Food Review: Metropolitain in Sai Ying Pun
46 High Street, Sai Ying Pun
Tel: 6271 6102
Open: Tuesday-Sunday, noon-11pm
Price: about HK$350 without drinks or the service charge
Ambience: the long room has high, exposed ceilings, tall chairs and stools, seats along the counter of the open kitchen where chickens turn slowly on a rotisserie, and an alfresco area at the front.
Pros: it's a nice neighbourhood spot, with service that was friendly in a harried sort of way. They tried to seat us outside but, as it was a drizzly night, they gave us a cosy and comfortable round table in the corner.
Cons: the fried calamari (HK$78) had a thick, oily batter, and the snails with garlic butter (HK$78) needed more salt. My main course of moules marinières (HK$188 for 500 grams) had black mussels that were larger than I like and the broth was too salty. The pommes frites served with the mussels were so good that my guests kept taking them from my plate.
Recommended dishes: the house-made foie gras terrine with dried fruit chutney (HK$158) was a cool, buttery-rich slab of liver. The whole camembert (HK$208) came with delicious roast potatoes that we dipped into the hot melted cheese. I tasted my guest's steak tartare, which can be ordered as a half portion (HK$88) or regular portion (HK$176, 180 grams). The meat was nicely textured and well seasoned. The tarte Tatin (HK$68) was fine, but the unexpected winner in the dessert section was the pineapple carpaccio (HK$60). The thinly sliced fruit, served with lime sorbet, had been poached, which softened the acidity and made the fruit more succulent.
What else? Metropolitain is part of the French Creations group, which runs the French-American Bistro, Pastis and Saint-Germain.