Address: 2/F, The Cameron, 33 Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui 尖沙咀金馬倫道33號The Cameron 2樓
Telephone: 2789 8000
La Saison by Jacques Barnachon is an elegant, upscale French restaurant located in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui. The restaurant is set up by Chef Jacques Barnachon, previously the executive chef of the renowned L’Etang du Moulin in France, who wishes to promote an environmental message in Hong Kong that restaurants should use seasonal, locally produced food in their cuisine. “La saison” means “season”, as the restaurant team believe that they should respect the rhythm of the seasons and serve only dishes made from the best seasonable ingredients.
An elegant glass elevator brings you from the ground floor to the restaurant, the decor of which is subtly luxurious, with wooden flooring, plush armchairs and strategically dim lighting making for a sumptuous yet cosy dining environment. There is also an elegant, inviting outdoor garden which is complete with a small waterfall. Chef Jacques visits regularly, but has appointed Florian Muller, a former apprentice at L’Etang du Moulin, as head chef in his absence.
We try the restaurant’s 4-course summer menu, which costs $1,188 per head. Given the restaurant’s location in Tsim Sha Tsui, the prices are certainly on the hefty side, but the restaurant’s service is very polished, attentive and knowledgeable, which helps to justify the price tag.
(1) We start off with some bread and amuse-bouche. The bread is warm and fine, and we enjoy the crab tart with caviar and cottage cheese tartlet, but find the organic tomato soup strangely bitter.
(2) A stylishly presented beef tongue jelly with caper mayonnaise arrives. The jelly is bland and in want of flavours, but we enjoy the beef tongue, which is thoroughly cooked and nicely tender.
(3) The pan seared duck foie gras and langoustine with fig in red wine sauce and aged balsamic vinegar is accomplished. The foie gras is expertly grilled so that it is delicately crispy on the surface but still retains inner tenderness. The red wine sauce and aged balsamic vinegar is also spot-on, and boasts a great balance of sweetness and tartness which perfectly complements the foie gras.
(4) There are two main courses to choose from, and one of them is the pan seared scallops with apple jam, morels and mushroom sauce. The scallops are remarkably tender and smooth, but we are a bit unsure about the apple jam, morels and mushroom sauce, which is sweet but otherwise lacks complexity.
(5) The other option is a pigeon duet of pan fried and confit with cabbages, black truffles and pigeon sauce. The pigeon meat is succulent and soft, and has a naturally delicious taste, but we wish the skin is crispier for both the pan fried and confit pigeon.
(6) Our dessert is a vanilla, raspberry and rose mousse dome with lychee sorbet. The mousse dome has a refreshing array of floral and fruity flavours, and the bottom layer is attractively crunchy. The homemade lychee sorbet is enjoyable too, but a tad too sweet for me.
The meal is rounded up with some petit fours of lemon madeleine, chocolate tartlet and caramel biscuit.
It seems like the kitchen needs to iron out some kinks in order to justify the price they charge for this 4-course menu – it is evident that the ingredients are fine and pristine, but the seasoning and flavouring of the dishes need to be fine-tuned for a better result. Nonetheless, my dinner at La Saison is overall an enjoyable experience, particularly enhanced by the restaurant’s stylish decor and seamless service. This is surely a beautiful venue suitable for business dinners, romantic dates and other special occasions.