At Le Chefeteria, diners embark on a gastronomic journey that unites the elegance of nouvelle French cuisine with the vibrancy of Southeast Asia
Nestled in the heart of Causeway Bay, Le Chefeteria emerges as a discreet haven, an intimate private kitchen that beckons discerning palates to uncover its culinary secrets and warm hospitality. What sets the restaurant apart is not merely the fusion of nouvelle French and Southeast Asian flavours, but also its commitment to using health-conscious ingredients, ensuring each dish is a symphony of both indulgence and well-being.
Under the guidance of chef Azmi Arialda, Le Chefeteria has been consistently nominated as “Favourite Private Kitchen” in three successive rounds of DiningCity’s Hong Kong Restaurant Week. Chef Azmi presents a selection of dining options, including a set lunch menu priced at HKD278 per person, a fine-dining set dinner menu priced at HKD628 per person, and a weekend and holiday brunch menu priced at HKD298 per person.
Our dinner tasting began with the red snapper ceviche, a delightful ensemble featuring the bright acidity of fresh tomato, homemade pickled cucumber, and the invigorating zest of lemon atop homemade roti. This vibrant appetiser is a dance of lively sensations on the palate.
Chef Azmi’s signature lobster bisque with avocado and lemon citric is a divine blend of flavours, rich yet refreshing. The velvety bisque, simmered for hours, achieves a real depth of flavour. What makes it stand out is the ingenious addition of avocado, imparting a creamy texture and subtle nuttiness, elevating the bisque beyond the generic. The touch of lemon citric provides a delightful zing, creating a harmonious blend that lingers on the palate. An innovative twist on a classic that truly captivates the taste buds.
The tomato-mint soup is a delectable fusion of ripe tomato and fresh mint. The inherent sweetness of the tomato harmonises seamlessly with the cool, herbaceous notes of the mint, creating a symphony of flavours that is both vibrant and refreshing. This dish is especially well suited to those seeking a lighter starter.
The hairy crab-roe tom yum fresh egg pasta is a tantalising fusion of flavours that transcends culinary boundaries. The briny richness of the hairy crab roe intertwines with the bold and aromatic essence of the Thai hot-and sour flavouring known as tom yum, creating a balance that excites the palate. A noteworthy feature is the pasta’s unique preparation, crafted without the use of butter, cream, or cheese. This innovative approach not only elevates the dish’s health-conscious appeal, but also allows the natural flavours to shine.
The duck-leg confit risotto arrived to our table with a mouth-watering aroma. The succulent, smoky duck-leg confit perfectly melds with the creamy and velvety texture of the tomato-confit risotto. This lemon-based sauce provides a refreshing balance to the slight heaviness of the duck meat, enhancing the complexity of the dish.
The next culinary creation, aptly named “When the Ocean Meets the Sea”, surpasses expectations. This dish, served on a banana leaf, showcases the exquisite carabineros Spanish red prawn, paired with an amalgamation of sustainable local seafood curry, an array of crisp, fresh vegetables, and pandan-coriander rice. Beyond its visual appeal, the name itself is not merely eye-catching, but it also accurately reflects the seamless fusion of oceanic elements within the dish.
Le Chefeteria’s surf ‘n’ turf – featuring coconut-husk-smoked Argentinian Black Angus tenderloin and carabineros red prawn with dauphinoise potatoes, baby spinach, lobster tuile, and lobster beef jus – has been created by Chef Azmi to promote sustainability of both land and sea. Whilst the tenderloin exhibits commendable tenderness, it’s notable for its more subdued beef flavour, lending a gentle taste to the dish.
Chef Azmi’s signature banana roti with cranberry ice cream is an extraordinary sensory journey. The freshly made roti boasts a perfect balance of crispness on the outside and a soft, doughy interior. The natural sweetness of the ripe banana is beautifully complemented by the refreshing cranberry ice cream. What makes this dessert truly special is the unique experience of witnessing the chef skilfully prepare the roti right at the kitchen table. Of special mention, the roti is crafted without the addition of sugar, enhancing the dessert’s health-conscious appeal.
Another dessert worth trying is Chef Azmi’s “serious” chocolate brownie with mixed berry sorbet. The chocolate brownie unfolds with a rich, intense cocoa taste that enlivens the palate. The fudgy texture of the brownie harmonises with the cool, velvety sorbet, creating a delightful contrast.
Le Chefeteria stands out as a hidden gem in Hong Kong, where the fusion of nouvelle French cuisine with Southeast Asian cooking techniques and ingredients is a rare and delightful find. The private kitchen’s hostess, with commendable passion and knowledge, intricately details the preparation of each dish, emphasising the use of premium ingredients. However, the extensive menu, whilst informative, might be overwhelming to diners, making it challenging to discern the distinctive offerings and signature dishes that set the restaurant apart. To enhance the dining experience, we recommend considering the introduction of a more focused à-la-carte option to provide guests with a clearer understanding of the private kitchen’s unique culinary identity.
|Order this: chef Azmi’s set dinner menu, for a full taste of his unique culinary offerings
Menu: Le Chefeteria’s menus
Price for two: HKD1,200–1,400
|Atmosphere: cosy and intimate, like dining at a friend’s home
Perfect for: guests on the lookout for well-priced fusion cuisine (in this case, French/SE Asian crossover), alongside a focus on health and sustainability
This review is intended to offer an individual perspective on the dining experience and should not be considered as a definitive judgement of the restaurant’s overall quality or reputation. The views expressed in this review are solely the author’s and do not reflect the opinions of Foodie.