One of our friends is leaving Hong Kong and moving out to Canada, so Hello Kitty and I decided to send her off with a nice dinner... since she's not likely to get much fine dining choices where she's going. Épure is a place whose food we all enjoy, and location-wise it was also very convenient, so it seemed like the perfect location.
I think I was recognized by some of the staff, and even manager Olivier came over to say hello - and mentioned that he hadn't seen us in over a year... I guess we need to give them a little more love, then!
I had a few words to say about the "For her" and "For him" menus we had to deal with on our first two visits, so we were relieved to find that they finally scrapped that stupid sexist crap. Diners can still choose from a 6- or 8-course tasting menu, and has a choice of having the chef decide those dishes (presumably featuring more seasonal ingredients) at a premium, or compose their own menu from a list. Heck, they can even go à la carte! Given that I've been literally eating nonstop for the last week, I figured 6 courses would suffice tonight.
But the best change they've made to the menu? The names. On top of just scribbling out the list of ingredients, each dish now has a poetic name attached. In a way this calls to mind what Dominique Crenn does at L'Atelier Crenn, although I've yet had the pleasure of dining there.
Sea urchin royale with green pea purée - with piment d'espelette on top, which was surprising in its kick.
Olivier very kindly offered us some cheese, and Hello Kitty picked two from the cart:
Finally, we have the mignardises...
A really, really good dinner. This was our third visit, and we've never been disappointed here. In fact, the level of cuisine here is consistently high - which isn't surprising given the pedigree of the chefs. Service seems to have improved, too... but then again, having the attention from Olivier could have something to do with it... We probably shouldn't wait for a whole year before our next visit, especially since corkage has now been reduced to a more-reasonable HKD 500.
P.S. Many thanks to Olivier for giving us copies of their customized Hong Kong Tatler Best Restaurants Guide 2016, which has the vol au vent on the cover.
P.P.S. I'm still curious about the party that went on in the private room during dinner, where I counted 13 young girls in the early twenties hanging out with a young guy in his early twenties... Actually, I'm more curious about what happened after they left the restaurant...