The French Table

Bonjour/bonsoir mes amis, wherever you are!

For Le French GourMay, a number of restaurants are offering special set menus, so it’s a great opportunity to try a new restaurant or revisit an old favourite.

Yesterday afternoon, Edwin and I headed to The French Table for the first time. Right away, something was amiss – there were no staff in the restaurant!

We waited for a few minutes before the chef emerged from the kitchen and showed us to our table. He handed us the menus, filled our water glasses, then proceeded to take orders from the next table, before disappearing into the kitchen.

C’est très bizarre, non? Oh well, on to the food!

20150507 Bread

Complimentary bread and butter, served warm.

For our starters, we both ordered the escargots, and they came like this:

20150507 EscargotsAlright, they don’t have to be in their shells, but why mushrooms? And a mushroom sauce, to drive home the point? It said “French-style” on the menu, and while I can’t comment on the authenticity, I really didn’t like the flavour combination. Where’s the butter? Where’s the garlic?
20150507 Ox CheekEdwin’s main course, Australian wagyu ox cheek with red wine sauce, was insanely tough and chewy.
20150507 RavioliI had the foie gras ravioli with black truffle. If what you see in the picture looks nothing like ravioli, that’s because it isn’t. I really should have paid attention to the Chinese text in the menu – it said “松露鵝肝雲吞”, and 雲吞 means wonton, or Chinese-style dumplings. Fusion confusion!
Still, it’s the inside that counts, right? I quite liked the filling, and would have appreciated the foie gras more if the black truffle didn’t threaten to overpower it. Also, the dish was sorely missing the acidic element (balsamic vinegar, citrus-anything) needed to cut through the heaviness of the foie gras.

To make matters worse, we had waited close to an hour for our mains. There were ten diners in the restaurant, including ourselves, and the lone chef was rushing to cook and serve all the dishes. We later asked him whether it’s usually just him and indeed it is. So this is a one-man operation, although I don’t think it was intended to be that way.

The only redeeming quality was that the chef (I didn’t get his name) was incredibly earnest and service was good, given the circumstances. Still, good service alone isn’t enough to warrant a second visit.

20150507 Iced Tea

For what it’s worth, the iced tea was fairly good too.

Well, here’s hoping that our next dining experience will be a more enjoyable one!

The French Table
23/F, 239 Hennessy Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong

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