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

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Birthday lunch with French @ Caprice (Four Seasons), Hong Kong

We celebrated my husband's birthday this past weekend with a lovely lunch experience at Caprice, a 3 Michelin-star restaurant. Actually, up until the night before Rob's birthday, we didn't have a table at Caprice. I had rung the restaurant a few weeks prior only to find out that I was not early enough to secure a booking - not surprising for a Michelin-starred restaurant. Nevertheless, the restaurant put my name down on the waiting list, and I made a booking at another 2-starred restaurant. We had well and truly accepted the apparent fact that we weren't going to eat at our first restaurant choice, when lo and behold, Caprice rang me the night before to inform me that a spot had been freed up, and would I like to take the table? To be honest, I did hesitate a little while before accepting, because it meant that I would have to make a last minute cancellation at this other restaurant, and I hate to impose last minute changes on anyone. But it was only a moment's hesitation. The call came through while Rob was still at the office, so I managed to keep it as a little birthday surprise. The poor guy was confused when, once we got off the MTR in Central, I led him in a direction opposite to where he thought we were going to eat at. Rob was pretty pleased when he finally found out that we did get a table at Caprice after all.

The view of the restaurant from our comfortable corner. Straight ahead is the open kitchen where the chefs are hard at work (closer shot of the kitchen below). The bright windows to the right boast gorgeous views of Victoria Harbour, similar to the view from Inagiku, also in the same hotel:

Unlike most of the other Michelin-starred restaurants we have dined at, we brought our boy along with us. I was pleased to find out that both Caprice and the other restaurant welcomed children aged from 3 upwards, because some parents want to celebrate special occasions with our little ones. Okay, maybe that's a little lie and we'd rather have been kid-free, but it's still nice to know that we have the option to fine dine with our almost-3 boy. We were thoughtfully seated at a table with sofa seating in a corner where our son can be his boisterous self without bothering other diners (credit should be given to the boy because he did at times conscientiously lowered his volume to his "quiet voice"). The room was well designed so that we didn't feel like we had been put in a corner and forgotten. Our waiters looked after us very well but in an unobtrusive manner. It really is lovely to be served by well-trained waitstaff, especially in a city where manners are often forgotten and the idea of service and hospitality leaves a lot to be desired.

The window tables at Caprice are highly coveted, but we weren't terribly fussed about getting a view as we already enjoy daily harbour views from the comfort of our own apartment. In fact, we could see our apartment building from our table through this window:

Freshly baked bread at these sort of restaurants are bottomless, offered until you say a polite "No, thank you". The olive bread, whole wheat roll and sesame brioche were all lovely. Yes, I tried all the bread in the basket except for the baguette - low carb diets will never work on me!

Herb Foccacia served while we were poring over the menu - slightly sweet and very herby. Yum!

Hand-churned French butter to go with the bread - salted (the one with the sharp cone top on the right) and unsalted (the shorter flatter one on the left). Very creamy and buttery:

We both opted for the Weekend Brunch, which is an excellent value for a Michelin 3-star venue. For HK$480, we could choose from several options for all three courses, and wine and coffee/tea were also included. We also ordered an additional appetiser dish instead of a kids' meal so that Zak could share our food and join in on the dining experience. I think it's important to start 'em young on food appreciation, from cooking to dining.

The wines were selected by the sommelier. I chose white wine, and was given a French sauvignon blanc, which was fruity and easy to drink. Rob chose red and got a merlot from New Zealand. The merlot was also quite fruity as far as reds go, and a little dry:


Rob's - Alaskan King Crab, Scallops and Vegetable Jelly, Cocktail Sauce and Avocado Coulis. Light and cool - perfect for summer-time:

Mine - Smoked Ratte Potato Velouté, Wild Mushroom Croquettes and Chicken Oyster. A sophisticated potato soup. Beautiful smoked flavour, tasty chicken "oyster" morsels in the soup, and delicious fried mushroom packets:

This appetiser was ordered off the a-la-carte menu and I didn't take note of what it was called. Rob said the dish was called something like "Sautéed Foie Gras on top of Chocolate Rice Crispies". It tasted better and more sophisticated than it sounded, and I loved the presentation of the brightly coloured vegetable spheres. The foie gras was a tad overcooked, but still tasted quite fine:

We took a little break from the eating to have a look at the kitchen action. I love watching the chefs in action - it will always be a novelty for me:

Main Courses

Rob - Barbarie Duck Breast, Leg Confit and French Bean Roll, Gizzard Potato Dauphine in Rosemary Scent. The French certainly knows how to cook duck optimally. The breast was done medium and had a lovely tender texture. We both particularly liked the green rolls because the leg confit was excellent in both taste and texture. The potato dauphine was very cute and very tasty:

Mine - Wild Corvina, Crushed Violon Zucchini, Ratatouille and Sweet Black Olives. I was told by our waiter that corvina is similar to the sea bass, and he was right. Beautiful sweet flesh contrasted with the crispy skin. The ratatouille (left of fish) and zucchini (green mound to the right of fish) were very nicely done and even the strongest of meat eaters wouldn't object eating these vegetables. The black strip of tapenade-like sweet olives was very pleasant on the tongue, slightly sweet with a mild olive flavour:


More than half our lunch calorie intake must have come from the desserts. French desserts are so exquisite, both in presentation and taste.

First up, we were served the Petit Fours. The tiny bite-sized pieces of sweet heaven included Dark Chocolate Cups with Pineapple and Coconut, nutty Caramels, delicate Carrot Cake, and Strawberry Marshmallows. After we finished, we were asked if we wanted more!

We were then shown the dessert tray. We could choose three each, so between the two of us, we sampled all of them!

A little candle and birthday message just for Rob:

They were all good, with the coffee eclair and apple tart being particularly good. We both agreed that the macaron was our favourite, with the lightly crispy shell contrasting quite nicely with the slightly chewy chocolaty filling.

(Left to right) Macaron with Chocolate Raspberry centre, Pineapple Cheesecake with Dragonfruit, Chocolate Brownie Slice:

(Left to right) Pannacotta with Frambois and Raspberries, Apple Tart, Coffee Eclair with Toffee:

We had a lovely dining experience at Caprice, and I can't fault anything. Everything was done well in the restaurant, from the service to the food. I particularly loved how kid-friendly the restaurant is, even providing crayons and a colouring book to occupy the little ones. Caprice deserves all three stars from Michelin.

6F, Four Seasons Hotel
8 Finance Street
Central, Hong Kong
Tel. +85 2 3196 8860

Rare family shot:


  1. :) I like

    nice dress...hehe

  2. Tee hee! Yeah, I realised I didn't have anything nice to wear at the last minute, so I had a little look around in your box.. I told Rob that "it's nice to borrow my sister's dress even when she's not here"!

  3. lol... took me a while to realise you replied to my message.

    If you like that dress, you're welcome to keep it as yours. hehe.

    I'm in the middle of packing my apartment because I'm moving out on the 14th and to Sydney on the 25th. So I'm realising that I have lots of stuff... >_>