Since first opening in 1886, Auguste Fauchon's FAUCHON Paris Le Café has developed an international reputation as a trendsetting gourmet establishment founded on artistry, innovation and excellence. This notoriety is carried through to the café and restaurant's 44 branches around the globe, one of which is located in Hong Kong at Sha Tin's New Town Plaza.
In tune with the demand for more refreshing flavours to combat the incoming warmer weather (and Hong Kong's green tea craze), our local Fauchon is launching an exclusive Matcha Festival menu starting this month. This special menu, a cross-border collaboration between Fauchon's chefs in Paris and Hong Kong, is the result of over six months of experimentation and refinement.
We tasted several dishes from the matcha menu:
The beautifully plated scallop carpaccio and green tea panna cotta with toast baguette ($118) was an impressive showcase of Chef Sai Hsu's commitment to highlighting the essence of matcha in his dishes. Forming the visual centrepiece of the dish, the matcha panna cotta was moussy, creamy and added a dimension of sweetness to the otherwise savoury and tangy dish. I personally would have preferred less of the panna cotta as I felt it distracted from the appetising tanginess of the scallop carpaccio – although I am sure that many matcha lovers would have begged to differ! The baguette croutons did an exceptional job at adding depth to the texture of the dish, but the scallops could have been fresher.
We loved the texture of the green-tea-smoked salmon millefeuille ($98). The hazelnut and pumpkin seeds added a crunchiness to the otherwise crispy pastry, perfectly balancing the smoked salmon filling (which was a tad too salty, but certainly flavourful) inside. Chef Sai Hsu uses fewer herbs in this dish compared to his Parisian counterpart to keep the spotlight on the matcha.
My favourite of the afternoon was the pan-fried cod fillet ($158), paired with asparagus and a satisfying green-tea-flavoured hollandaise sauce. We once again appreciated the thoughtful choice of cod: a fish that harmonises, rather than competes, with the dish's matcha flavours. Although it was far from mealy, the cod-cushioning mashed potato could have been creamier.
Representing respective levels of Uji matcha, we ended our meal with the Mont Fuji ($55) and green tea eclair ($48). Made with yuzu and strawberry compote, white sesame almond biscuit and Valrhona white chocolate, the Mont Fuji (pictured right) was zesty, refreshing and balanced. The green tea eclair (pictured left) was filled with an intense matcha custard and sweet azuki (red bean) paste. This is a must order for true matcha fanatics.
If you're looking for a quick matcha fix at an affordable price (and happen to be near Sha Tin), FAUCHON Le Café is the place for you.
Shop 408 and 410, 4/F, New Town Plaza Phase 1, 18 Sha Tin Centre Street, Sha Tin, 2237 1515
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation.