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Yakifrenchy skewers. Photo: Clarence

Clarence restaurant review: A new world of French classics with a Japanese touch at Hong Kong’s H Code

  • French chef Olivier Elzer, who enjoys near-celebrity status in Hong Kong, helms this passion project where his masterful cuisine is accompanied by a fine selection of wine
Good Eating

To fans of St. Regis Hong Kong’s L’Envol, Olivier Elzer needs no introduction. The charming French chef who trained under industry greats such as Joël Robuchon, Pierre Gagnaire has such a huge following in Hong Kong that he almost enjoys celebrity status.

Situated on the 25th floor of H Code, Clarence is Elzer’s passion project – and it shows. The multi-function space is divided into a raw bar, a sommelier room fashioned like a cellar door, and a main dining area with open views of Tai Kwun.

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From the raw bar, we tried the sashimigrade black prawns which are marinated with tonka bean, lemon juice and lemon zest (HK$228). This dish went well with the citrus of the Chenin Blanc white wine.

Skate Wing Photo: Clarence

There is an extensive “yakifrenchy” section on the menu, which are largely French-inspired ingredients grilled Japanese style on a robata and served on skewers – no doubt a great addition to the wine experience at Clarence.

We sampled the frog legs (HK$68), duck confit (HK$68) and Burgundy snails (HK$58). The frogs legs and duck confit were executed well, however, the snails would’ve been better with more garlic and parsley.

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For mains, we opted for the skate wing, teppan, brown butter and spices (HK$688 per 400g). The fish was carefully cooked and fell off the bone, with subtle aromas of the butter and spices permeating through the flesh. This went well with the side of garlic confit (HK$90).

Ending the meal on a sweet note, we loved the house-made lychee and rose petit-Suisse ice cream, that incorporates traditional fromage frais for a tartness that enhanced the fruit and flower aromas. A creative menu combined with an impressive wine list, Clarence will be the favourite of many diners in the city.

25/F, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central