A Nu Retrouvez-Vous, Tsim Sha Tsui restaurant review: French and Japanese high notes throughout
Diners are served eight courses chosen by the chef using Japanese ingredients such as Hokkaido uni and Kagoshima A5 sirloin; the quality of the dishes, including softly scrambled eggs with gold leaf, justify the US$200 bill
A Nu Retrouvez-Vous offers a discreet, quiet room, attentive service, lovely view and fantastic French cuisine using Japanese ingredients. The price – HK$1,580 (US$200) – isn’t exorbitant given the quality. The restaurant, in the new extension of Harbour City, is the Hong Kong branch of the original in Tokyo (which opened in 2009), and the staff explained that the name translates to “just as it is” (although Google Translate says it means “naked find yourself”).
We were told when we sat down that there wasn’t a menu – that the chef would cook for us, tailoring the dishes as needed if we had any dietary restrictions (we didn’t). The eight-course meal started off on high notes with the snacks and bread and got progressively better; we ate every last bite, down to the macaron and sable cookies served at the end with tea.
After the three snacks and an amuse bouche of hamaguri clam with prawn oil and a fish sauce and wild vegetable vinaigrette, the meal proper kicked off with something warm and comforting: very softly scrambled eggs, but made luxurious with mushroom veloute, mushroom foam and Hokkaido uni, and a decoration of gold leaf.
Then came a lightly smoky charcoal-grilled Japanese lobster with yuzu vinaigrette and seasonal vegetables. Delicious, but the next dish was even better: shirako (cod sperm) with spelt risotto. Not everyone likes shirako (it has the texture of brains) but we love it. Kinmadai with beurre blanc, shaved squash and pickled fennel was beautifully cooked; the fish was moist with slightly crisp skin, and the sauce complemented it beautifully.
Kagoshima A5 sirloin – tender, fatty and cooked to a perfect rare – was just the right amount; more would have been overwhelming.
Desserts were just as good as the savoury dishes. Hazelnut dacquoise with ganache and mandarin sorbet was crunchy and rich, while the white wine sabayon-poached green apple with green tea jelly, milk foam and basil sorbet refreshed our palates.
A Nu Retrouvez-Vous, Shop OTE 402, Level 4, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2770 6222. HK$1,580 without drinks or the service charge.
While you’re in the area: