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Date

13th March 2013

Meal

Dinner at 9pm and 2nd visit Dinner at 6pm

Intro

Bought to you byLes Amis Group , the same group who bought us Cepage in Wan Chai.  http://www.lesamis.com.sg/index1.php

Ordered

  • French onion soup with croutons & cheese $80
  • Beef cheek braised in red wine,with carrot, mushroom, pearl onion, bacon & mashed potato  – $250
  • Suckling pig confit (belly) – $210
  • Duck leg confit served with fries
  • Grand marnier souffle, vanilla ice cream $75

Food

Appetiser

French onion soup with croutons & cheese $80

This was an amazing appetiser. as we ordered 3 main dish and weren’t so hungry, we opted for only one appetiser, a soup to share.  I must say, I have never had a good onion soup before. And this onion soup blew my mind off. It was amazing and even looked sexy delicious.  I think I can go on forever with this soup! Even looking at it made me dribble.


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 And i must state my friend was getting impatient when I took a few minutes to take pictures of it.  Just one look at it and you want to scoff it down your throat! What made it LOOK so appetizing? It must be the melted cheese.  My past experience of onion soup was not too good, usually the cheese is small and tasteless.  Or teh bread underneath the cheese was even bigger than the cheese WHICH MEANS, the cheese is TINYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!

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Main Course

Beef cheek braised in red wine, with carrot, mushroom, pearl onion, bacon & mashed potato -$250

To me this dish is – beef bourguignon.  Especially classic beef bourguignon uses pearl onions, carrots and baby mushroom.  Exactly how this dish is.  I wonder why they don’t just call it that here.

Beef bourguignon (US pron.: /ˌbf ˌbʊərɡɨnˈjɔːn/) or bœuf bourguignon (UK /ˌbɜrf ˈbʊərɡɨnjɔːn/;[1] French pronunciation: [bœf buʁ.ɡi.ɲɔ̃]), also called beef Burgundy, and boeuf à la Bourguignonne,[2] is a well-known, traditional French recipe.

The dish originates from the Burgundy region (in French, Bourgogne) which is in the east of present-day France, as do many of the more well-known French dishes such as coq au vin, escargot, persillé ham, oeufs meurette, gougèrespain d’epices,epoisses, etc.

It is a stew prepared with beef braised in red wine, traditionally red Burgundy, and beef broth, generally flavoured with garlic,onions and a bouquet garni, with pearl onions and mushrooms added towards the end of cooking.

From Wikipedia

I love this dish in general, and I have attempted to make this myself many times. So I do apprecate the hard worka nd preperation that needs to be done for this dish.  Just a quick note on how this is made.  Beef is chopped in chunks so as the vegetable.  Bacona nd bacon fat is heated up and then throw in the herbs to cook the vigrant out.  Then pour red wine in with the herb and fat with the beef.  And needs to cover it up in fridge overnight.  Next day throw in the vegetable and slow cook it for a good few hours.  i love this dish.  The meat is marinated in the herb and red wine liquid overnight and then slow cooked. The meat will be so tasty and soft and tender.

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We ahd to share the piece of beef cheek between three of us, I think we would have killed each other for it if we weren’t modern humans who have learned to share! The meat is so tender that we did not even need to cut into the meat, just lightly tear it and it will come apart.  Let alone chewing it, it literally melts into my mouth after a few light chew. It was divine.  I was drinking the base liek a soup.  It was like a rich beef soup.  It was  unbelieavble.

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What I disliked the most was, there was onlya  few mushrooms, like 2.  And two piece of carrots.  And hey, who would have guessed the carrots was made from Heaven too?  Although you can see the carrot and mushroom was not braised as long as the beef and was put in probably when making out casserole hot, but the carrot was beautiful.  I can taste the buttery flavour in it, it was sweet and buttery. Yummy.  I would prefer them to have more carrots and mushroom though. that would have made it perfect.

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Mashed Potatoes was served as a side with the Braised beef cheek, which is very authentic as the French do serve this with this dish.  Although the mash was less stand out, I prefer it that way. as the braised beef cheek is rich and so full-bodied, the mash was not needed to be the same. One must be less rich and one is rich in flavour to keep the balance.  The mash was hard and dry.  Not what I had expected. i expected for soft mash with buttery taste.  There was no buttery taste nor was it even seasoned probably.  But as a side for the rich beef dish, it went well overall.  The portion of mash was too tiny, there were still so many sauce left in the casserole after the mashw as finsihed, so I ended up dipping the leftover bread from starter into the sauce and it was divine.

Suckling pig confit (belly) – $210

We all agreed upon choosing the belly instead of the leg. the leg however is cheaper.  But who doesn’t prefer a big piece of the belly.  The belly was served with Sauerkraut which is a famous German side dish. It ispractically like pickles, sour cabbage.  I have no idea why this is in a French bistro, nor why is it served with the pork belly.  we all agreed that it did not go well with the dish.  Lets say, the Sauerkraut wasn’t too appetizing.  I have had Sauerkraut in german restaurant and they taste many times better.  This side dish was probably the worst one out of the three.  Not surprisingly, we did not finsih the Sauerkraut.

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The suckling pork belly came with a gravy on the side.  I did not use the gravy as the pork belly was good by itself or with some salt.  The suckling pork belly was almost a square shape, wuite flat and you can tell from the golden brown, it is nicely done.  the taste was heavenly!  The skin was crunchy and crispy.

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IMG_0618  The lean meat was tender and juicy.  I have no idea how they can make it crispy on the outside and keep it so juicy on the inside.  It was just too good.  The only bad thing i thought was fat layer between the lean meat and the crispy skin.  It was rather fat and for ladies who is trying to ‘pig out’ but no overdo it, that is not a good thing. I thought maybe it was just our piece of meat but the second time when I revisited them, it was the same.

Duck leg confit served with fries

This dish was rather generous compared to the other 2 dishes. It was served with salad and fries.  The duck was generous too, a big piece.  No problem in sharing.  It was average, maybe comapred to the other two dishes were so fabulous, it made this one really average. Even thinking back now, I can’t think of anything about the duck that stood out. It was surely good as we managed to finish it aswel.  The skin was crispy and the meat was moist and soft.  It was still delicious but did not have the WOW factor, it seemed like a dish that I can eat anywhere else with same standard.  The duck was nice overall, but I did not taste any seasoning or herbs that makes it different from the rest that i have tasted.

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Fat fries was served with the duck leg.  I loved the fries, although i have expected the fries to be duck fat fried, but they still tasted just as good. Maybe because they were thick and fat. i love the texture.  They were nicely salted.  As we ran out of mash, we dipped the fries into the Beef cheek red wine sauce. the fries quickly absorb the sauce and it was partner in crime.  Incredible. I couldn’t stop dipping it.

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Grand marnier souffle, vanilla ice cream $75

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this is one of their best selling dessert.  And who doesn’t get seduced by a Souffle? A souffle- so french, the word itself so elegant, the sound of ‘souffle’ is so seducing. I am not a big farn of souffle. I don’t like the texture, it is sloppy, wet and too sweet.  But I always think maybe it is just my bad experience in badly made souffle, maybe there are good ones and will change my mind? So everytime, I get lured into ordering one and regret it. As for this restaurant, since it is the best selling dessert and because all the dishes did not disappoint me, I wanted to try THE Souffle.

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The souffle was nicely risen up, white icing sugar sieved on top.  baked in a mini casserole and served with ice cold vanilla ice cream which is my favourite.  I guess I just don’t liek Souffle. it did not change my mind. Souffle to me is still sloppy, too wet and too sweet. i don’t like it. The texture is too soft to be a cake, actually it seems like a half baked cake or a warmthick  oats porridge.  I can’t say it isn’t nice as a Souffle, but it just not my thing. But the ice cream was top notch and we finished it in no time!

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Atmosphere & Location

It is located at Kennedy town which is in Sai Wan. As the MTR is coming, Sai Wan is changing rapidly. And there seem to be a trend in opening new restaurants all in Sai Wan, Bistro Du vin has outrun others near it.

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I liked the interior there. Furnitures are wooden, lights were dim.  It definately is a bistro when you see wooden chairs and tablee. It surely isn;t romantic with bigger tables for family and a bunch of friends.  there are sofa seats on the side with cushions with french words on.  There are picture hangings on the wall. The ambience is definately causal and family welcoming. There were many families coming with children on the weekends and it is usually very noisy. Seemed to me I was in a chinese restaurant or a market. It was noisy but it seemed warm and cozy.  I did not have to be pretentious or need to hush my voice.  A good place to come with friend or family.  A great place to catch up and have a laugh with close or un-close friends. as it is so welcoming and casual, noone would be over listening your conversations.

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The restaurant is long and narrow, but atleast the ceiling was high.  Bathrooms are located at the back, right behind the kitchen and the mini wine room.  There are tables on the left and right, with the right having sofas seating.

