removed and prepared in a number of ways, including roasting and searing.

We tasted the dish (HK$328) at a meal hosted by Sabatini. Other dishes we tasted were a starter, tuna tonnato – a carpaccio with lemon and caper jam (HK$398); risotto with Taleggio cheese and quail (HK$368); and thinly sliced eggplant wrapped around a fillet of sea bass and pan-fried (HK$498), served with clams. For dessert we were served a refreshing basil panna cotta with grilled pineapple (HK$98).

The dishes are available a la carte, or as a six-course tasting menu (HK$1,280), at Sabatini until August 24.

Sabatini Ristorante Italiano, 3/F, The Royal Garden, 69 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East. Tel: 2733 2000

Homestyle Shunde pork and fish dishes on menu at Grand Hyatt

Dishes from Shunde in Guangdong are on the menu at One Harbour Road in the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong courtesy of guest chef Luo Funan and executive Chinese chef Li Shu-tim.

Shunde cuisine is known for its emphasis on flavour, freshness and the texture of ingredients, as well as the culinary prowess of the chefs. One must-try traditional dish is steamed pork marinated in Chinese rice wine and herbs. Another is slow-roasted goose simmered with black vinegar sauce, prepared with fresh young ginger and sweet rice vinegar.

Stewed mud carp with conpoy is a homestyle dish in which the skin and bones are traditionally removed and the flesh combined with ingredients such as conpoy, dried shrimp, pork, mushrooms, carrots, and cabbage. They are then stuffed back into the fish skin and wok-fried to a golden brown.

Diners can sample Shunde cuisine at One Harbour Road until September 4. Wine pairings are available upon request.

One Harbour Road, 7/F-8/F, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. Tel: 2584 7722

Pierre Herme Paris desserts return in Ritz-Carlton's afternoon tea 

Afternoon teas at Café 103 at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong are about to be jazzed up with another edition of desserts designed by Pierre Herme Paris.

The Satine Afternoon Tea will be available from August 3 to 31 and features six desserts, inspired by Herme’s Fetish Satine collection, which combine the flavours of passion fruit, orange and cream cheese.

Highlights include chou satine, created with a passion fruit crumble, orange marmalade, and cream cheese mascarpone with crunchy shortbread pastry; emotion satine, a passion fruit compote with orange pieces, cream cheese and shortbread pastry; and cake satine, a reinterpretation of the classic pound cake with orange zest and passion fruit aroma.

There will also be a scone satine and Pierre Herme’s speciality, macaron satine.

Complementing the desserts are three savoury snacks created by the hotel’s executive chef, Peter Find: a dark rye bread sandwich with smoked salmon, carrot bread Swiss roll with seafood mousse and crab roe, and brown bread sandwich with orange egg salad.

The Pierre Herme Satine Afternoon Tea is available from August 3 to 31 between 3.30pm and 5.30pm at Café 103, and costs HK$388 per person.

Café 103, 103/F, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, tel:  2263 2270

New chef at Angelini in Kowloon likes to keep dishes simple 

Angelini, the Italian restaurant in the Kowloon Shangri-La, has a new chef .. called Angelini. He was formally introduced to the media at a cocktail party in the restaurant.

Alessandro Angelini hails from Rimini and has cooked professionally for 20 years in Europe, North America and Asia.

He was previously executive chef at Joia Restaurant at Elements mall in West Kowloon, and has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in Venice, London, Los Angeles and Ngapali Beach, Myanmar.

Of the menu at Angelini, he said: “I respect the beauty of minimalism and simplicity, so I don’t use too many types of ingredients in one single dish. I like to take a lighter and healthier approach to Italian food, as I appreciate the Mediterranean style of cooking.”

Seafood will feature prominently on the menu, in dishes such as raw Sicilian red prawns with avocado, green apple and yogurt, homemade black and white tagliolini with scallops, king prawns and red raw shrimps in a paper box, and Dover sole with caramelised onions, raisins and pine nuts accompanied with gratin of asparagus.


Angelini The Italian Restaurant, M/F, Kowloon Shangri-La, 64 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, tel: 2733 8750