Expect French-inspired flavours and delicious interpretations of Niçoise cuisine at the Hong Kong branch of La Petite Maison
District: Central, Hong Kong
Cuisine: A mix of southern French and Italian cuisine with that ooh-la-la feel
How much: Starters, salads and sides range between $50 and $300, Meats, fish and pastas range between $160 and $1,200; Desserts range between $90 and $120
Must Order: Burrata, Marinated Sweet Peppers, Salt baked Sea Bass or Baked whole Sea Bream, Ribeye Steak or Baby Chicken with confit lemon. Oh, and all of the desserts!
The Best For: A date night, a nice family dinner, or small group dinning. Many of the dishes are designed for sharing.
Sassy Tip: Don’t be shy, bring out your inner Frenchie and make use of the tomatoes and knife on the table to make your own little side salad.
This lovely Provençal-inspired resto started over 20 years ago as a little bistro in the South of France. And although La Petite Maison it isn’t exactly ‘petite’ these days with branches in London, Dubai, Miami and Istanbul, to mention a few, it certainly is still going strong. The key ingredients? I’d say simplicity, tradition and excellent produce. No need to complicate matters when you dish out some of the most loved, traditional Mediterranean cuisine in town. And as a devoted fan for the past 10 years (I have been known to refuse to go elsewhere at times) the Hong Kong outlet most certainly didn’t disappoint. Now let me share my ‘Maison favourites’ and how to rock that menu. Let’s kick this feast off, shall we?
For starters, I always order the Burrata cheese because well… Burrata. Perfectly creamy in the middle with sweet, juicy tomatoes and basil. Bulletproof. The French-style beef carpaccio is to die for, served with a mild herby oil instead of the salty Parmesan flakes that can sometimes kill the delicate flavour of the meat. Thankfully, this time I was also convinced to order the marinated sweet peppers and they were absolutely incredible. Mix and match with your Burrata, tomatoes and you’ve got a winner. And as any French restaurant worthy of its name, the breadbasket is real, with perfectly salted butter to smear across the doughy goodness.
Moving on to the mains… I typically order a fish and meat dish as well as a pasta but this time I decided on chicken and fish to make ample room for dessert. The baby chicken with pickled lemons was absolutely beautiful. Cooked to perfection (dry chicken breast be gone!) with a subtle, sweet lemony taste to it. It comes ready to be devoured with some of the smaller bones removed in advance; because we can’t let things like that stand between us and our food. One of my LPM all-time favourites is the whole baked sea bream but, as I was feeling adventurous, I went with the Salt Baked sea bass this time which was perfectly cooked; delicate and flavourful without even a hint of ‘fishy’ aftertaste. I chose to partner this all up with the Gratin Dauphinois (an oh-so-creamy event in itself) and a traditional green salad.
Dessert? Mais Oui! Skipping dessert at LPM would be a serious offence. Plus, I needed to make up for lost pasta, remember? LPM is famous for its Crème brûlée, and rightfully so. It is BIG (some say it’s for sharing, but I don’t know…), creamy and vanilla-seed packed. Knock your way through the crispy top and you are in dessert heaven. And the French Toast? This isn’t some sloppy diner version we’re talking about. Oh no, it’s an elegant piece of soft sponge combined with a speculoos ice cream. Be still, my beating heart! Last but not least, the French classic Tarte Tatin. Delicious. Done the proper French way with thin, caramelised slices of apple, cinnamon not allowed.
For those who might be in need of a digestif after a feast like this, I can recommend a deep dive into their whiskey selections. The selection is impressive and I’m convinced it would hit home with malt lovers. If I go back tomorrow it won’t be soon enough and I now have even more of a reason to look forward to my next trip to Hong Kong.
La Petite Maison, H Queen’s 23-29 Stanley Street Central, Hong Kong, 2887 1113, lpmlondon.co.uk/hongkong
All images courtesy of La Petite Maison