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The trend for pared back, industrial spaces still runs amok in this town and, as such, it is almost refreshing to come back to Caprice each time with its signature brand of old world elegance. From the plush furniture and high ceilings resplendent with crystal chandeliers to the sparkling open kitchen with an impressive brigade working like well-oiled clockwork, you immediately feel reassured and in good hands from the moment you approach reception. The most coveted seats remain those with the views over Victoria Harbour, though the private chef’s table housed in the Caprice cheese cellar offers an intriguing look through glass windows into the operation of the restaurant.
Brush aside any misconceptions about fussy French food in tiny proportions: each time we dine here, we leave clutching our sated stomachs, practically rolling out of the restaurant filled to the brim with all manner of fine ingredients. Chef Fabrice Vulin is a generous chef, creating exotic dishes strongly rooted in French cuisine but with a decidedly international outlook, thanks to his extensive experience cooking around the world. On our visit this time, we were enamoured with successful dishes such as chilled risotto with seabass carpaccio, spider crab and Kristal caviar, which was far more refined than the traditional interpretation of the Italian rice dish. The kitchen continues to excel with its execution of seafood, as in a main course of Brittany lobster, which comes in two services: first, expertly roasted with artichokes, spinach and champagne sauce and secondly, as a generous soufflé with the claws on the side. While the soufflé was less fluffy than anticipated, the intense seafood flavour was a welcome element. An even heartier dish was Bresse chicken served with crushed potatoes, confit tomato in Romaine leaf; the chicken legs were made into rillettes and mixed with rich liver before being swaddled in a tender leaf of chard. With such intense flavours, a palate cleanser of watermelon granita, rosewater cream and fresh strawberries was beautifully timed, before we tucked into the creations of award-winning pastry chef Nicolas Lambert. A lemon baba with limoncello was generously soaked with the citrussy liqueur, and served with a pristine scoop of lemon sorbet that tasted like the height of Greek summertime. His signature La Framboise dessert is a showstopper, completed with expertly spun sugar, and did not disappoint with its sharp raspberry mousse and confit raspberries.
It’s easy to go to town with Caprice’s impressive tome of wines, which is lengthy on premium French labels that makes an educational read for any aspiring oenophile. Staff are well versed on the list, and find great joy in matching you with your ideal wine—French or not. For our meal, a Petite Arvine 2012 from Switzerland offered refreshing apricot notes to cut through the rich minerality of the lobster main.
The team at Caprice take their service extremely seriously, and chances are you’ll be treated like a regular even if it’s your first time dining there. Staff have a special way of making diners feel at ease in the rather extravagant environment, making sound recommendations and asking the right questions to gauge preferences.
A meal at Caprice unlikely to cost less than HK$2,000 per head, with an average three-course dinner for two with wine and service coming to around HK$4,500.