Being a Londoner, I was comforted to find a Soho in Hong Kong too and I was delighted to discover an eclectic mix of restaurants, bars and boutiques. A few months ago J and I tried Café de Paris, a small restaurant on Elgin Street. I remember sniggering slightly when I saw the name as it shares its name with a club in London that my friends and I used to visit on many a drunken night at university. However, a club it is not. Instead you will find a quiet bistro, simply and cleverly decorated with a few select pieces of luggage reminiscent of an interior of a 1940s train at the Gare du Nord Paris station.
Last week I had a sudden craving for French onion soup so we went back for dinner to see if the food was as good as I remembered. Shortly after sitting down, they brought some piping hot French bread with anchovy butter to start. They were doing a foie gras special menu so J ordered a curious starter of foie gras on a tarte tartin while I went for my soup. The foie gras came as a fat piece and J commented that it tasted a bit weird at first as it was like eating dessert, only instead of custard, he had goose liver instead. Overall he liked it but said the foie gras would’ve been better if sliced into 2 smaller pieces rather than 1 big chunk. My soup was delicious- gooey cheese and lots of onions in a wonderful clear broth.
For mains J had the 10 oz steak frites (US Angus rib eye) which came with a side salad, and I had the sole Meunière with steamed potatoes. His steak was well prepared with a generous helping of garlic butter. My sole was perfectly pan fried and very fresh but I was struggling to finish due the huge bowl of soup I had! I loved the French music in the background and the impeccable service made the evening extremely enjoyable. The ambience in the restaurant is lovely and there is a quaint window table where you can sit and just watch the world go by.
Next time I will try to make it to dessert, but that night my stomach just couldn’t accomodate anymore so I was left drooling at the menu and staring longingly at the words “Crême Brûlée”…. sigh.
Chopstick rating: 4/5 for good food and good value
Café de Paris, 23 Elgin Street, Soho, Central. Tel: 2810 0771