Continuing on from posts of my recent trip to Hong Kong, is a review of Cepage.
I am confident that Cepage really needs no introduction but for those of you who have yet to hear of it, it’s time you did. Cepage, located along Star Street in Hong Kong, is Singapore-based Les Amis Group‘s Hong Kong flagship. Helmed by recently appointed Chef Sebastien Lepinoy, former chef of L’atelier de Joel Robuchon, the One-Michelin starred Cepage is (in my own opinion) poised to receive more stars during the next review. Chef Lepinoy achieved 2 Michelin stars with L’atelier de Joel Robuchon and from what I had observed evening, this achievement does not seem to far fetched.
The dining room is located on the 2nd floor, thus, one has to take the private lift, from within the private lobby.
I fell in love with this restaurant, which was recently ranked 96th in the World’s Top 100 Restaurants in the World, from the moment I stepped inside. Why, you may ask. The intimate, if i may, decor, the dim lighting and the excellent service all from the receptionist to the wait staff who accompanies you up the private lift.
But I was here for the food, so without further ado, let’s welcome the stars of the evening.
I looked at the ala carte menu and seriously, everything sounded good to the already growling tummy. Deciding to try some of their signatures, their manager, Bernard Mak who hails from Singapore, recommended that I order the Set Dinner, which costs HKD$580.
The meal started off with a small Amuse Bouche – Served in 3 distinct layers, first being a Foie gras custard, followed by a Port wine custard, topped with Cheese.
Frankly, I thought it was a good amuse bouche – but it was somewhat simple and I had somehow expected more. Add to the fact that, the flavours of the cheese was somewhat too overpowering for me.
Le Caviar – Finement iode en duo d’un fin tartare de saumon
The first choice was the Caviar crowned on salmon tartare.
So I heard that this is one of Cepage’s signature dishes, and seriously, I’m not surprised to find out so.
The really fresh salmon tartare was marinated slightly and the wasabi-sauce that you see around the plate gives it that Asian twist. Topped generously with caviar of the finest quality – boy, the sheer thinking of this dish has me yearning for more.
The crackers by the side were, in my opinion, just for decoration purposes.
Les Crustaces – en bouillon, gingembre et ravioles de homard
For the hot appetizer, a soup was served. Shellfish bouillon, lobster ravioli with finely sliced fresh ginger .
I like simple things; I’ve realized that as one ages, we learn to appreciate that there is elegance in simplicity as there is happiness in small yet touching actions. This simple shellfish broth paired with sliced ginger, is just that. The flavours are intense, possibly due to the long hours needed to produce an excellent broth and I’m pretty sure the quality and quantity of shellfish used played a large part too!
The lobster ravioli was well-cooked and well-seasoned, but if I were to be a true blue Singaporean, as someone who is known to complain alot about everything and anything under the sun, it was far too petite!
Le Boeuf de Hida – Bouquetiere de legumes sautes au wok, epinards au condiment releve
For my meat course, I had a pan fried Hida beef, wok sauteed seasonal vegetables, spinach with condiments.
This erred on the safe side. Of course, this was just my way of saying that it was a little boring. Admittedly, the beef used was of the most excellent quality! It was sweet and retained its natural jus and did not reek too much of beef.
I had no complaints about the done-ness – it came served, as ordered; But somehow it tasted a tad bland.
Purists would say that beef is best served simply, to enjoy the natural sweetness and flavours of the meat, but I would have really much preferred if it were, perhaps, char-grilled, which would have imparted a charred flavour.
By the way, I was very surprised at the portion size – it was definitely not petite!
Le Framboise – Croustillante et glace a la vanille de Tahiti
For dessert, I had the White chocolate feuilletine, raspberry, Tahiti vanilla ice cream.
I was pretty much stuffed by the time this course came around. I thought that the dessert was pretty good, albeit a little too sweet for me. But that’s just me.
P.S. Cepage has one of Hong Kong’s most well-stocked and diverse wine cellars, so for those who are wine connoisseurs, Cepage is the place to visit!
I had mixed feelings about the service though. Initially, the service felt extremely intrusive, I had waiters seemingly standing 3 feet away waiting to clear my plates, the moment I had finished. But all of that changed, when the restaurant manager, Mr. Bernard Mak, came around. Speaking of which, Mr. Mak did recommend having lunch at Cepage. A 2 course lunch starts from HK$280.
HungryEpicurean paid for his meal at the restaurant reviewed here.
Cepage by Les Amis
23 Wing Fung Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong
(Tell your taxi driver, Star Street)
Telephone: (852) 2861 3130