The trouble with Hong Kong is as soon as a restaurant can categorise itself French or Japanese, the price triples from what normally one would expect, due to their somewhat archaic association with classic fine dining. Fortunately the popular Sai Ying Pun restaurant, Metropolitain, does just the opposite.
Shipped in from France, Chef Frank Lebiez brings a wide range of dishes from all over the home-country, in a way that beams Paris to those in the spacious dining area. Lebiez's cooking is creative but less conceptual than a lot of the other French chefs in this city, although he is big on flavour and technique: properly executed choux, marinière sauce and magret de canard à l’orange (duck à l'orange) are the expected norm here.
From 9 a.m. breakfast is offered, with the likes of Benedict (eggs not Cumberbatch), omelet, and the original English breakfast available until 12pm on weekdays and as brunch on weekends. A lunch set for $118 includes a starter and main and for a wispy extra $10 you will be treated to tea/coffee and dessert of the day. No skimpy baguettes for lunch here either (though we hold no animosity towards such bread options); await sea bass and beef cheek on this menu.
Our favourite a la carte items included:
$178 - selection of eggplant caviar, zucchini “tempura” with mustard mayonnaise, quinoa salad and beetroot in salt with tarragon sauce.
Vegetarians rejoice; this is one veg platter that is in all ways equal to the carnivorous competitors. Huge props to the delicious quinoa salad and eggplant 'caviar' which is reminiscent of a whipped baba ganoush mousse.
FILET DE FLÉTAN À “LA PLANCHA” POÊLÉE D’ÉPINARD, MOULES ET PALOURDES MARINIÈRE
$188 - pan fried halibut with spinach, mussels & clams in white wine sauce.
Colossal flavours are trapped in the sauce that drench the shellfish and coat the tender halibut.
CARRÉ D’AGNEAU, TOMATE PROVENÇALE ET POMME FONDANTE
$198 - lamb rack with tomatoes, garlic, parsley and fondant potatoes.
Delicately meaty, and cooked to perfection with a rich saucy (woah, easy) companion who is not overpowering in any way.
$60 - crème brulée.
Do not leave without sampling the silky, gorgeously creamy classic of the creme brulee. It reminds everyone why this is the trademark dessert of the great nation.
$78 - choux pastries filled with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.
To be fair, this one is filled with whipped cream and comes directly off the lunch menu (it is in the set and can be included by adding an extra $10). This dessert is worth gloating over, and protecting with one's life. For the lovers of choux, you will soon be vaunting this dark chocolate smothered pastry and cream all about town.
Metropolitain: 46 High St, Sai Ying Pun