Address: Shop 403, 4/F, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, 17 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui 尖沙咀廣東道17號海洋中心4樓403號舖
Telephone: 3185 8338
I have always adored French cuisine and the insane level of finesse and elegance that comes with it. However, I didn’t realise how many French meals I have in a year until the founder of Foodmento, a search-friendly, photo-based food app, sent me an analysis of all the photos I uploaded in 2014. It turns out that French cuisine is my most frequent choice of all, followed by Japanese and Chinese.
Therefore, it didn’t take very much convincing for me to try out ÉPURE French Fine Dining, a high-end French restaurant that opened in June 2014 in Harbour City. An operation by the Gourmet Dining Group, the interior of the restaurant is designed by award-winning firm Yabu Pushelberg, and is opulent and majestic – you enter the restaurant through a golden gate devised from an 1802 hand-drawn map of Paris, and the restaurant boasts a comfortable a gold and grey colour theme, with a modern cylindrical wine cellar in the middle of the dining room.
The kitchen is helmed by Executive Chef Nicolas Boutin, who has an impressive culinary background, having worked at Michelin three-starred Troisgros and Michelin two-starred Hauterive Saint-James in Bordeaux before. The kitchen offers French classics using the freshest premium ingredients flown in from France, and the restaurant also offers a collection of French vintage wines from the celebrated chateaux as well as a variety of rare cheeses.
We go for the 8-course Tasting Menu, which costs $1,488 per head (you can opt for 6 courses at $1,288 per head). The service is flawless, knowledgable and incredibly helpful from start to finish. The manager of the restaurant has lived in a range of countries including Paris, China and Dubai, and would be more than willing to share his many anecdotes and travel tips with you!
The waiter pours warm water over a white “button” and it slowly expands into a small napkin (I have also seen this before eat NUR Hong Kong).
The amuse bouche arrives, and it comprises two pieces of oysters, served with granite and sorbet respectively. We find the the oysters exhilaratingly fresh, and the flavours refreshing and well adjusted.
The bread basket, prepared by Head Pastry Chef Matthieu Godard, is absolutely enticing. I particularly enjoy the black olives focaccia, but we wish the bread is in general more buttery.
(1) A simplistically arranged chilled blue lobster, celery root “remoulade”, Granny Smith apple & coriander is our first course, and the blue lobster is of exceptional quality.
(2) The mushroom veloute blows us away. The flavour is intensely soothing and has just the perfect level of thickness. The mushroom flavour shines brilliantly.
(3) The seared duck foie gras, cabbage from Pontoise, elderberry vinaigrette follows. The foie gras is well seared and delicately crispy on the outside, while smooth and tender in the middle. Very delicious, but in fact the foie gras can be smaller in size as there are so many courses!
(4) The dover sole, sautéed salsify & flat parsley, Tonka beans beurre blanc is unfussy and tastes spot on. The dover sole has an impeccable bounciness, and matches marvellously with the black truffle shavings.
(5) There are 2 choices for the main course, and the first one is a roasted Challans duck breast, glazed turnip “boule d’or” & Agen prune. The duck breast is well executed and deliciously juicy.
The other option is the seared Omi rib eye beef A5, 9/10 prefecture Japan “Pomme soufflé”, Cabernet Sauvignon reduction (supplement $200). The beef is remarkably fatty and tender, and the “Pomme soufflé”, a fancy way of saying mashed potato, is light, airy and attractively creamy.
(6) The seasonal cheeses, all unpasteurised cheeses from France, are simply spectacular. The selection here is rather pungent, which works excellently for hardcore cheese lovers. The brie is to die for!
(7) For dessert, a blood orange, fresh jelly, confit, faisselle sorbet is not only tasty but also magnificent to look at. The blood orange flavour is utterly refreshing and delectable!
(8) The hazelnut chocolate fondant, bergamot confit, bergamot & milk sorbet is an interesting, mouthwatering combination. The hazelnut chocolate fondant is smooth and tasty beyond description, and the milk sorbet is a job well done. The bergamot confit tastes unusual, but is certainly acceptable.
For petit fours, some delicate patisserie is presented to us and the green tea butter cake is buttery and tasty, but the chocolate macaron could be a tad more airy.
I know you should not eat 3 hours before you sleep, but after this impressive feast, I pretty much fall into a food coma as soon as I get home. The only thing that is perhaps not so impressive is the bill, as the prices here are comparable with prices at hotel fine dining restaurants, but without the valet parking. Very satisfied with this culinary experience, I am surely coming back to try out La Terrasse by ÉPURE, which is the restaurant’s al fresco dining in a relaxed French garden setting, and also DALLOYAU Paris, the restaurant’s cake shop which although sounds funny in Cantonese (meaning “big bottom”), is actually a tea house from Paris which first opened in 1802 and is renowned for their lavish selection of macaron, chocolates and French patisserie!