[Hong Kong] La Saison by Jacques Barnachon
La Saison means "season" in English which represents the philosophy of the menu designed by Jacques Barnachon, executive chef of the Michelin starred L'Etang du Moulin in France, by serving ingredients that are only at its best throughout the seasons. Due to its location in TST, this French import hasn't exactly been on my radar until recently and the surroundings were surprisingly elegant once you step off the busy street of Cameron Road with a glass elevator transporting you to the restaurant from the ground floor.
Once inside, all the things you expect from a fine dining restaurant are checked including an outdoor area, a full bar and a classy main dining room with white tablecloth tables and plush chairs. Prices here are comparable to its counterparts in Central with lunch sets starting from $300+ and dinner degustation from $1100+.
The bread basket arrived warm and was very impressive as the bread were all well-made from the brioche to the baguette, sourdough and focaccia. I especially loved the brioche which was very soft and fluffy to eat. The two types of butter (original and salted) were flavorful and glided smoothly on the bread.
For our pre-amuse bouche, we started with a spoonful of crab meat with yuzu, followed by a cheese puff and ended with a duck breast with orange marmalade. All were lovely as starters to whet our appetite.
The amuse bouche was a pumpkin foam infused with curry and topped with toasted hazelnuts. The pairing was interesting and went quite well together actually as the curry wasn't overwhelming at all and complimented the flavors of the pumpkin nicely.
Tomato Tartare - this starter was almost too pretty to eat with black quinoa, pickled cucumber, black olive powder and baby cress. Like its beautiful plating of a garden, the flavors were natural and refreshing to the eyes and tastes as well.
Pan Fried Foie Gras - served with lentil salad and brown butter sauce, the foie gras was a bit overcooked while the pairing with the lentil was uninspiring as something that was more acidic or has a more contrasting texture would have fared better in my opinion.
Wagyu Beef Cheek - with courgettes, pumpkins, baby onions, spinach, red pepper coulis, orzo pasta and beef jus. The beef cheek was easy to cut into with a soft and bouncy texture while the meat was flavorful with the rich sauce. I really loved the orzo pasta which was chewy to eat!
Slow Poached Rainbow Trout - with white asparagus, salmon roe and yuzu beurre blanc. The fish was cooked perfectly with a flaky texture but the yuzu sauce that accompanied the dish could have been richer.
Raspberry Opera Cake - served with granola and vanilla ice cream, the cakes were rather dry while the flavors of the dessert were as expected - no surprises here.
Blue Berry Dacqouise - with mango mousse and orange sorbet. I loved the plating of this dessert while I just loved the mango mousse which was so rich and flavorful!
To round off our meal, we got to see our own petit fours from an array of choices and I couldn't help but to get one of each! Since I came here over Easter, there were some holiday theme treats along with chocolates, madeleine and macarons.
Verdict - no doubt the food here was solid but at the same time what I had tried didn't blow me out of the water either so given the prices, La Saison would be a good option for French fine dining if you are looking to dine on the Kowloon side.
* By Invitation
La Saison by Jacques Barnachon
2/F, The Cameron, 33 Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: 2789 8000
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