This was not our first (nor will it be our last) visit to buzzy, modern Le Bistro Winebeast, which has recently moved to a more spacious yet still cosy corner spot on Johnston Road. We’ve been fans from the get-go.
The new Le Bistro Winebeast space
Arriving in Hong Kong five years ago, Chef Johan Ducroquet offers a creative French menu that changes with the seasons, shaking things up with the use of Asian ingredients. There’s also a focus on sustainability, with all seafood served certified to Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standards.
The eco-conscious emphasis continues with LBW’s wine programme, overseen by Chef Ducroquet’s wife, sommelier Cristina Carranco Ducroquet. The restaurant specialises in affordable French, Spanish and eco-friendly wines by family-owned wineries.
Our most recent meal at Le Bistro Winebeast included sampling some of the dishes from the new autumn menu (note that, on the à-la-carte menu, the crab salad and chicken and snail croquette are new starters and all the main courses are newcomers).
Our favourite was the crab salad ($168), although the flavours (we imagined eating this at a beach picnic) screamed summer to us other rather than autumn. The sweet crab paired very well with the potato and Jerez emulsion, and we loved the generous mound of herring caviar layered on top.
Of the main courses, the grilled Hokkaido scallops ($268) and confit beef cheek ($238) were dual winners. Both were perfectly cooked – the scallop was tender and well seared, the beef melted in the mouth – but it was the autumnal accompaniments that made the dishes truly sing. The lashings of truffle shavings atop the scallops, along with the sinfully buttery butternut squash purée and the beef cheek’s carrot purée, nearly overtook the mollusc and meat in flavour.
In the end, we recommend opting for the well-priced four-course tasting menu ($498; $598 with wine pairings). You’ll get a generous sampling of both the chef’s signature dishes and his seasonal creations – ideal for a low-key but still impressive date night. And one more suggestion: don’t overdo it on the addictive yeasty, crusty breadbasket at the start of the meal…
Homemade bread and butter
G/F, Newman House, 35–45 Johnston Road, Wanchai, 2782 6689
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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