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Service – Poorly

Sometimes I feel frustrated and disappointed with bad service at a restaurant who serves GREAT food.  Immediately the rating in my head drops down rapidly. A great service really affects how you rate the experience at the restaurant. I think it is unfair too as you come to the restaurant for the food so why let the service affects your review of the food.  But a restaurant isn’t just about the food. That is why you decorate it and TRY to hire people who you think do good at their job and presentable to give your customers the best dining experience.

The service here was under average, chains of disappointing service

  •  Firstly as I stepped into the restaurant, i was not greeted nor was I acknowledged. When they have finally noticed me, they asked for my booking and straight away took me to my table without any eye contact or a smile, which is very displeasing.
  • We were not offered any menus til we asked for it.  The lady with long hair that down our order had a blank face all throughout our dinner.  One smile could have made a big difference to my meal.  Maybe she was busy, but that is what happens at a restaurant and a smile should come natural.
  • Our water was not refilled and the glass was not on our table, despite we actually paid for the bottle of  mineral water which was not cheap.
  • When food was placed on our tables, the same waitress did not introduce or say the name of teh dish to us which is very unfriendly. Even in typical HK cafe, the waiter will say the name of the dish.
  • I would expect a ‘Bistro’ or they call themselves that, charges us for certain amount for a dish, they would have a certain standard of service.  Our dishes were taken away without being politely asked. Actually we weren’t even asked. Our onion soup was not finished when the main course came, which is unprofessional anyway. But we wanted to finish our onion soup after.  It was half full, when the waitress just took it without even looking at us.  And she just turned her backa n walked off so quickly before we could even react to it and ask her come back. that is really impolite.  She should have acknowledged us and asked if she could take it away. Who comes and take it away just as she likes and not the costumer’s will?
  • Even after we finished dessert, our glass of water was still not refilled.  Great attentive waitress!

After saying so much bad things, there is a good thing that I liked.

There is an older lady who works there who served me the second time I went. She was lovely and a good example of how a good service should be.  She was polite and acknowledged me as I arrived. i asked for warm glass ofw ater and she gave me it straight away, and when she refilled my water, she smartly remembered my empty glass was warm water not cold water. she was excellent. she was attentive, polite and well mannered.  When I was asking for the bill, the young waitress walked straight pass me a few times, but the older lady saw me and gave me the bill and apologized. If only teh boss could hire more people like the older lady waitress!

Menu explantaion

Menu was quite simple and short. Not a great extravagant list of food to choose from. There is a main menu which consist of  3-5 dishes in each categories in starters, main course, dessert etc.  There is also the Daily special’s menu which is written on the  big blackboard hanging on the wall. They also have a few small blackboards which they bring to your table.  The Daily specials to me seem more of the top dishes and favourites of every tables – for example The braised beef cheek in red wine,  duck leg confit, baby squid etc

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The menu is basic and the range is small. But every dish comes perfectly. So it is for the best, so the chef can concerntrate on their specialities and bring us the best they could!

Recommendation

  • Braised beef cheek in red wine sauce – this is the must.  It is a bargain for such a heavenly dish to exist in Hong Kong and for a generous price
  • Onion soup – best i have tasted, even in France and in London.  It is not too sweet nor too sour.  Perfectly done!
  • Suckling pig belly – crunchy, cripsy juicy all rolled into on
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Verdict

Would I go back again? YES!!!!!!!!
Rating from my brains (out of 5 hearts): ♥♥♥♥♥
Rating from my Heart (out of 5 hearts): ♥♥♥♥
Overall rating (out of 10 hearts) : ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ 9/10

Details

Bistro du vin
Shop 1D,1 Davis Street,
852 Kennedy Town,
Hong Kong

Tel: +852 2824 3010

Mon – Sun

Lunch – 12pm- 2pm
Dinner- 6pm – 11pm
Closed Tuesday lunch
 
 

Reservation: Essential!!!!

Outro

One thing i really want to mention. I have visited twice this restaurant and twice I have experienced the same issue.

The moment i sit down, the waitress ask if i want Still or Sparkling water. Immediately i answer ‘Still’  To my friend she described this as a ‘trap’ As usually they would allow you look at Drinks menu before ordering your drinks. But because they ask you straight away, youw ould expect it to be free. But it is not, it is charged.  it is natural to want to drink a glass ofw ater after the journey to the restaurant and usually resturants provide free water for you at the start.  I think this is an issue, if it is charged you should atleast state it or ask if tehyw ould like tap water or Still/Sparkling.