It’s been a while since I’ve been wined and dined in style, so I was definitely looking forward to heading to Petrus in the Island Shangri-La for lunch. Just stepping into the restaurant, with its elegant chandeliers, plush armchairs and luxurious atmosphere, is a clear signal to anyone that you’re in for a real treat!
It took us a while to go through Petrus’ French-inspired menu – knowing their ever consistent and delicious food, it was definitely worth the deep contemplation before making a final decision! We decided to sample a variety of dishes from the set lunch and a la carte menu, and promised to share bites of everything with each other so we could all get a taste! The set lunch menu changes seasonally, and with top-notch service and stunning harbour views, this is the perfect place for important business lunches in Admiralty.
Before the real food arrived, we dug into Petrus’ famous breadbasket. A popular pick across the table was the butter roll (mmmm…), yet I decided to not go with the flow and have the crusty olive bread instead. If you love butter (uh… who doesn’t?!), be sure to dig into Petrus’ special seaweed butter; smeared on the olive bread, this brought me right to the Mediterranean Sea.
The starters arrived, and my first bite was the surprisingly light blue crab. Even though I wasn’t too hot on the accompanying cauliflower cream, I kept going back for the addictive tangy blackcurrant dollops.
Meanwhile, the beautifully presented avocado and prawn salad was a definite showstopper. As fresh and simple as it looked, the surprise of Chinkiang vinegar dressing for a more local twist was awesomely sharp and sweet.
Another interesting choice was Rach’s celeriac risotto, using tiny pieces of celeriac as the risotto rice and a poached organic egg instead of the usual creamy sauce. This runny yummy egg, paired with the unexpected crunch of the celeriac, easily made this my favourite starter of the three – and it was much lighter than a traditional risotto too!
Turning to the mains, the healthiest option was perhaps my roasted sea bream. The bream sat atop a bouillabaisse jus, which I wished was a tad fishier (that’s the only time I’ll ever want something fishier!) to reflect more of that classic Marseille flavour.
However, it was two dishes from the a la carte menu that truly shone. The first was one of Petrus’ signatures, lamb from Aveyron in France – just a few miles away from Chef Frederic Chabbert’s hometown, from a shepherd that he has known for many years! The meat was perfectly cooked, wonderfully tender and packed with earthy (but not overwhelming) flavour. This was so good, it might even convert all you non lamb-lovers out there!
The second star of the meal was the grilled ribeye beef, which was cooked beautifully. I simply couldn’t find any fault to the beef; it was as smooth as caramel and just melt-in-mouth-good. Delish!
And for the most memorable part of each meal – dessert! Each dessert at Petrus was wonderfully thoughtful with spectacular presentation, courtesy of their innovative pastry chef Claude Guerin. Rach’s choice of the Chocolate was simply heavenly – little bites of 66% Caraibe chocolate with crispy cocoa bits, fleur de sel and a smooth vanilla ice cream on the side. This is a must for any chocolate lover!
Already full from my meal, I went for the lighter option of the fruity desserts. The Mango was a great mixture of Thai mango in different ways – some sweet, some tangy and all delicious! The highlight for me was actually the citrusy note of the calamansi that went wonderfully with both the mango and matcha parfait.
The last dessert was the Strawberry – and that beautiful bright red just made me immediately want to dig in! This looked like summer on a plate, with sweet strawberries paired with custardy creme brûlée and just a hint of sansho pepper to give you that X factor.
The set lunch at Petrus will set you back $480 (plus 10% service charge) whilst entrees from the a la carte menu range from $500-$1000, which is very much to be expected given the generous portions, premium ingredients and luxurious environment. We were super lucky to come on a clear sunny day, and our seat by the window with a harbour view was literally a view fit for royalty – so if you’re looking to impress guests from out of town, definitely request a window table! We were also extremely impressed by the unobtrusive but knowledgeable service – our waiter was able to explain dishes and make recommendations to us, whilst still feeling friendly rather than overbearing.
Even though Petrus is definitely not an everyday indulgence, for special occasions, you just can’t beat their excellent service, stunning views and delicious dishes. We’ll most definitely be back.
Petrus 56/F, Island Shangri-La Hong Kong, Phrase 2,Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty
2820 8590 www.shangri-la.com/en/property/hongkong/islandshangrila/dining/restaurant/restaurantpetrus