Christmas Menu: Le Bistro Winebeast (20–24 December 2018)

Christmas Menu: Le Bistro Winebeast (20–24 December 2018)

Festive French comfort food in Wanchai

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Jenni Lien  Jenni Lien  on 17 Dec '18


The first time I heard about Le Bistro Winebeast was the old-fashioned way: through a friend. I was at a dinner and, as usual, the conversation turned to our favourite places to eat in Hong Kong. Le Bistro Winebeast was recommended by a French woman as her favourite place in town. So when the opportunity to try out the restaurant’s Christmas menu popped up, I couldn’t wait to go.

Le Bistro Winebeast is located on the corner of a busy street in Wanchai. You can’t miss its distinctive sign, which is equal parts classic and chic. The restaurant is headed by Chef Johan Ducroquet, who cut his teeth at various Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris and has also worked in France, Spain and South America. The recipes cooked at the restaurant are all his, and he regularly changes the menu to keep offering guests something new.

So what does Chef Ducroquet have for us this Christmas season?

We recently tried the five-course Christmas Eve tasting menu ($788, +$250 for wine pairings).


Starters

Foie gras torchon

The meal started with a foie gras torchon that was accompanied by fig compote, apricot jam and peach slices. This was lovely! The torchon itself was fresh and flavourful and went well with the fruity accompaniments. I’d never had foie gras with apricot or peach, before but I’m definitely a fan now.


Salad with salmon, crab, caviar and passion fruit sauce

This luxe “salad” had marinated salmon, crab, a croquette, a generous amount of herring caviar and a passion fruit sauce. This was a unique combination, though some may find it a bit too intense (salty and tangy).


Mains

Scallops with hazelnuts

The scallops with hazelnuts and Parmesan emulsion were delicious – rich yet delicate.


Beef Rossini

The beef Rossini ended our savoury dishes. While this was also an intense dish, I couldn’t get enough of it. It stuck to the classic recipe of a fillet topped with a slice of pan-fried foie gras, accented with truffle jus and a Madeira demi-glace sauce. This definitely felt like an indulgent, festive dish and was cooked very well. A citrusy, mustard-laced potato croquette was served alongside.


Dessert

Pain perdu

We ended our meal with a slice of pain perdu, also known as French toast. In reality, this was a bit more like a cake topped with luscious fresh raspberries, filled with more of that delicious apricot jam.


Verdict

I love cosy bistros with good-value comfort food, and Le Bistro Winebeast delivers this with a modern French twist. The space is small and the tables are quite close together, but this doesn’t stop people from organising group dinners or celebrating dates (both types were there on the night we visited). The Christmas menu is priced on the higher side for comfort food, but the portions are generous and the flavours are lovely. Whether you opt for one of the festive menus (there’s also a three-course festive lunch menu for $288 and a New Year’s Eve tasting menu for $788 + $250 for wine pairings) or go à la carte, I think Le Bistro Winebeast is a place with heart and definitely worth your dollars.


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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Jenni Lien

Jenni Lien

Will travel far for food. Blogs at www.jenniexplores.com.

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