Having never managed to get to the old Chez Patrick on Peel Street, when I saw that it had closed, I was a little bit sad that I had missed out. However, when I heard it was undergoing a revamp and moving to Wan Chai, my excitement re-emerged and I knew that I had to go there. Pronto.
The move from Soho to Wan Chai reflects the need for a larger space to accommodate Chez Patrick’s growing clientele, built up over the six years it was on Peel Street. I never saw the old venue but several people mentioned that although quaint and cosy, it was looking a little out-dated and worn out. The new space is obviously larger, whilst still maintaining some intimacy, and reminiscent of an elegant Parisian dining room with grey wood-panelled walls, contrasted with beautiful wallpaper and quirky light fittings.
From the moment we entered, we knew we were in for a treat. The General Manager Jean-Noel greeted and escorted us to our table, and was there throughout the meal to offer menu suggestions and witty comments (my favourite being when he translated his name into English: “John-Christmas. What were my parents thinking?!”). Chef Patrick Goubier himself also did the rounds of all the tables, adding a personal touch to the experience; I always love meeting the chef behind the food, especially when he’s as sweet and charming a man as Patrick is.
Moving onto the food, the starter of king prawn and baby artichoke tartare with beetroot and goat’s cheese ice cream was divine, particularly the ice cream, with an amazing blend of sweet versus savoury that excited every taste bud and perfectly complemented the stronger flavours of the tartare.
The trio of foie gras was even better: smooth foie gras layered with a sort of fig chutney, raw foie gras marinated in Sauternes wine and foie gras ice cream. The latter two, encased in soft brioche and smothered in bitter chocolate sauce, looked like two little profiteroles. I’m definitely more of a dessert than a starter girl, so to almost have a dessert as a starter was just incredible! The foie gras ice cream absolutely wowed me and worked so well with the bitter chocolate sauce.
For mains, our indecisiveness proved to be a winning trait, as our inability to decide resulted in us being brought three main courses between two! The pigeon with leg parcel on gingerbread was delightful and offered so many different flavours and textures on one plate – rich gamey pigeon cooked to tender perfection, sweet gingerbread and soft flaky filo pastry encasing tender chunks of pigeon thigh meat.
The chicken ballotine stuffed with pig’s trotters, porcini and foie gras was complete melt-in-the-mouth goodness. The chicken was tender and juicy, made the more so by its soft rich meaty filling and perfectly complemented by a delicate black truffle sauce and sweet celeriac mash.
The roast rack of Tasmanian lamb was the least exciting of the three to look at, but taste-wise, it may just have been the best. The lamb was succulent and tender, bathed in a gorgeous rosemary jus. I had to remind my sister that we were in a nice restaurant and politely told her to put the chop down as she tried to gnaw every last juicy morsel off the bone!
Onto desserts, and the Sablé Bréton was definitely the perfect summer dish. The biscuit was both crumbly and decadently buttery, topped with juicy fresh raspberries and accompanied by a deliciously refreshing basil sorbet to cleanse the palate. I can see that chef Patrick likes to have fun making uniquely flavoured ice creams and sorbets!
The warm chestnut candy served with caramel ice cream is one of Chez Patrick’s signature desserts. It offers a delicious contrast between savoury and sweet, and the little filo pastries are beautifully designed to look like ‘candy’.
If you can manage it, definitely save some room for cheese, as Chez Patrick’s is without a doubt the best I’ve tasted in Hong Kong. I didn’t have cheese on this occasion, but tried some before when Chez Patrick’s home catering service came to Sassy. Obviously slot this in before dessert, as you are in Paris after all!
An average meal at Chez Patrick would set you back around $600, but I can assure you that for the faultless service, beautiful presentation and sheer quality and taste of the food, it is 100% worth it.
Whenever someone meets me, knowing I write restaurant reviews, they will without fail ask, “What’s your favourite restaurant in Hong Kong?” I despise this question as I never know how to answer it – there are just too many choices! Having said that however, if I were to name a few favourites, I now think Chez Patrick would certainly be up there!
Chez Patrick Restaurant 2/F, Garden East, 222 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai
2541 1401 www.chezpatrick.hk
Check out more from Ale on her fab blog, The Dim Sum Diaries!