This article originally appeared in the latest June edition of Foodie: Jamie's Hong Kong. Read it here!
What is it? First and foremost, maison es is the girliest restaurant you will ever set eyes upon. From the floral china patterns and teacups, charming terrace and ivory furnishings to the abundance of fresh flowers ambrosially scenting the sweet space and crisply turned out wait staff, this French restaurant has been thickly painted with a woman’s touch right down to the pink kitchen and crystal chandaliered bathrooms. This decidedly feminine touch is all down to chef Esther Sham of popular private kitchen Ta Pantry as she branches out opening her newest venture right next door.
The menu: Fine French flavours with an Asian twist. The staff immediately recommend the coddled egg on black truffled mash ($120), and with good reason, this is an absolute triumph served with toast soldiers for dipping and delighting the palate.
The yuzu duck breast with dikon ($260) is served simply and is marvellously tender and flavourful while the maple roasted black pork belly with lardon and Brussels sprouts ($260) is juicy and succulent. We paired these with the cauliflower tempura with spicy mayo ($65) that was a unique way to serve up veggies and we sampled the Hokkaido scallops ($280) which weren’t terribly flavourful and the only let down of the night. We were delighted with the dulce de leche rice crispy treat ($120) and the Valrhona chocolate and mint cake ($120) hit the sweet spot. We’ll be back to try the sharing portion of roasted chicken for two with pomelo chicken jus ($520).
The drinks: As the restaurant is still in its soft opening phase, the liquor licence has not yet come through but is expected by the end of the month. A pleasing list of mocktails and tea blends make a pious choice; we sampled the refreshing peppermint and strawberry iced tea ($60), which was served prettily in a decorative jar with floral straw. The planned cocktail menu is as fancy as it is feminine with drinks based on impressionist paintings like the Water Lilies ($120) a long drink of elderflowers, raspberries, vodka and homemade oolong soda.
The end result: A lovely high end dining experience. Sham has already been asked when she will begin offering afternoon tea and with her chosen décor, you can see why; maison es would be a perfect destination for a girly spot of tea. It’s also a lovely choice for a quiet evening when you are hoping to infuse some romance in the air.
1 Electric Street, Wanchai, 2521 8011