Aroma Wine Bistro offers impressive, reasonably priced French bistro cuisine and a mighty wine selection
Located in the heart of Causeway Bay at Lee Garden Three, Aroma Wine Bistro is a newly opened urban gem offering French bistro cuisine. Despite its relatively cosy dining space, it showcases a mighty selection of enjoyable, affordable wine alongside an impressive food menu – no small feat for the area.
Aroma’s relaxed indoor dining space and al-fresco area capture a unique Nordic aesthetic that’s ideal for a cheeky city escape, even for an afternoon coffee.
Baby cuttlefish with pistachio-parsley oil (HK$178)
We were first presented with a beautiful dish of palm-sized cuttlefish grilled to perfection. Despite their size, the cuttlefish were exceedingly juicy and tender, slicing effortlessly. On top is a refreshing pistachio-parsley olive oil dressing, with its nuttiness, crunch and herbaceous notes complementing the seafood – sometimes less is more when preparing gems from the sea.
Fried chicken with Jura vin jaune sauce and caviar (HK$158)
The second course was an elevated version of an Asian favourite – fried chicken. The chicken was fried to perfection, with the meat being both tender and juicy; the cross-section above shows a full display of its glistening succulence. Another worthy point of mention is the sauce, which is made using vin jaune (French for “yellow wine”), a type of white wine produced in the Jura region of eastern France that is traditionally cooked with chicken. Here, Chef Roger Boschman has skilfully crafted a sauce to complement the fried chicken. The end product is a rich, nutty, apricot-, spice- and apple-flavoured sauce with a golden hue, achieving a flavour profile akin to Shaoxing wine. The surprise of the night!
Mille-feuille potatoes with Wagyu beef tartare, bottarga roe and herbs (HK$148)
Mille-feuille, with its distinctive layering of puff pastry, is traditionally used in French desserts, but Aroma has transformed this highly labour-intensive pastry into a savoury dish. The potatoes are roasted for four hours before frying. Their crispy exterior encases an airy, fluffy potato interior – truly a rewarding bite.
Wagyu eye round is used for the beef tartare, which is no doubt buttery and luxurious in taste, but given the doubled-up richness, I would suggest slightly turning up the acidity level in order to cut through the intensity. The bottarga roe on top acts as a umami and savoury enhancer, giving diners the opportunity to devour a bite-sized surf-and-turf creation.
Black truffle handmade chitarra pasta (HK$198)
The beauty of this dish lies in the handmade chitarra pasta, giving a chew to the bite, as well as the freshly shaved black truffle. The truffle-based sauce is rich and creamy and includes an abundance of assorted mushrooms. The freshly shaved black truffle gives the al-dente pasta strands a much-needed earthy nuttiness to cut through the sauce.
Handmade chitarra pasta with beef ragù (HK$188)
Thinking of a baked pasta dish reminds me of Harry’s Bar in Venice, and this rendition pays homage to the famous Venetian restaurant at only a fraction of the price. This extremely satisfying dish showcases a beef ragù cooked in pancetta fat and tossed with handmade chitarra pasta. On top is a glorious, lusciously lathered béchamel sauce, topped with a layer of 12-month Parmigiano-Reggiano and then baked until crisp. This could easily be crowned the king of all baked pastas.
M8 Wagyu zabuton steak with three-Michelin-starred Pierre Koffmann extra-thick fries (HK$388)
Zabuton is a unique cut of steak that refers to the chuck area located between the shoulder blade and back rib. Produced only in small quantities from each cow, it’s known for its tenderness and marbling, and being able to enjoy zabuton at Wagyu level is a pleasure. We equally enjoyed the fries sourced from three-starred French chef Pierre Koffman; they are textbook perfect – crispy on the outside and fluffy and pillowy on the inside.
It’s not easy to find a French bistro in Hong Kong, let alone a high-quality one, and Aroma offers an elevated French bistro dining experience at an affordable price point, particularly given its prime ingredients. We could really taste the restaurant’s heart and soul when trying out the menu. As with the ever-changing dining scene of Hong Kong, innovation married with tradition seems to be the way forward to keep up with the times, and Aroma beautifully captures this essence. For wine lovers in particular, Aroma showcases a great selection of well-priced wines from France (especially Burgundy) and also some interesting wines from other parts of the world. Aroma is definitely one to look out for and might just have risen to the top of our list when it comes to French bistro dining in Hong Kong!
Where: Shop 206–210, 2/F, Lee Garden 3, 1 Sunning Road, Causeway Bay
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.