|VOLUME XII No. 6||W E D N E S D A Y||January 6, 2010|
RESTAURANTS OF HONGKONG ...
AND THE WORST !
|Name of Restaurant||La Terrasse|
|Address of Restaurant||Ground Floor, No. 19, Old Bailey Street, Central, Hongkong|
|Date of Visit||Tuesday, December 15, 2009|
|Attentiveness to Customers’ Needs||Excellent||Acceptable||Poor|
|Product Expertise of Serving Staff||Excellent||Acceptable||Poor|
|Speed of Service||Excellent||Acceptable||Poor|
|Cleanliness of Uniform and Serving Staff||Excellent||Acceptable||Poor|
|Storage of Wine||Good||Poor||Unknown|
|Expertise of Sommelier||Excellent||Acceptable||None|
|Total Cost of Meal|
|Moderately Expensive||Very Reasonably Priced|
|Name of Director of Restaurants||Nil|
|Name of Executive Chef||Mr Rene-Etienne Bedu|
Next to one of the oldest prisons in the Hongkong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) stands La Terrasse, a 70-seater, French restaurant, the Chef de Cuisine, being Mr Rene-Etienne Bedu.
The location of La Terrasse is such that it is unlikely that many tourists, visiting these 416 square miles, would consider a visit to this off-the-beaten track, stand-alone restaurant.
That will be their loss.
The restaurant is located at Number 19, Old Bailey Street, Central Hongkong, the name of the street, of course, having been taken from The Central Criminal Court of the United Kingdom, commonly known as ‘Old Bailey’.
TARGET (泰達財經) visited La Terrasse on Tuesday, December 15, 2009, on the recommendation of one of its regular customers.
Having trudged up the steep slopes of Old Bailey Street, in a nondescript, ageing building, on the ground floor, is this French restaurant, the owner of the establishment, being Mr Serge Nakache.
According to TARGET’s information, Mr Serge Nakache, in 2002, was so fed up with the dozens of lazy French cooks, entering the HKSAR, all making claims to the effect of having had their training in Paris or some other European capital city when they arrived in the territory, but, actually, being too lazy even to cook a coddled egg, properly, determined to open La Terrasse in order to get the genuine article.
And, in order to obtain HIS kind of food, he imported a first-class, French chef.
That set in motion what is, today, the restaurant, known as La Terrasse.
Mr Serge Nakache, who is the beneficial owner of Pacific Azur Investment Ltd of the HKSAR, his private company, having been established in 2001, was present on the evening of TARGET’s visit to his restaurant, but he had no idea that his French restaurant was about to be placed under this medium’s microscope.
This was that which TARGET ordered on the evening of Tuesday, December 15, 2009:
Hot Gratinated ‘Crottin de Chavignol’
Pan Fried Duck Foie Gras with Red Fruit
Chef Rene’s Duck Foie Gras Terrine in Jar
Pan Seared Tuna a la Provençal
Cod Fish Fillet with Lemon Butter Sauce
Duo of Seabass and Scallops ‘Provençal’
with Truffle Risotto
AOC Bresse Poularde with Morel Mushroom
To describe each and every dish would require TARGET to write a tome, so suffice it to state that there was not one bad dish, served on the evening of this medium’s visit.
It was noted that a great deal of the fresh produce had been imported from various parts of Europe, but the cost of the dishes was not extortionate as many so-called, French restaurants of the territory like to pop it to customers.
If any decent reviewer of Michelin Guide were to visit La Terrasse, it is almost a guarantee that this little restaurant would be awarded at least 2 stars on the basis of the quality of the food, alone.
The presentation of the dishes was on a par with the subtle tastes that the Chef Bedu had conjured up in his repertoire of classical and neo-classical French cuisine.
Of special mention was the Bresse Poularde (chicken from Bresse, France, where some of the best chickens in the world originate), the delicate pieces of meat of the bird, nearly melting in one’s mouth.
There is nothing that can taste better than a bird, reared in Bresse – chicken, duck, goose, pigeon, etc, etc, etc.
The first course, the goat’s cheese, served with tomatoes and herbs, was another huge winner and, although little credit could be given to the chef because he had no hand in milking the goat or making the cheese, the presentation of the dish and the combination of flavours could only be described as magnificent.
Lastly, the seabass and scallops with truffle risotto was another creation that only a master chef could dream up.
As the name, Provençal, conjures up, this is, obviously, a classical French dish – which makes this reviewer want to visit the place of origin of the dish.
Criticism could be levelled at the décor of La Terrasse, however, but the quality of the food easily makes up for the lack of furnishings, both hard and soft.
The tables are not placed very closely together, but one can still hear the conversations of others nearby.
At TARGET’s table, a Scotsman was the waiter for the evening, and a more-charming waiter, complete with a great sense of humour, would be difficult to find.
An aspect of this restaurant was that a large number of the guests hailed from Europe.
They, all, appeared to be a very cultured and a very polite group of males and females: And nobody was intoxicated – other than one European gentleman who, on realising that he had overindulged, quickly ordered a taxi and left the scene.
In many bars in part of Central Hongkong, especially in Lan Kwai Fong, there is quite a number of rowdy Europeans who roam the streets, holding onto bottles of beer and what-have-you, regurgitating raucous noises which, no doubt, they claim are songs.
Not so in or near La Terrasse.
This is the type of restaurant where one could decide to spend the evening alone, eating and drinking quality food and beverages, or, if one is sufficiently lucky, one could bring the lady of one’s life in order to make known one’s noble intentions to the lady and, perhaps, as the evening wore on, make suggestions of a more romantic type.Certainly, the ambiance of La Terrasse is conducive to a multitude of scenarios.
TARGET makes every attempt to ensure accuracy of all data published,
TARGET cannot be held responsible for any errors and/or omissions.