The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Friday, 31 January 2014

Semi-buffet lunch @ Maison Eric Kayser (Harbour City), Hong Kong

Two weeks ago, I got the opportunity to try out the restaurant section of the French bakery Maison Eric Kayser in Harbour City. A deal by the restaurant came up in Groupon, offering a semi-buffet lunch for two to enjoy on a weekday at a discounted price. We'd previously enjoyed delicious baguettes and baked goodies at an Eric Kayser boulangerie in Paris, so I literally jumped at said deal (I very rarely get Groupons for restaurant deals unless I know the quality is good, either from experience or reputation). Hubby works during the week, and I needed a companion to join me, so I invited Steph to join me. I love going out to eat with fellow foodies, because they understand my obsession with food, and they don't judge me when I take out my camera. Steph used to write a food and travel blog (that's how we met back when she was still in the US!) and she didn't even bat an eyelid when I asked to take a photo of her plate.

Spacious in a modern urban setting:

The view out - there's our residential building right there! The ICC (tallest building in Hong Kong) is also visible:

The service we got was average for HK standard, and adequate for our needs. In addition to their a-la-carte menu, Maison Eric Kayser has a special lunch menu which offers diners a "semi-buffet" of soup, salad, appetisers, fougasse (described as 'pizza' on the menu as it's a more familiar term to the masses), bread and desserts that changes daily, and a main course of pasta-of-the-week with several upgrade options. At the time of our visit, this semi-buffet lunch was going for HK$108 (plus 10% service charge) each, and the Groupon I got gave a small discount - a good enough reason to bundle up the month-old infant and make the trip to Harbour City. Steph and I were pleased with the quality of the buffet selection, though I thought my main course was only average (no comment from Steph about her main course). Pasta-of-the-week was penne bolognese, which Steph opted for, and I chose the HK$40 upgrade to get the seafood risotto. The highlights of the buffet for me were the smoked salmon, the breads and fougasse, and the desserts.

The buffet table. Two types of fougasse were under a warmer behind me when I took this shot:

My first plate. To my delight, there were only heels (crusts) left in the bread basket and the fougasse platter, which the majority reject as second-rate, but I think they're the best part of the bread! There were three or four types of bread, and two kinds of fougasse. The salads, roast pumpkins and artichokes, stuffed cherry tomatoes and smoked salmon were all great:

My seafood risotto, which was rather average. Not enough seafood flavours, though there were a fair amount of squid, salmon and prawns in there:

Fresh cut fruits:

Desserts round 1 - madeleines, apricot tart, chocolate eclair, cherry clafoutis tart and coffee eclair. I really liked the madeleine, apricot tart and chocolate eclair:

Desserts round 2 - vanilla eclair, another slice of the apricot tart, and a really good lemon tartlet. Can't remember the fourth piece in the background:

There's a bakery next to the restaurant's entrance filled with delicious baked goodies that I wanted to take with me:

Display of desserts in the bakery:

This was pretty good quality for a buffet lunch, and it gave a pretty good idea of the food quality. As expected, the baked goods and desserts were winners. I'd love to come back to Eric Kayser to try the a-la-carte menu.

Maison Eric Kayser
Shop G14-15
Ground Floor, Ocean Terminal
Harbour City
17 Canton Road
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel. +852 2736 2884

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