A very good meal I had in HK back in the days when I was jetting between the Pearl of the Orient and the Lion City. Épure is a very sophisticated French fine dining located in a friendly location in TST.
The maison in a mall
Don’t let its location fool you. It’s situated in a mall with a strong foot traffic, but don’t judge before you give them a try. It is fine dining at its best, and one of the best fine dining meal in terms of taste, presentation and value I have eaten in Hong Kong.
Designed by the internationally renowned firm of Yabu Pushelberg, the interior dining space channels Parisian heritage and the serenity of nature – gilded screen doors, forest murals. The restaurant has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a French garden terrace, where guests can dine alfresco or enjoy pre-dinner drinks with a view of the harbour.
But more importantly, it offers a great French fine dining experience that I consider to be one of the best in HK, the culinary capital of the world.
Chef Nicolas Boutin
Executive Chef Nicolas Boutin’s storied career has taken him around the world. Inspired by his travels, his cuisine is defined by purity in flavour, elegant simplicity and timeless ingredients that are seasonal, nourishing and tastefully light.
Chef Nicolas started his career in France with a top-notch fine dining education, honing his skills at restaurants such as Maison Lameloise (3 Michelin stars), La Maison Troisgros (3 Michelin stars), Les Jardins de l’Opéra (2 Michelin stars), Jean Bardet (2 Michelin stars) and Le Saint-James by Michel Portos (2 Michelin stars). In 2013, Nicolas returned to Hong Kong to open ÉPURE, earning a Michelin star in 2017.
In most Michelin restaurants, the best value can be found in the lunch menus. This is no different in épure, when we paid only HKD 588 for four courses (back in 2017). It has only raised 10% over all these years. There are several choices on the menu from each course for you to choose from.
The meal kicked off with a couple of canapés. Gambero rosso tart – with yuzu mayo on top which was a little sweet, and Tomato tart – tangy and a good start to the meal.
It was 5 years ago when I had this meal, but I vaguely remembered it was éspume of pineapple on some cottage cheese. Very refreshing for kickstarting the appetite for the rest of lunch.
me reconte pas de salade
Blue lobster, avocado, haricot, black truffle
“No salad” – this salad is made in an unconventional method, with almost no green except for the haricot (string beans). The lightly poached lobster tail retained its natural sweetness. The black truffle gave that musky dimension to the “salad”.
il est doux:
Cévennes onion, buckwheat, Australian winter black truffle
“He is sweet”. I did not do any justice to the dish, so i decided to post a professional photoshoot of the same dish.
Thin layers of truffle on each leaf of sweet French onion, masterfully reconstructed into half of a jewelled bulb. The sweet Cevennes onion was topped with a tuile and came with some onion cream to the left, as well as truffle chicken jus. The other time I had enjoyed onions so much was at the Corner House in Singapore. But this was definitely two notches above.
ils sont bien élevés
Snail, molluscs, sorrel, smoked garlic
“They are well-behaved” – interesting to find petit-gris escargots served together with razor clams and cockles, on a bed of smoked garlic cream and sorrel foam, with a sprinkle of buckwheat. The razor clams were certainly sweet, and we’ve got some acidity from the sorrel. The haricots verts and buckwheat added the crunch.
inventé par Marie Antoine Carême
The must-have ‘vol au vent‘, flaky butter puff ring, lobster, French coastal fish, salicornia, liquorice scented coulis
“Invented by Marie Antoine Careme” – A consummate French classic of buttery, ethereal puff pastry filled with seasonal seafood in a rich lobster and langoustine bisque. This is a signature of Chef Boutin and the “vol-au-vent” was filled with lobster and sea bass this round. It was absolutely delicious, as the main course, even for lunch, was quite luxurious and generous portion.
voyageur dans l’âme
Squab pigeon ‘Miera;’, Agen prune, shallot, chicory jus
Australian Black Winter truffles bear a robust, musky aroma that is likened to a combination of garlic, forest floor, nuts, and chocolate.
Australian Black Winter truffles have an unmistakable, robust fragrance and provide rich, earthy, and umami-filled flavors suitable for a wide variety of culinary preparations. The truffles are best used sparingly in raw or lightly heated applications, typically shaved, grated, slivered, or thinly sliced.
“Traveller at heart” – Squab is a baby domestic pigeon, typically under four weeks old, or its meat. The meat is widely described as tasting like dark chicken.
I have forgotten what this dessert was (I usually skipped the dessert), but it was raspberry sorbet with light vanilla cream.
Not exactly “fours”, there’s only three items for lunch. (PS: we found out that it’s the same for dinner.) (Left top to bottom:) Earl Grey macaron; Passion fruit pâté de fruit; Raspberry tart.
It has been around for some time, but only got the Michelin star in 2017. Many know it for their excellent cafe and afternoon tea. But the star is the restaurant and a waitlist has formed since the accolade.
Highly recommended, and reserve ahead of time. I would not be surprised they would be elevated further over time.
ÉPURE French Dining
Shop 403, Level 4, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Tel : +852 3185 8338 (EPURE)
Date Visited : Aug 2018
Michelin Hong Kong Guide 1 Star 2017-2021