On a recent spring evening, my friend and I walked out of the rain and onto Metropolitain’s cosy front terrace. Sitting facing the street, we gradually relaxed and warmed up, ready for some good, ol’ comfort food. This Sai Ying Pun hotspot has been around for five years and is a neighbourhood favourite. But even good things can be improved, and the eatery now has a fresh vibe, with a new menu and restaurant manager.
Matt, the affable new manager, explained the new features of the menu. In the past, the focus was on classic French dishes – think tartares, salads and a large selection of mains such as duck confit, roast chicken and lamb shank. Now the menu is focused on grills and seafood, though perpetual bestsellers remain.
We started with one of these bestsellers, the warm Camembert ($208). It was a chilly evening, and nothing sounded better than hot, gooey cheese! This was an excellent choice, with the Camembert being smooth yet stinky in all the right ways. Usually this dish comes with potatoes, but we asked for salad and bread because we had two potato dishes to come (#carblife). A glass of red from Macon (in Burgundy) was recommended with this dish, and it went very well.
Next we moved on to the hanger steak ($218 for 250g), accompanied by gratin dauphinois ($68) and truffled mashed potato ($88). The steak itself was quite tender – perhaps not the tastiest beef I’ve ever had, but it was well cooked and came with a small pot of delicious beef jus and a dish of sinful Béarnaise sauce. I sliced the gratin dauphinois in half and passed half to my friend, but I instantly regretted it after taking my first bite. The thin layers of potato managed to be almost flaky and the taste was simply delicious. At that price, I’d recommend getting a portion for each person. The truffled mashed potato was also very smooth and moreish.
While we were quite full, we wanted to try the delicious-sounding linguine “Billi Bi” with creamy curry sauce and mussels ($178). This dish smelled fantastic, but it was a bit too delicate for our palates. Perhaps our taste buds had been overwhelmed by all the other things we’d eaten, but we could barely taste the curry sauce, which was quite thin. The mussels were nice and fresh though.
Cheese, steak, pasta, wine... Clearly we were in a “go big or go home” kind of mood. So, for dessert, we ordered another indulgent option: chocolate fondant cake ($78). Chef Frank suggested we might also want to try the restaurant’s new orange sorbet ($68). It was a great recommendation – we loved it. It tasted just like a fresh orange, though the texture was more like a granita than a smooth sorbet. It was very refreshing – perfect for spring or summer or, in our case, after a heavy meal.
Chef Frank and Manager Matt
Metropolitain is a reliable, casual spot for delicious French food. We’ll definitely be back for the Camembert and the orange sorbet. In addition to the new menu, they’ve also changed up the chairs on the front terrace. Now they’re a white-and-green wicker, adding to the charming vibe of the place. Metropolitain was a great choice for our cosy, rainy evening, and I can imagine it’s even more charming over brunch when the sun is shining down.
46 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, 6271 6102
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.
For more reviews like this, like Foodie on Facebook