It seems that the wave of Mexican restaurants is coming to an end, and taking over is the wave of French! Just in time for Le French May too…
I was keen to try out one of the newest French restos in town, Cocotte. Situated on Shin Hing Street, right in the middle of the up-and-coming ‘Noho’ area, Cocotte is in the perfect place for a laid-back yet intimate dinner. The tasteful interior, designed by our former That Girl, Candace Campos, is the epitome of casual chic. I loved the different patterned wallpaper and warm colours, which created a relaxed and almost romantic atmosphere.
I was pleasantly surprise to find that the menu was quite short – great for those who get indecisive over food, such as myself! I appreciated the edited selection of dishes, and we happily started off with some petite starters.
First up was the beautifully presented langoustine -‘barely touched’. This really was a show-stopping starter, and certainly lived up to its alluring name. The langoustine was ever so slightly cooked, leaving the fresh seafood flavour to shine through. The accompanying avocado, fennel and osetra caviar were the perfect compliment to the heavenly langoustine. The lemon confit vinaigrette topped it off, and made this delicate, refined starter one that I couldn’t stop thinking about afterwards!
The second starter we tried was the steak tartare with truff le ‘egg yolk’, rustic sour dough croute and roquette salad. The strong truffle flavour mixed with the rich raw steak made this taste truly indulgent. Is it just me, or is truffle scarily addictive?!
On to the mains and we were not disappointed. The day boat Dover sole meunière was again, impressively presented, and the soft flesh of the fish tasted divine with the lemon, capers and parsley. With sides of French beans and creamy mashed potato, this was a filling and completely satisfying main meal.
We also tried the parisienne gnocchi, which was completely different from anything I’ve ever tried before. This gnocchi was far lighter, and was actually made from choux pastry! The lightness of the gnocchi went well with the spanner crab, peas and chilli-tomato-shellfish emulsion. A subtle and elegant dish to complete a sophisticated evening!
Of course, we can’t forget about dessert. Would it live up to the high standards already set by Cocotte’s starters and mains? The answer simply is – yes. The Grand Cru chocolate with orange, Sicilian pistachio and jelly made from extra virgin olive oil created an exquisitely decadent dish, full of surprising flavours. Perhaps they could have gone a little darker with the chocolate, but it was still an immensely comforting dessert.
That being said, the second dessert had to be my favourite. The first season berries tasted just as good as they looked. The pinks, purples and creams of the dish were very ‘Sassy’ indeed, and the flavours were ideal for a summer night. I couldn’t get enough of the fromage blanc, which had a unique, fresh taste. The lavender meringues were absolutely gorgeous, and really did reminder me of a French summer.
All in all, this was one French meal that I would come back for. Elegance and casual sophistication emanate from the design and atmosphere as well as the food. The quiet location also makes this a perfect little hideaway when you want to avoid the crowds and buzz of Soho. Although it won’t be the cheapest meal of your life, with starters ranging from $170-$260 and mains clocking in at $328 upwards, it’s great for a date night… or just go to treat yourself! When we were there, we noticed that there were already a number of French speakers lingering over glasses of very good French wine – if it’s good enough for the real Frenchies, it’s good enough for us!
Cocotte 9 Shin Hing Street, Central, Hong Kong
2568 8857 www.cocotte.hk