Saturday, 30 November 2013

Salon de Joel Robuchon, Hong Kong (Alissa and Don Eat Asia Day 6, Part 1)

We knew it was an outside chance but we had to give it a go. We had to have Tim Ho Wan one more time. Just two serves of the pork buns, please. Three for me, three for Alissa. That's all we needed.

Unfortunately, the IFC outpost of pork bun deliciousness didn't open until 9am, and we simply did not have the time to wait til then plus the cooking time for our char siu bao. If we were to have Tim Ho Wan again, it was gonna have to wait until Singapore.

So, as Alissa sometimes puts it with great concern in her voice; 'but what about breakfast!?!?!!?' Thankfully, our reconnaissance mission to find the best way to Caprice held the answer. Located in IFC and on the way to the Four Seasons is Salon de Joel Robuchon, the cafe side of Robuchon's vast restaurant empire that includes many L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon restaurants around the world. We checked out the food on the way to Caprice, and everything looked delicious and reasonably priced considering it came under the brand of the world's most Michelin Starred Chef.

We arrived that morning just as they opened, so a lot of the more complicated items had yet to be made or at least put out for display. The waiter sat us down at the very stylish red chairs of the cafe, and we immediately ordered our morning coffee to wake us up.

The cappuccino was excellent, better than what we had at Otto e Mezzo and the multiple Starbucks we popped into during our stay. It was however trumped by our coffee at Classified due to following the seemingly Hong Kong trend of overheating the milk. Which is a shame as this was otherwise a perfect cup of coffee that looked beautiful as well.

Since we did not have much time and thus could not order anything too complicated, we decided to go with croissants. Being an almond croissant aficionado, Alissa ordered one as her breakfast and being more of a savoury fan, I ordered the ham and soft cheese croissant. However when the waiter informed me that they would not able to serve it for about half an hour, I changed my order to the unusual pistachio and raspberry option.

Both croissants arrived slightly warmed as requested, but remained crunchy instead of the microwaved rubbery quality of bad microwavec croissants. Alissa appreciated that it was a 'real' almond croissant, as in it didn't have a fake almond essence taste to it and instead had been made with almond meal. The middle was nice and melt in your mouth soft, with the outer layer being flaky and crispy. Perhaps a bit too much so – since we ate politely with fork and knife so as to not look uncouth in such a fine establishment, the croissant fell apart into unmanageably small flakes making it difficult for Alissa to eat and fully enjoy.

My pistachio and raspberry croissant was perfect, combining two flavours I absolutely love in one of the best croissants I've ever had. The texture of mine was much better than Alissa's, as it was the right amount of flaky on the outside while having that buttery soft middle I've come to know and love in good quality croissants. Throughout the middle was what tasted like a pistachio marzipan pastry and premium raspberry preserve. My last croissant – the disappointing one at Dome in Perth – was only passable. This on the other hand was a fine example of how you do a croissant correctly. Delicious.

The Verdict: Very Good
Alissa's croissant was not perfect and I would have loved to have tried some of their savoury pastries, but I was very satisfied with my croissant – a lovely consolation prize for no Tim Ho Wan. What we had at Salon de Joel Robuchon whetted our appetite for more, both at this Salon level and at the L'Atelier level. With Robuchon's vast restaurant empire all over the world, the wait will probably not be long.

No comments:

Post a Comment