Hong Kong restaurant reviews

Restaurant review: Terroir Parisien in Central – fantastic French food let down by service

Apart from some service niggles, Yannick Alleno’s bistro ticks the boxes, with nicely balanced vivid flavours presented in classic Gallic dishes

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 November, 2017, 6:15pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 November, 2017, 7:17pm

A brief rant. Over dinner at Terroir Parisien in Landmark Prince’s, my guest is in the middle of a story that is so engrossing we’ve stopped eating and are leaning in, the better to hear over the high noise level. “Can I clear your plates for you?” asks the waiter, interrupting the denouement.

My hand banging down on the table in annoyance made the people at the table nearby turn around in surprise, and I gave the waiter a death glare. It wasn’t as if he were bringing food to the table that needed to be served hot or cold, as the case may be; he was clearing up – something that could have waited for an appropriate break in the conversation, if he had been trained better.

Was it also part of his training to tell me that a sweetbread is an organ meat? Do people really think it’s a type of gluten-heavy carbohydrate?

Having got that off my chest, I’m pleased to say that the food is good. Terroir Parisien is the bistro by Yannick Alleno, who is perhaps better known for his three-Michelin-star establishment in France, Pavillon Ledoyen.

Why one of world’s top chefs opened a bistro in Hong Kong – it’s a social laboratory, says France’s Yannick Alleno

The meal wasn’t faultless: the bistro classic of onion soup with Comté cheese (HK$118) was watery, rather than being intensely oniony.

But my starter of grilled line-caught mackerel fillet (HK$168) was fantastic, with vivid flavours. It came with four types of cauliflower – purple, green, white and yellow – with a tangy, mustardy vinaigrette, the acidity of which balanced the rich oiliness of the mackerel.

I also loved my main course of veal sweetbreads with beurre noisette and capers (HK$348). It was a substantial portion: two large lobes that were dense and moist, served with a smooth, buttery potato purée. My guest’s main course of slow-braised lamb shoulder navarin with seasonal vegetables (HK$348) was summery, with a light but flavourful sauce.

We also ordered a side dish of pommes allumettes (HK$88). They were thicker than we thought they would be (allumette is French for “matchstick”), but they were hot and crusty, and we ate almost the entire order.

For dessert, tarte au chocolate (HK$88) was smooth, dark and rich, but even better was the brioche French toast (HK$88) which was custardy inside, with a delicately crisp crust.

Terroir Parisien Shop M20-24, M/F, Landmark Prince’s, 10 Chater Road, Central, tel: 2522 9990. About HK$600 without drinks or the service charge.

While you’re in the area

Restaurant review: La Brata in Central – big portions and a warm welcome, so bring an appetite

First impressions of Ying Jee Club – uber-posh Cantonese with echoes of nearby Duddell’s fare

Restaurant review: Mugung Hanwoo Beef Specialist, Central – good for beef lovers, but other dishes are disappointing