French restaurant Amuse Bouche boasts sophisticated and modern interiors, with white space accented by mirrors and artsy black and white circular frames. The unusual and gorgeous 270-degree views from its 22nd floor location at the Hennessy in Wan Chai make it an ideal destination for a dinner date or even for a business lunch on a bright summer’s day.
The former sous chef and sommelier from Island Shangri-La’s Petrus opened this place back in 2009, and has since garnered a solid and mostly local fan base for its uncomplicated French cuisine, with slight tweaks to suit the local palate. The food is generally well-executed using quality ingredients. The selection is both tight and thoughtful – you can choose either from the degustation menu, list of signature dishes, or off the a la carte. Start off your meal with the lobster bisque, richly flavoured while remaining light on the palate, with chunks of juicy lobster in it, as well as morels adding an earthy touch. The mesclun salad with homemade black truffle vinaigrette may have sounded blasé, but the fact that it was marked a signature dish piqued our curiosity, which paid off. The crunchy and fresh vegetables are brought to life by the perfectly mixed herb dressing with just the ideal touch of truffles to add a decadent end to each bite. Though categorised as an appetiser, the Tuscan artisanal pasta with black truffle chicken gravy could well pass as a main course, already filling in its richness. Other mains worth trying include the Boston lobster in casserole, a bouillabaisse that includes chestnuts, seasonal vegetables and penne pasta – a filling and hearty dish, with its juicy chunks of lobster and rich broth ideal for cooler days. The slow-cooked Bresse pigeon is excellent quality, though slightly overwhelmed in flavours by the mixture of Jabugo ham, foie gras and black truffle, romaine lettuce and pigeon juniper sauce. For dessert, the crispy Granny Smith apple tart with vanilla ice cream is unfortunately not as crispy as promised, and the soufflés are a better option with the light and airy raspberry a great palate cleanser after such a hearty meal.
Given the previous experience of its owners, it’s no wonder that the wine list is impressive in both scale of selection – a wide range of regions and some of the biggest wine producers as well as notable boutique wineries are well-represented - and price point, with the ability to find something within most budgets. There is however a limited amount of wines by the glass (only two whites and two reds) though offset by the half-bottles on offer. Ask for the affable sommelier to guide you through the selection.
Service, while generally efficient, lacks warmth at times. However, when the owners are present it is a pleasure to be served by them as they obviously have passion for what they do.
Dinner for two averages at around HK$1,500, which is to be expected for the quality of the food, wine and atmosphere.