I don’t usually like to eat in IFC – it’s always crowded (correction: super crowded) at lunchtime, and I never feel like I’m getting what I’m paying for. But since The French Window recently underwent a renovation, Rach and I were invited to check out the changes… and enjoy what turned out to be a very lovely lunch.
The French Window’s new décor is incredibly open, light and spacious; with the sun shining brightly through the floor to ceiling windows, try and bag yourself a window seat like we did for an amazing view of the harbour! The renovation has also seen the restaurant move away from their previous ultra fine dining cuisine to a more brasserie-bistro style menu.
Although The French Window does a super popular (and pretty reasonable) set lunch, we decided to go a la carte. First up was a starter of poached duck torchon; the foie gras (“torchon”) was smooth, peppery and rich – be sure to smear on the honey walnut sauce for a contrasting smatter of sweetness.
The gratinated salty cod fish pie looked absolutely delish; it was rich but still managed to be surprisingly light. I’m pretty sure I had half the dish itself and still could have gone for more! Don’t forget to pour on some of the beurre blanc (aka butter sauce, mmmm…) for that extra little touch of heaven to each bite.
Our party of three was super hungry, so we ordered three entrees to share between us – hey, a girl’s gotta eat! First, came the Moules Marinières with homemade French fries. I couldn’t help but be in awe of how big the portion was – we only ordered a half portion but it was massive! The mussels were juicy and the chips were crunchy (just the way I like it)… we all just couldn’t resist dipping them into the delicious white wine sauce. This is definitely a great option to share with your friends.
Next was a lamb rack served with mushrooms, roasted potatoes and a rich rosemary sauce. The lamb would also be a great sharing dish thanks to the individual lamb cutlets, and it was cooked perfectly. The potatoes were slightly hard and overdone, but we barely noticed as we were so focused on eating every last bit of the lamb!
Finally the star of my meal, the duck confit. The dish itself looked stunning – slow cooked leg of duck paired with crispy skin that crackled deliciously as we cut into it. The skin was absolutely amazing – if I could, I’d totally eat an entire plate of just the duck crackling (can we somehow make that happen please?!). The meat was tender and every bite was just divine (thanks to it being cooked in duck fat!); even though it was probably a total calorie bomb, all of us girls happily gobbled up this rustic hearty dish.
Onto desserts and although the Calvados and apple soufflé was light, it lacked enough flavour to really make me want to eat more. Meanwhile, the vanilla crème brûlée looked promising when we hit through the layer of caramelized sugar (and thankfully, it did have that trademark snap when we cracked into it!), but the texture wasn’t quite as silky and smooth as we’d hoped.
Even though the sweets were slightly disappointing, The French Window’s starters and mains really knocked it out the park. Being in IFC, prices don’t come cheap (both starters and mains are mostly around $150-300) but the new bright, breezy and unpretentious décor makes a perfect location for a special get-together with friends, a convenient business lunch getaway, a romantic candlelit dinner or an extra classy weekend brunch!
So if you’re ever in the mood for some French cuisine in the middle of Central, be sure to give The French Window a try!
The French Window 3101, Podium 3, IFC Mall, Central, Hong Kong
2393 3812 www.miradining.com/…