LES SAVEURS PRIVATE KITCHEN
As you can already tell, I went French and I went private. Private kitchen that is. Les Saveurs popped my private kitchen cherry, and it’s piqued my interest to try more!
You may be wondering, what’s a private kitchen and how was Les Saveurs? Well, keep reading then =P…
Private kitchen is one-up from a restaurant for prestige. If you meet someone that can name you private kitchen recommendations, you know they are the ultimate foodie connoisseur. Private kitchens are usually small, by reservation only, possibly with a set menu, and there is a much closer relationship between the chef and the diner. Before, in 2010, private kitchens were the cheaper option of real restaurants, however, private kitchens have since made themselves a trendy image; thus be prepared to pay price upward of $500HKD per head.
This is where TasteCard HK comes in. I was given a TasteCard to try out, and Les Saveurs is a participating restaurant, which meant I got 10% off the bill and a complimentary glass of house red/white. I mean, 10% isn’t significant, but every bit helps right? For more information on the TasteCard and their partnering restaurants, click here.
Taken directly from TableMap (online reservation system), it states that Les Saveurs is:
“Helmed by two Le Cordon Bleu culinary experts, Eric Wong and Jeff Chan, previously from Southern France’s Michelin two-starred restaurant Le Jardin Des Sens, as well as Amber at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Les Saveurs serves the finest contemporary French-Asian fusion cuisine to delight and enthuse patrons with a truly incredible dining experience.”
The day before, I was whatsapped the following menu from Les Saveurs:
To be completely honest, I wasn’t entirely impressed with the menu; it was ridden with different fonts, simple spelling errors and wasn’t aesthetic impressive overall. But hey, they’re chefs and not writers right?
The Location and Ambience:
Les Saveur is located in one of the unassuming commercial buildings in Causeway Bay. It is quite small and intimate, and fits about 5-6 tables. Private kitchens are the perfect place to bring your mistress to as we soon found out as it’s private and secluded; this was the exact relationship of our table next door and I had to spend the next 3 hours watching an older man, presumably the boss, grope a much younger woman. Yes, at one point, he was on the floor with his head in her lap and hand up and under her skirt. Joys.
The ambience was very dim and our room looked out onto the traffic on the freeway, and the Victoria Harbour. Basically, it was a room, which they put two table near the window, turned off the lights, and lit a bunch of candles. The washroom was clean, but failed to remind me why I should be paying $700HKD+ for a meal. The ambience was decent but could have been improved upon.
(Click on photo to enlarge to full slider view)
The Food and Service:
The service was decent and the person who served us was Eric Wong, who in the description also happens to be one of the chefs. The only problem I foresee is the language barrier if you can’t speak or understand Cantonese. Eric did not comprehend English very well (since my French is terrible, I couldn’t assess that).
Eric said that they need to be informed in advance if a non Chinese speaker were to make a reservation so they can try to get someone in that can speak English. Albeit Les Saveurs is a French restaurant with both chefs having trained in France, but from what I can see (and from their written menu), they cater more to the Cantonese HK crowd and less to the expats.
Now let’s get cracking onto the food as it is a 7 course meal that ran over 3 hours!
Starting from the bottom, there was an apple jelly, then paired with scallop tartare and topped off with julienne apple and an edible flower. Definitely worked as an opener to whet the appetite.
Canadian Lobster with mayo, truffle and some greens. The lobster was very very good. Fresh and cooked to perfection. My friend’s favourite dish of the night.
Fresh Smoked Salmon
The menu changes but this dish has permanency so I was hyped up; however, it was a bit disappointing. The theatrics of this dish is quite entertaining. They bring it out and it finishes cooking at your table.
The smoking scent precedes the dish, and it takes a couple of minutes for it to finish cooking on your plate. I’m not fancy, and I can only describe this as salmon sashimi with caviar roes on top and… that’s it. Neither here nor there for me, but I know a lot of people rave about this dish.
Jerusalem Artichoke Veloute
The artichoke soup was topped off with truffle foam, and there was some ham for extra flavour. I found the ham a bit overpowering and made the soup too salty. Despite that, the soup had pretty balanced flavours, and there is no reminiscent taste of artichoke in the soup.
Poached egg with truffle and more varieties of mushroom. I liked the textures and the taste of the egg yolk went well with the mushrooms though I felt like my palette had a mushroom overdose. Looking back, 3 out of 5 dishes had truffle, so if you don’t like truffle or mushroom, this is not the restaurant for you. If you like truffle, this is your heaven.
Very tender, succulent and juicy. The mushroom sauce could have been more light handed as the guinea fowl was very juicy and its meat was very flavourful.
Prime USDA Rib Eye
They didn’t ask us how we wanted the steak to be cooked; fortunately, it was cooked to medium rare, which is what we like. I felt that the steak was too fatty. I’m not talking about the marbling of the steak, but the ring of fat around the steak (bark) which we had a lot of. Out of the two mains, the guinea fowl was the better dish in my opinion.
There was a cheese platter but we were pretty stuffed; therefore we politely declined. For those interested, it’s an extra ($88 per person) to get a platter of 7 cheeses.
This is where they totally did it right!
Lemon Tart with Yogurt Sorbet
Extremely tart, but I totally loved it, and scraped the plate clean. Everything just worked together, the sorbet had a very yogurty taste that worked well with my palette, and the lemon tart was perfectly tart and a bit lingering sweet. Fantastic.
Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sorbet
Similar story, my friend loved it and scraped her plate clean. The raspberry sorbet was so delish, and went great with her very decadent chocolate cake with some sort of jelly inside. The chocolate wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet, but just very decadent and went great with the sorbet. Tres Bien.
We had teas after to complete our meal and I very much enjoyed it as a finale to our meal.
The food I would say is average. Considering that I’m paying $788HKD per head before tax, I would expect nothing less than the quality that I was given. I did think it was heavy handed on truffle and mushroom given that it appeared in 4 out of the 6 dishes, excluding dessert.
On the other hand, the presentation and plating of the food I thought exhibited creativity and effort and should be commended for. In addition, I’m not a big dessert person, however, I felt that the two desserts were exemplary. The service was good as they were very attentive, and explained each dish in detail to us.
No, probably not. Given it’s my first encounter with private kitchens, I would want to try other ones to see how they compare with each other. Simply put, Les Saveur didn’t completely woo me to consider a repeat experience, however if you want a fancy, secluded and private place for a birthday or for a special occasion, you could consider Les Saveurs. It will definitely come off as a very fancy and special dinner.
Causeway Bay Address:
10/F., Universal House, 229-230 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay
Causeway Bay MTR, Exit C.
Walk along Gloucester Road and it’s located in the Universal Building.
Hours: 1130am-11pm everyday.