Bryan and I lived apart for four months when he first moved to Hong Kong. During that time, he lived at Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui and frequented many of the restaurants right inside the large mall connected to his serviced apartment. As time went by, he began getting to know some of the staff at some of the places he frequented the most.
One of these places was Epure. Epure is a French restaurant right inside Ocean Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui. The restaurant has a more casual cafe outside and a higher-end dining room inside. Bryan really enjoyed the restaurant, and told me especially about their excellent cheese selection and great wines.
After I arrived in Hong Kong, we visited the cafe several times, enjoying their steak, burger, and other more casual fare together with their cheese and wine. A couple months later, we took advantage of an HSBC "buy one get one free" 8-course tasting menu promotion, where I finally had a chance to experience their higher end dining room.
We began with a lovely milk bread and cheese croissant plus house made butter.
The selection of amuses bouche were lovely. There was a Parmesan and goat cheese tart and a potato "croquette" filled with ground air dried beef and topped with jamón Ibérico. The intense flavors reminded me of an empanada, My favorite was the tomato + cheese tart. I really enjoyed the pop of the tomato powder on top.
Epure Hong Kong - 8 Course Tasting Menu
We moved onto our first appetizer, raw blue prawn topped with paper thin slices of green strawberries and palm hearts. The base was cream cheese and the topping was pomegranate powder. The dish had a nice texture and was elegant, light, and crisp.
The next course was essentially the classic flavors of a blini deconstructed. The smoked salmon was quite smoky but surprisingly (in a pleasant way), it was not salty. The "tubes" of cheese reminded me of creme fraiche.
We were advised to first eat the salmon and the cheese. Then eat the lemon jelly (like a pâté fruit) as a palate cleanser. The jelly was nicely bitter, likely from the inclusion of the lemon peel, and reminded me more of grapefruit than lemon. I enjoyed it, though, and it worked well as a palate cleanser.
We ended with the blini (like a focaccia) topped with caviar.
Aside from being "de-constructed", the second half of the dish tasted pretty classic French, made with high quality ingredients but otherwise reasonably standard, traditional flavors.
White asparagus was in season, so we enjoyed it next with 60 month aged jamón Ibérico, lemon ginger cream, and a spinach puree. The asparagus was super soft and tender, and I liked the lemon cream sauce, which added richness and tartness at the same time.
Abalone imported from Bretagne France came served with pieces of stewed ox tongue, veal jus, and kombu. The ox tongue was super soft, tender, and meaty. Overall, the entire dish was very intense and rich, which meant it went particularly well with the red wine.
A slice of chicken leg (boneless, of course), came next served with chicken jus, roasted endive, and artichoke purée. The skin was nice and crispy. Overall, the dish had a lot of concentrated chicken flavor and intense meaty flavors from the jus.
Out here in Hong Kong they typically get their lobster from Australia, not Boston. Next we enjoyed Australian lobster cooked in a sweet brown butter sauce and topped with parsley and pomegranate, and a type of greens not unlike collard greens. In general, I concluded that Australian lobster has more tough connective tissue and is less sweet than Boston lobster. This was cooked perfectly well, but I just prefer Boston lobsters.
Our final meat course was a Spanish beef served with mushroom and a sweet pumpkin purée. The steak was quite lean (reminded me more of Argentina style beef, which has less fat). The meat had a strong, intense beef flavor and was cooked perfectly. The restaurant told us that guests were mixed about the the lack of fat in the meat. I guess some guests prefer a much fattier, much more marbled meat. We though this was delicious.
Cheese and Desserts
When the cheese cart came we sort of went crazy.
Um yes, perhaps we decided to try every single cheese.
All cheese come from France. We tried a Swiss cheese, comté, a "winter comté" (on the spoon), a blue cheese, the orange hard cheese that the server called "salted preserved duck egg" cheese (fantastic!!), a rosemary washed rind cheese, and a stinky one.
This was no doubt one of the best cheese plates I'd ever had at a restaurant, especially in Hong Kong.
We tried a fun dessert that consisted of an apple & lime sorbet, Tahiti vanilla cream, apple cider “jus”, and peanut butter on the bottom. The light, tart dessert was meant to be a palate cleanser of sorts. It invoked childhood flavor combos of apple slices with peanut butter. It was too sweet for me.
On the other hand, the soufflé was absolutely perfect. I loved it! It was light and fluffy. We were told that there are more egg whites than wheat flour in the dessert. Mandarin orange sorbet came on the side.
Finally, we ended with some mignardises, including a chestnut tart, dark chocolate, and a macaron.
Epure Hong Kong
Epure is a delightful place to enjoy an excellent French meal. I especially enjoyed the fact that each course in the 8-course tasting was quite small, so I didn't feel uncomfortably full at the end. Flavors were excellent and the service was great. They have a lovely outdoor patio that I think would be a really nice place to enjoy a meal, perhaps during lunch.
The restaurant serves a number of different types of tasting menus. The 8-course that we had is HKD1888 per person. There's also a Chef's Inspiration Menu that you need to book three days in advance. Alternatively, You can do smaller tastings, such as the 6-course for HKD1488, or even order a la carte. From time to time they have thematic seasonal menus, such as the "Allure of the Alba White Truffle" 4-course for HKD2388 in the winter. Wine pairings are available with each of these, and the restaurant boasts quite a good wine list (awarded Best of Award of Excellence in 2018 by Wine Spectator).
All in all, I highly recommend this place!
Epure Hong Kong
Shop 403, Level 4
Ocean Centre, Harbour City,
Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
This is the forty-fifth post in the updated #50Postsin50Days – Take 2 Challenge. Other posts in this series will be added to the bottom of the original post.