A foreign enclave is being carved out of Central. Completing a Gallic trifecta, gastro wine bar Figaro joins contemporary French restaurant Cocotte and French-run cocktail joint Neo along Shin Hing Street.
The location is a small one that seats about 20. With its bare concrete walls and exposed filament light bulbs, the space lacks any real character. It’s serviceable and inoffensive, but we await the day interior designers move beyond these tired clichés.
Unsurprisingly, the drinks menu is focused on wine, almost exclusively French plonk. Although there are a handful of intriguing Lebanese options, your choices are otherwise restricted to the wines of Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Rhône region. We start with a glass of red Sancerre Reverdy ($85). Made from pinot noir, the taste is soft, well-balanced and easy on the tannins. A decent by the glass option. Still feeling peckish after our dinner, we order the small charcuterie board ($80). The selection is good for the price and the meats are quality all round, but it’s the rillette, with its floral notes, that impresses most. To round things off we switch to whisky. The Michel Couvreur ($125) out of Burgundy is tempting, as is the award-winning Redbreast 12 Years ($120) from Ireland, but we stick with an old favourite and the extreme campfire flavours of the Laphroaig Quarter Cask ($120).
There’s nothing wrong with Figaro, but there’s little that makes it stand out from the pack in its wine list or food offerings. An authentic bar is a good thing, but compared to Neo up the road, we feel a little out of place, we’re just not quite Parisian enough. However, if you’re a Francophile, no doubt you’ll feel right at home. Douglas Parkes
Figaro 2 Shin Hing St, Central, 2757 1777; figaro.com.hk.