Restaurant review: Hollywood 49 in Central – fine French fare featuring delicious frog legs
The meaty frog legs were pan-fried in brown butter, while the toothsome roasted farmhouse chicken was served up with a rich vin jaune sauce. Fans of Bistronomique and the former On Lot 10 will recognise many of the dishes
As soon as I walked into Hollywood 49, I was recognised by one of the managers. He knew me as a regular at the now closed On Lot 10 by chef David Lai (who has gone on to open Neighborhood and Fish School).
He wasn’t the only ex-On Lot 10 alumnus; the Hollywood 49 chef also worked there. Even without seeing them, I would have recognised many of the dishes as being either from On Lot 10 or Bistronomique, another restaurant that Lai opened(although he no longer has a hand in that one).
However, in terms of the decor, the place couldn’t be more different. On Lot 10 was white and cosy, with tables close together; Hollywood 49 is much darker and more spacious. The food is still good, though.
House-made duck rillettes (HK$90) were rich, sufficiently fatty and had a good, not-too-smooth texture. The truffle salt cod brandade (HK$138) had great flavour, but – and this was a complaint we always had at Bistronomique – was not heated long enough, so it was tepid.
I loved the pan-fried brown butter frog legs (HK$108). The frog legs were meaty and the smooth pomme purée soaked up the garlicky sauce.
We also really enjoyed the roasted farmhouse chicken fricassee (HK$680 for whole, HK$350 for half). The chicken had the toothsome, not-too-tender texture that you get from a fresh bird. The meat and morels were delicious with the rich vin jaune sauce.
We opted for the addition of foie gras (HK$120 for a large portion, HK$60 for small) and the cubes were large and perfectly cooked. We didn’t need the side dish of duck fat potatoes (HK$40) but were glad we ordered them: they had a crusty exterior and piping hot, fluffy interior.
Hollywood 49, 2/F Hilltop Plaza, 49 Hollywood Road (entrance is on Graham Street), Central, tel: 2347 7009. About HK$395 without drinks or the service charge.
Other places nearby we’ve written about recently: