Newly opened Frantzen’s Kitchen, Sheung Wan – Michelin-starred chef’s sumptuous cuisine
The apple-lingonberry macaron, sashimi of Norwegian salmon and the French toast are standouts at this tiny Nordic restaurant, but they don’t come cheap
There was a lot of hype when Bjorn Frantzen – of the two-Michelin-star Frantzen in Stockholm – announced he was opening a restaurant in Hong Kong. But how could he do it in a tiny space previously occupied by Nosh on Upper Station Street?
Owners of the property, Arne and Helen Lindeman, brought Frantzen over to increase the number of Nordic restaurants in the city, and this one is getting a lot of buzz, and for good and bad reasons. It lives up to the gastronomic hype, but it will leave a considerable dent in your wallet.
We squeezed into a small end table by the window and admired the place mat that doubles as a menu. The dishes are sketched on the paper place mat, labelling all the ingredients in them.
The apple-lingonberry macaron (HK$60) is a very tall “sandwich” with foie gras parfait and a slice of apple. Eat it in one bite (if you can open your mouth wide enough), and it’s a wonderful combination of richness and tartness, crunchy and soft.
We also liked the poached oyster “63.4C” (HK$75) with exotic ingredients that included frozen sea buckthorn, seaweed powder and goats’ cream – very refreshing and light.
French toast (HK$90) is too small to share – and it’s so delicious you won’t want to, anyway. It’s a mini toastie with aged cheese topped with black truffle shavings. So good! And in two bites, your HK$90 has gone into your stomach.
Our server advised us to order at least three mains and we duly complied. Sashimi of Norwegian salmon (HK$165) was a carefully arranged pile of ingredients that seemed to shimmer like gemstones. The fish was mixed with king crab, cucumber, dill and trout roe, resulting in a nice, light summer dish.
The grilled chicken (HK$215) featured a slice of the bird with mushrooms, thyme and hazelnuts, as well as Jerusalem artichoke with miso and breadcrumbs. We liked the dish, although we preferred the roasted pork belly (HK$195). This main was memorable: two thick cubes of pork complemented by black garlic, pumpkin purée, pumpkin seeds, shiso and dried kale. All the ingredients worked well together to create a hearty, satisfying taste.
The smoked ice cream (HK$115) was a hot dessert. Hot fudge was poured over a ball of tar syrup that revealed a scoop of ice cream that did indeed taste smoked. Another dessert, the sticky beetroot (HK$115), wasn’t too sweet, and had interesting flavours of marmalade, vinegar, whipped licorice, berries and beets.
Frantzen’s Kitchen, 11 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan, tel: 2559 8508. It’s best to reserve a table online at frantzenskitchen.com
While you’re in the area: