With its three Michelin stars, Caprice is Hong Kong’s prime destination for French fine dining. The luxurious address is known for its opulent interiors, superb wine and cheese selections, harbour views and, of course, flawless French cuisine.
Chef de cuisine Guillaume Galliot heads the kitchen and serves an inventive menu in an elegant dining room set within the Four Seasons. Adding his own twist to classic French cooking techniques, chef Galliot selects only the finest ingredients and elevates each dish to an exquisite art form.
Chef Guillaume Galliot
Chef Guillaume Galliot is the new head chef at Caprice since 2018. Originally from the Loire Valley in France, he moved from two-Michelin-star The Tasting Room in Macau has brought some favourites with him, and will also serve an omakase-style daily tasting menu.
Galliot has spent most of his career abroad, traveling the world from New York to Singapore, where he became the youngest sous chef in the history of the reverend Raffles Singapore hotel. He then moved with Raffles to Beijing before taking on a new challenge at The Tasting Room, located within the City of Dreams in Macau.
The experimental gastro genius, who worked as a pastry chef early in his career, draws from his globetrotting experiences to craft a dynamic menu that blends classical French techniques with surprising flavour combinations — think roasted pigeon dusted with cocoa powder.
A gorgeous venue with a massive open kitchen, rare for a French restaurant this size and scale, Caprice is an attractive space with superb views of Victoria Harbour.
The décor takes its cues from 1930s-era Shanghai, from the small bar that serves fine wines from the vast cellar, to the wood-panelled cheese room, the only one of its kind in Hong Kong.
As well as the a la carte menu, Caprice will usually offer two tasting menu options at dinner which incorporate signature dishes as well as special seasonal items.
1/ Amuse Bouche
Right on cue, a trio of amuse bouche was presented in an elegant jewellery box.
Like all fine dining restaurants, the amuse bouche represented the seasonality and the techniques that the chef wanted us to remember him by.
The influences of the travels came through in the amuse bouche. (From top, clockwise), a “taco” of smoky balik salmon with Kristal caviar – with cauliflower mousse, Kaviari caviar and dill on top, pita with curry chicken mousse, and a tartlet of green beans chopped shallots and mint.
Morey-Saint-Denis is a commune in the Côte-d’Or region in eastern France. The Domaine Perrot-Minot Morey-Saint-Denis “Rue de Vergy” 2016 is a Village pinot noir, and is good with poultry and game birds given its earthy, spicy overtones. The varietal is from the historic terrior of Clos de Tart which produce excellent grapes. Not peaked yet, I would give it another year or two to mellow slightly more.
2/ Crabe Royale d’Alaska, Gelée de Crustacés et Huître Gillardeau, Caviar Osciètre Prestige de “La Maison Kaviari”
The first course (appetiser) of the evening started with a pairing of a Gillardeau oyster and a cold dish of Osciètre caviar.
Alaskan king crab and Gillardeau oyster, potato foam, pickled celery, gold leaves, nori salt. The oyster was chopped and mixed with pickled celery and topped with a tangy potato foam. The flavour combination and texture profiles across the different ingredients made a seemingly simple starter very fulfilling.
Crustacean jelly, Osciètre prestige caviar from “La Maison Caviar”, king crab, gold leaves. Opened in 1956 in Paris, La Maison du Caviar is an institution created at the time by the importer Caviar Volga at the instigation of Shah of Iran. Located in the heart of the Golden Triangle, just a stone’s throw from the Champs-Élysées, this elegant and prestigious address has attracted for decades accustomed Parisian and international clientele, come to taste caviars of the best provenances, smoked fish and other products of excellence.
The jelly cubes were made from the umami-laden stock from cooking the crab. Every mouthful was filled with crab and caviar, the flavours of the sea overwhelmed your palate.
The butter was served by the table side, a rarity these days in Hong Kong. The salted butter was shaped into a tall cone while the unsalted one into a smaller stub. The brioche basket consisted of chilli challah, sesame brioche, mini baguette and chestnut rye bread. I simply picked a sesame brioche (which was salty with bits of sea salt and fragrant with sesame) and the classic mini baguette.
3/ Soupe de Petit Pois, Ravioli de Brin d’Amour, Espuma d’Amande
Green pea soup, brin d’amour cheese ravioli, almond espuma. The ravioli came with Brin d’Amour as filling with the chef’s signature pea soup. I didn’t get any almond taste from the espuma (foam)
4/ Turbot du Guilvinec, Champignons de saison, Emulsion au Comté et Sauce au Vin Jaune
Guilvinec turbot, seasonal mushrooms, comté emulsion, yellow wine sauce. I wasn’t a fan of turbot, the fish with only one face, but because of its boneless and tender texture, as well as the ability to carry the flavours of the condiments, it was a favourite choice of fish for French chefs.
The turbot was cooked in yellow wine and comté cheese and served with more comté emulsion and finally surrounded by that buttery yellow wine sauce. Comté (or more commonly known as Gruyère) is a semi-soft cheese and it makes a perfect sauce as it melts well. Not overpowering, it blended well with the Chinese yellow wine or Shaoxing wine. The East-meet-West combination reminded me of an adult version of mac and cheese.
5a/ Le Pigeon de Racan de la Maison Bellorr, Cuit dans une Cabosse de Cacao, Purée d’Oignon, Salsifi, Jus au Cacao
Racan pigeon from Maison Bellorr, cooked in cocoa pod, salsify and puffed potatoes, cocoa jus. I love pigeon, and Hong Kong serves them very well, no matter Chinese or French style. The pigeon breast was done just right, red but cooked. The introduction of cocoa gave the dish a smoky flavour. There was a strawberry jam on the side made with Gariguettes, which went incredibly well with the duck foie gras on top.
5b/ Faux Filet de Bœuf Kagoshima, Variation d’Artichaut, Sauce Au Vieux Cognac
Kagoshima beef sirloin, artichoke variation, old cognac sauce. Very soft and tender, perfectly caramelised cognac and au jus. Served with a quenelle of artichoke mouse and topped with a perfectly sourced and grilled artichoke.
The palate cleanser was a quenelle of Granny Smith sorbet sitting on top of a bed of sago and pickled celery in coconut cream. Very nice and refreshing.
1996 Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes opens to exotic scents of honey coated, apricots, vanilla, white peaches, flowers, roasted nuts, orange rind and pineapple. This rich, sweet, thick, full bodied wine is filled with honey drenched, tropical fruit with the perfect amount of acidity to give it lift. Still young, another decade will add a lot to this stunning Sauternes. Good sweet wine to go with cheeses.
6/ Sélection de Fromages Affinés
The cheese platter arrived at the table with two waiters to carry it. Caprice cheese selection is impressive. Cow cheeses on one side, sheep cheeses on the other – make your decision or choose a bit of everything
The cheeses are all in prime condition, the ones from the storage fridge could benefit from a little more time to come up to room temperature but nothing catastrophic. It was tricky to choose a highlight, as all were good including the famed 4-year-old Comté; a cheese that is tricky to track down.
7/ Millefeuille Chocolat Banane, Sorbet Cacao
Last but not least, and even if I was full at that stage as you could imagine, I would never say no to talented Chef Nicolas Lambert’s desserts. His signature Banana chocolate mille feuille, cocoa sorbet was well-executed and perfect to end the evening.
8/ Café et Mignardises
The petit fours were presented in a nice little jewellery box. Whatever we couldn’t finish, they put them into a takeaway box for us (and replenished them to make the box full). Very kind of them.
We finish with good coffee.
Overall a good meal, generous servings of food and I couldn’t have eaten all the dessert. It is old-school classic French food, well executed, and in these modern French cuisine that is sweeping across the culinary world, Caprice was assuring familiarity. Although it was a little pedestrian with few surprises or twists on the plate, the solid cooking and playful combinations that worked (a lot of so-called Innovative cuisines didn’t) made this a wonderful gastronomic experience. I would head back as it was a fun meal, especially when the staff thawed out a bit. Definitely worth every one of its star and price.
Podium 6, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central
Tel: +(852) 3196-8860
Date Visited : May 2019
Michelin HK and Macau 2019 3 Stars