One of the things I miss most about living in Switzerland is that I was so close to the French border that we could regularly take day trips to Lyon (gastronomic capital of France) and weekends via TGV to Paris, where we could enjoy the most amazing French food. I think I love most cuisines, but French food will always have a special place in my heart, as I love sitting down to a good long lunch or dinner where food is slowly savoured along with a good quantity of wine! In December I was so excited to hear about the launch of Comme a la Maison, a company founded by French expat, Sophie Monatte, that imports French food to Hong Kong. Finally, I could satisfy my craving for the home style French cooking that my husband and I long for (Comme a la Maison means “like at home” or “to feel at home” in French).
Comme à la Maison’s range of products includes very traditional homemade French comfort food recipes: coq au vin, game stews, duck dishes, etc. Owner Sophie says,“Those are ready-to-eat homemade dishes, usually most people do not have enough time to cook those complicated delicacies, even in France, only grand-ma’s cook this way for the traditional Sunday family meal!”. And it’s definitely true that usually in order to create these dishes yourself, you have to spend many hours at the stove. I’ve had my own tears trying to make a good coq au vin (chicken slow-cooked in wine with vegetables) for a New Year’s dinner, only to run out of cooking time and leave everyone waiting for dinner for around 2 hours! As well as the home-style dishes, there are also more gourmet offerings like foie gras , terrines and duck breast. Each recipe contains only natural ingredients, no food additives or preservatives and all jars of prepared dishes are actually made and filled by hand.
I couldn’t resist trying out the coq au vin and also a pork pâté, and went out in search of a crusty baguette to serve with it. Wellcome and Oliver both stock “La Rose Noire” bread which is actually pretty decent! The coq au vin comes in a huge jar, and you heat it up very slowly on the hob. I had to force myself to wait until it was heated all the way through as the delicious smells that drifted out of the pan made my mouth water. Coq au vin is a one pot meal that comes with its own vegetables, so ordering it and serving it for dinner is just the easiest thing ever. Seeing as I have almost completely stopped any cooking since moving to Hong Kong, I’m always searching for alternatives to greasy takeaways, so this is the perfect “food assembly” option. The pork pâté made the perfect starter to the meal and I’m still excited to try some of the other goodies that we ordered, like fruit preserves to go with foie gras and a goat’s cheese spread.
Sophie will deliver to your door, and can make recommendations of products to try if you’re new to French food, or are planning a special occasion like a cocktail or dinner party. Comme a la Maison also makes hampers, with one called “Let’s Make Crepes!” which sounds like a lot of fun. If there’s something you really miss from home too, Sophie can do her best to source it for you – contact her with any questions or suggestions!
Comme a la Maison
tel: 6579 8042