Hong Kong. The ‘fragrant harbour’. Hardly a perfect moniker for an upmarket French bistro. But, in the case of Le Port Parfumé, the new hotspot on Central’s Kau U Fong, it’s a perfect fit. The wine crates as well as the nautical bric-a-brac adorning an intimate room – and the lean towards fresh, wild-caught seafood sourced from local fishermen – certainly warrant the ‘harbour’ theme. And the aroma of rich fruits de mer dishes as you enter also justifies that ‘fragrance’.
It may have a seafood slant at this place, but quality meat dishes are also in abundance. We order from the only menu, which changes daily – a chalkboard which is brought up to your table – and begin with the charcuterie entrée ($230), comprising rabbit terrine, duck rillette, Bayonne ham and saucisson. Each meat takes you into the heart of the French countryside and relies on simplicity and farmhouse flavours. Then we tuck into the perfectly seasoned moules marinières ($220), the seared scallops in vanilla butter ($180) and the richly smoked aubergine caviar with mesclun salad, tomato confit and lettuce ($100). These are magnifique dishes – particularly the scallops, which are monsters and are seared with a citrusy tang which dances on the palate.
For mains, we tuck into the wild pheasant pie for two ($480) – although we have been since and enjoyed the ginormous chargrilled USDA prime cote de boeuf with black truffle sauce for two ($1,200), which has to be seen and tasted to be believed. The huge pie, though, is a triumph. It’s not too dry, with a puff pastry which keeps it all in but also falls apart at the touch.
We finish with the blue cheese gelato with honeycomb almond ($75) – airy and super-sweet, the cheese comes effectively through but isn’t overpowering. Pair with one of the superb wines on offer.
The dishes at Le Port are classic, yet also created with un peu de flair. And the service is pristine. That’s probably why it’s been fully booked almost every night over the past few weeks. They really do the fruits of the sea (and land) some great justice here. Matt Fleming
Le Port Parfumé Shop C, 6-10 Kau U Fong, Central, 2824 3018; port-parfume.com. Dinner for two: $1,200.
|Venue name:||Le Port Parfume|
Shop C, 6-10 Kau U Fong, Central
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