Cuisine: French Bistro
How much: Starters from $98, mains from $228, dessert from $88
The Best For: A romantic Parisian date night
Must Order: Bouchées de champignons de Paris aux escargots (Snails baked in a mushroom cap with parsley-garlic butter) and Saint-Honoré cake
For a long while rumours have been making the rounds that a certain well-known, three Michelin-starred chef was going to open a bistro in Hong Kong. Well, the wait is finally over. Chef Yannick Alléno has opened Terroir Parisien in the heart of Central, bringing seasonal produce and typical Parisian dishes to life.
Like most restaurants in Prince’s building, Terroir Parisien is slightly hidden away, with stairs leading into an open and inviting space. In its simplicity, it still makes for a cosy environment. The bar area is beautifully illuminated, and the open-kitchen creates a lively interactive atmosphere where imaginative cocktails are a must order. Try the Kir Royal Parisien ($158) or the Montmatre ($88), which comes with a very interesting salt and cracked black pepper rim. The wine list is also extensive, and the staff are happy to make recommendations to suit your palate.
To kick off the evening in true French style, we chose an authentic artisanal charcuterie. Apart from cured meats, the charcuterie platter also included Pâté de Campagne, rillette and saucisson ($248) all reminiscent of sharing a platter entre amis (with friends) on the streets of Paris. The stand-out dishes included ‘Bouchées de champignons de Paris aux escargots’ or snails baked in mushroom caps with a parsley garlic butter ($158). These are so good you’ll want to dive right in and mop up the garlicky goodness with crusty pieces of French bread. In keeping with hearty food, as a main course the ‘Boudin Noir de chez Christian Parra pommes purée’ ($248) is also a must order. A thick slice of black pudding from world renowned chef Christian Parra, pan-fried and served on a bed of silky potato puree, it is rich in flavour and very comforting. If you are in the mood for something more familiar, order to L’hambourgeois ($268) which is based on the culinary master Escoffier’s original recipe. The burger is cooked to order and is topped with Comté cheese and a perfectly fried egg revealed through the top of the bun. Also worthy of a mention is the ‘Pilafaela de noix de coquille Saint- Jacques’ which was designed specifically for the Asian market. This dish consists of flavourful pilaf rice topped with perfectly cooked Hokkaido scallops ($288).
Of course, no French meal would be complete without dessert. The Saint-Honoré ($88) lives up to its name as the patron saint of bakers. The puff pastry, choux pastry and caramelized sugar is sweet and crackly and is contrasted wonderfully by the smoothness of the vanilla chantilly cream. I also highly recommend the Brioche “Nanterre” ($98), fluffy and light French toast served with vanilla ice cream.
Whether you are a fan or French cuisine or whether you are just looking for something very authentic, Terroir Parisien is a true taste of Paris in Hong Kong and I will definitely be returning!
Terroir Parisien, M/F, Prince’s Building,10 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2522 9990, www.terroirparisien.com.hk