There was a lot of excitement among the foodie crowd about Serge et le Phoque (Serge and the seal) when it first opened a few months ago; my friends kept referring to it as "the chateaubriand restaurant". I've been to Le Chateaubriand twice, and wondered if Serge et le Phoque really would be a branch of the Paris establishment, which regularly makes it onto the list of the world's best restaurants. It turns out that Le Chateaubriand isn't the only well-known fashionable French establishment that could be associated with Serge et le Phoque - the chefs also worked at Le Dauphin (sister restaurant to Chateaubriand), La Bigarrade and Café Burq. Serge has floor-to-ceiling windows and is only steps away from the Wan Chai market. The main room (there's also an alcove that seats about 10) has tables along two sides, semi-circular booths in the centre, and an area where people can stand and drink. They offer a four-course tasting menu for HK$550 and another menu at HK$1,650 (HK$1,850 for two), depending on the main course - including meats from Parisian butcher Hugo Desnoyer. As tempting as the 1kg côte de boeuf sounded, the mains from the cheaper menu were even more enticing, so we went with that. We were off to a good start with the amuse-bouche - a shot glass filled with refreshing celery juice, and a tiny skewer of juicy tandoori mussels. From the list of starters, I was immediately drawn to the cauliflower with cuttlefish - a combination I first tasted (and loved) a few months ago at Passage 53 in Paris. The version here was different, although still very good. The cuttlefish was lightly seared then covered with flakes of cauliflower shaved so finely they almost melted on the tongue. The boeuf a cru featured raw beef that was hand-sliced into thick, toothsome pieces before being topped with tender tongues of sea urchin. We were pleasantly surprised by the next course, which wasn't listed on the menu - a crisply fried soft- shell crab. Our main course of mackerel was fantastic. The fish was just barely cooked so it was almost raw inside, then topped with very fine slices of lardo di Colonnata and what tasted like pickled daikon and shavings of katsuo (dried bonito). The pork belly - sadly - was distinctly underwhelming because it was dry and firm. We liked the fried Lilliputian-sized river crabs that came as a garnish, though. Next came small wedges of brie and Salers cheeses, served with a dab of roselle jam. For dessert, we liked the macaron-shaped sandwich of dacquoise (nut meringues) with a thick layer of vanilla cream and a crunchy nougatine core, but more intriguing was the beetroot sorbet with caramel sauce and cardamom. The sorbet had an elusive flavour that I thought was guava, but it turned out to be passion fruit. email@example.com Serge et le Phoque, shop B2, Tower 1 The Zenith, 3 Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai. Tel: 5465 2000. Open: Tue 6pm-10.30pm, Wed-Fri noon-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm, Sat and Sun 11am-11.30pm. There is no service charge.