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What: French Café & Déli
Where: 3 Star Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Damages: HK$ 624.– for two pax (2 entrées, 1 main course, 2 soft drink and a large mineral water)
Would I go back? Definitely. It’s good food and good service, it’s casual but respectful of diners’ time. Perhaps a little pricey for dishes on the menus that are standards and not overly creative.
Visited & Reviewed: September 2015
One can describe Star Street in Wan Chai and its neighbor alleys and dead ends as the upmarket cousin of Sai Ying Pun: out with the vegan-cum-hipsters cookeries and artisans, in with top of the range furniture shops, a L’occitane Spa, super-hip fragrances store Le Labo and the Odd One Out gallery; the whole with something of a boutiquey feeling. Which of course comes with its lot of eateries of all sort: italian café, spanish restaurant, the odd Pizza Express, etc.
Among them is Chez Patrick Déli, one of the several venues in HK under the Patrick label. The Star Street Déli is more casual and approachable than its older brother in Sheung Wan. Designed to create a market food court feeling, the first sight being offered to diners is the long presentation of cheeses behind glass, all available for purchase, like any delicatessen (hence the name). The decorum is further enhanced by a very large – and tall! – array of shelves which serve as wine cellar. There are no doubts you are in French territory.
The menu would achieve to convince anyone who doubts of the French presence, with mussels, duck confit, foie gras and of course, cheese platters. We opted for an asparagus salad and a chef’s salad for starters, followed by a duck confit to share. Drinks chosen were as casual as possible: an Orangina and a Bitter Lime Soda. To our defence, the following day was an early workday.
While the asparagus salad (above) was sophisticated, very fresh and tiny, the chef’s salad (below) was on the heavy side, lacked substance and is just a patchwork of good ingredients. While some of the tastes were match, this salad lacks a lot of cohesion – hence the patchwork.
An invader made his way to the salad: there was a hair in it, and it was very obvious that it did not come from either of the diners. We pointed it to our waitress, who promptly reacted. Although she suddenly had a surprised face, she promptly took the plate away, apologizing. I felt she was sincere. A few minutes later she presented us with another plate, and a possible explication for the invader’s presence. All the way it was professionally dealt with.
In typical French fashion, the starters arrived at the same time, and only once cleared, the main course arrived. Good and right rhythm. The duck confit was excellent: cooked through, crispy skin, a sauce well done. The accompanying potatoes were excellent.
While we had not ordered it, we were each offered a dessert, an apology token for the hair found in the salad. It was a good dessert: a chocolate mousse topped with a (thick) whipped cream, it seemed homemade and felt fresh. The presentation is nice, in Le Parfait pots, but not really convenient.
We appreciate the gesture, even more so since we had not shown any sign of nervousness about the hair.
Upon departure, (presumably) the manager greet us and engaged in conversation with us, he was nice and genuine, in line with the overall impression of confidence in what the food service is.