Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Le Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon: Go-To-Feel-Good

Somewhere in the year or so that I’ve been back, Le Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon became my HK Island side go-to-feel-good place. The pastries, sandwiches, and the to-die-for coffee bring to mind all those happy times I’ve spent wide-eyed in front of Bouchon Bakery in New York. The fact that it’s housed in the same building as Harvey Nichols, and is right next to The Landmark MO is also automatic brownie points. But more importantly, it’s become my go-to spot because, well, I’m just a poor writer and can’t afford eating in the main Robuchon dining room on most days.

(Macarons: hellooooo there)

After all, who am I to say no to Michelin star winning macarons that go for $8 a pop? Or perfect mousse-topped cakes or crumbly crusted tarts at $30-something? OK fine, their coffee is a bit steep at $40/small paper cup… but their coffee is also five times better than anyone else’s, so I guess it balances out.

It also helps that, aside from the stunning sweets, the Salon does a beautiful selection of eat-in dishes. Not too long ago, over a session of Saturday brunch girly gossip, I sold my soul to the salmon fillet marinated in sake and mirin with miso sauce ($190). The fish was so soft and buttery—a perfect canvas for the Japanese marinade. But what made me love more was the accompanying vat of Robuchon’s famed mashed potato purée. It was rich, velvety and oh-so-buttery. B-e-a-utiful.

(Sake-mirin salmon: sorry for the shaky hands)

(King crab jelly layered with tomato coulis and avocado cream: summer flavored!)

I’ve had a fair share of other stellar eats at the Salon. Another stand-out is the king crab jelly layered with tomato coulis and avocado cream ($90). The smooth, summer-flavored layered mixture paired so well with the tiny croutons floating atop the avocado cream. Cap any Le Salon meal off with a few macarons, a cup of black coffee and there you have ample reason to love the place too.

FOOD: 4.5/5
SERVICE: 4.5/5

Shop 315, 3/F
The Landmark
16 Des Voeux Road Central

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