Picnic on Forbes
Developed by Philippe Orrico, of Michelin-starred On Dining, Picnic on Forbes in Kennedy Town brings the charm of the outdoors indoors. The restaurant’s bright surroundings feel spacious and open, with its forest-green pillars, wood and marble accents making this the perfect place to indulge in an alfresco-inspired meal. Diners can choose from a variety of carefully curated picnic baskets that include everything from a ham and cheese charcuterie platter to salmon tarama with arvuga caviar, a far cry from the unimaginative basket of tasteless sandwiches that may haunt some people’s childhood memories. Also on the menu are French comfort foods such as rotisserie chicken and chilled mint pea gazpacho. Complement the modern picnic with a Long Basil Smash, an alcoholic twist on home-style lemonade.
Le Port Parfumé
Le Port Parfumé prides itself on serving the freshest seafood, which arrives every morning from around Hong Kong. The bistro’s ambience is warm, inviting and cosy – perfect for date night. Crowd-favorites include Le Port Parfumé’s chorizo omelette, whole-roasted farm chicken and the prawns a la plancha drizzled with homemade pesto. The chorizo omelette is served in a piping hot skillet, but the result is eggs with a perfect texture, accompanied with slices of chorizo, which give the dish a spicy kick. Other than the classics, be sure to try the offerings on the specials menu that changes every day. For a unique dessert experience, give the blue cheese gelato with honeycomb a try – you won’t be disappointed. And if you’re looking for a fun fact to impress that special someone, the restaurant draws its name from the French name for Hong Kong: “Le Port Parfumé” is a direct translation of “the Fragrant Harbor.”
Mother’s cooking takes centre stage at Pastis. The bistro’s take on food is clear: simple dishes that are full of flavor, much like the meals that the owners grew up eating. French expats flock to Pastis during lunch, and if the sun is shining then diners spill out on to the streets. The meat in the beef bourguignon is deliciously tender and the sauce was satisfyingly rich. Feeling more ambitious? Ask for La Maxi Planche Mixte, a platter with an assortment of dips, cold cuts, cheese and toasts. All of Pastis’ offerings are best accompanied with a glass of wine, of which the restaurant boasts a fine selection.
Nestled in NoHo, Cocotte aims to deliver a modern take on French favorites with its refined and re-defined dishes. Opened by brothers Jonathan, Brice and Petrous Moldovan, the restaurant’s dishes revolve around seasonal ingredients and a “less is more” theme, a refreshing change to gravy-drenched dishes gone wrong. The fois gras, served with fig, possesses a butter-like texture and is creamy without being too rich. For the main course, request the steak to be done medium rare and the result is a juicy piece of meat with robust flavors, accompanied with a side of fries. Cocotte’s charming interior is reminiscent of Parisian brasseries, with its eclectic choice of wallpapers, vintage mirrors and plush wall seating making it the perfect place to enjoy a post-meal glass of wine.
Aptly named for its floor-to-ceiling French windows that provide an unparalleled view of Victoria Harbor, French Window is the epitome of fine bistro dining. The restaurant boasts a bright and charming interior, offering guests respite from the hustle and bustle of busy Central. Black and white picture frames adorn the wall and bottles of wine line the mirror-backed bar. To ensure that only the finest ingredients are used, French Window imports its ingredients from France. The restaurant celebrates its nation’s culinary delights, with offerings such as French onion soup topped with melted Gruyere cheese, moules frites and skirt steak with béarnaise sauce. The homemade fries are a highlight and definitely worth indulging in. Diners can also select their meals from the seafood-on-ice bar, featuring the likes of oysters and various shellfish.