CLOSED - Newly opened Maison Eight in Tsim Sha Tsui – fine dining in an elegant setting

Former Mandarin Oriental chef Joe Chan delivers French classics with a light touch

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 May, 2016, 12:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 15 May, 2017, 1:12pm

Maison Eight in Tsim Sha Tsui is one of several pricey restaurants opened recently that have quickly become fashionable. Located on the top floor of 8 Observatory Road, the restaurant and lounge has scenic views of Hong Kong Island.

The elegant bar at the entrance sets the tone, with chandeliers and a large ballroom area that leads to the balcony. To the right is Esmé, an intimate dining area.

Many moons ago, executive chef and general manager Joe Chan cooked at the Mandarin Oriental’s former French fine dining restaurant, Pierrot, and at a Michelin two-star hotel west of Bordeaux, in France.

Here, Chan presents modern French classic dishes in a formal setting: some waiters even wear gloves, which seems excessive in today’s more relaxed dining scene. Restraint seemed to be the running theme, from the food portions to the service, but we hope this will be relaxed with time.

To start, the foie gras terrine (HK$208) was delicious and smooth, accompaniedby a crunchy green bean salad and a bit of truffle on the side.

The onion broth (HK$118) seemed interesting: the menu described it as having melted cheese and air-dried ham French toast. The shallow bowl arrived tableside with the tiniest cubes of cheese, with shallots and ham, and the server poured the deep brown coloured broth into the bowl. Unfortunately the broth, while flavourful, was only warm, which marred the otherwise wonderfully delicate dish.

The roast lamb rack (HK$398)was beautifully presented and cooked to a perfect medium-rare, making it tender and juicy. The server gave us a choice of mustards and mint sauce.

The classic lobster thermidor (HK$498) didn’t stray from tradition. The half a lobster was cooked perfectly, served with a creamy sauce that wasn’t too overpowering, and garnished with a few leaves. A bit more vegetable garnish would have been appreciated.

For dessert, the rhum baba (HK$88) had been soaked in plenty of the spirit, with mixed berries and a scoop of strawberry sorbet decorating the plate.

The warm chocolate tart (HK$88) was a misnomer because it actually arrived as three small half brownie cakes topped with banana slices, hazelnut ice cream and pistachio crumbs. We liked it but the description should have been more accurate.

Maison Eight, 21/F, 8 Observatory Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2388 8160