Been urged many times by HKFoodie to write about my late-Oct celebrations at Caprice but have been resisting to start, as I liked it so much that I keep thinking that I wouldn't be able to do it justice. This is probably my favourite fine dining restaurant right now, ahead of Petrus, Scala, Toscana, and the rest (not to mention Amber, which is stil getting horrible reviews from all of my friends). I adore Caprice for its decor, food, and service, almost faultless on the night of our visit.

Caprice's blemish is the notorious difficulty in securing a booking. We were actually on the waitlist that day and already made a separate booking for Toscana, but luckily at around noon, J got a call from Caprice saying that a seaview table was available. Thanks J for accomodating my obsession with trying out the latest and newest restaurants! We walked into the most elegantly designed restaurant, with the tall ceilings and sparkling chandeliers everywhere, accompanied by the gorgeous habourview backdrop. Opulent luxury sprang to my mind. 

Do request for a window table if possible, some of my friends have complained of the awkward sofa seating in the back, where the waiters rarely ventured out to, with the feeling of being neglected. Right at the center of the room is the open kitchen where the chefs displayed their extraordinary culinary skills.

Freshly prepared cheese puffs were brought to the table while we were deliberating over the menu. Light and fluffy, these pastries were still warm from the oven and full of a wonderful cheese aroma, giving us a great first impression. When the bread basket was brought over, the waiter was also carrying two small plates of butter for us to choose from - salted and unsalted. I appreciated this thoughtful act although some might consider it pretentious. I love salted butter, but know many people, like J, prefer unsalted to accompany the bread, this was the perfect solution. The bread is what one would expect at a fine dining restaurant, well executed.

The a la carte menu was reasonably long, and there was a choice of two set menues to choose from - either the chef menu or the tastnig menu. I gave Caprice bonus marks for staying away from using convoluted names for their dishes. We decided on the chef menu as we liked most of the items here and thought the tasting menu a bit excessive for a weekday dinner. Neither of us fancied the black forest cake much, but it turned out to be a surprise hit. By the way, we were told that the set menus are changed to suit each season, so it might be different on your visit.

The amuse bouche was a refreshing cucumber gazpacho with a tomato cube inventively balanced on top of the shot glass. We liked the light delicate taste of this.

Next the sommelier came over to discuss the wine list with us. We found him immensely knowledgeable and professional. Am no wine expert (except that I love alcohol =) ), so I left J to decide. The sommelier was very accomodating to J's peculiar requests and gave us an excellent wine that accompanied our food well. In fact, he turned out to be quite a performer as well, in the swelling and the dwerving of the wine when tasting it himself and pouring it into a decanter for it to breath.

Shortly after, our appetizer arrived - Pan-Sauteed Foie Gras with Poppy Seed and Sea Scallop Salad. The foie gras was almost buried in the sea of poppy seed. I liked its simple but stylish layout, without the excessive garnishing that's commonplace these days. The foie gras was the delicious melt in your mouth type, and the poppy seed coating made it feel less heavy than usual. The scallops were however, the star of the dish, fried to a golden finish on the outside and still slightly soft and raw on the inside, with a great texture and was fresh tasting.

Next to arrive was the Roasted Fillet of Cod with Citrus Fruits, which got us worried about whether we could finish everything, as the portions were quite generous for a first mains. Nonetheless we dug in and I loved it. Period. I normally steer clear of the fish dishes at Western restaurants in HK, because there are not many choices available outside of the obligatory salmon steak, seared tuna, and seabass. Also the execution rarely impresses and to cover up the staleness of the fish, a heavy creamy sauce is frequently used. Otherwise it goes the other extreme and is plain and tasteless. Caprice's stands out with a perfectly roasted cod piece and a light buttery cream sauce. The smell was heavenly already and the addition of the small cubes of summer fruit was a nice touch, balancing the cream sauce. Originally I thought the melon cubes were strange in a fish dish but the sweetness rounded off the dish well. Needless to say we finished the whole dish even though we know there was antoher mains coming.

Roasted Breast of Guinea Fowl with Celeriac and Black Truffle sounded attractively enough, and was even more attractive when it was presented to us. When ordering the waiter already told us that the chef serves his guinea fawl slightly pink, and asked if it were ok with us. I liked how this was mentioned upfront rather than us noticing it only when the dish arrives. J and I both placed our trust in the chef's hands, in spite of the avian flu concerns. The meat was tender and juicy, while the skin was crisp and
tasty. The traditional French sauce was more creamy than the one that was used on the fish but suited this dish well. The aroma of black truffle was everywhere, but miraculously it did not overpower the dish. Another perfect dish, and we tried to stuff as much in as possible as we couldn't possibly waste the gorgeous food.

The rasberry sorbet was bright red and served with a sprinkle of crumble and topped with one raspberry. Am not a berry fan but thought this slightly acidic sorbet was good, and helped us cleansed our palate before the dessert's arrival.

Next was the Crystallized Black Forest Cake , which neither J or I were particularly enthusiastic about, as I find most black forest cake to be on the dry and sweet side. However, this was sumptiously delicious and not your typical black forest cake.  As it turns out, the cake was a velvety rich chocolate mousse topped with a chocolate crunchy biscuit and finished off with a dollop of chocolate creme. Devilishly good.

Oh and yes, thanks to J's thoughtfulness, the kitchen actually used chocolate sauce to spell out happy birthday to me, and the waiters also gathered at our table for a round of birthday song. Slightly embarrassing given the surroundings but I enjoyed it tremendously.

The petit fours were less of an awe and consisted of a few homemade dark chocolates, which were yummy but slightly on the heavy side after such a rich meal.

The meal hit all the high notes and was one of the most satisfying dinners that I have had recently - we were still mesmerized by how good everything was while sipping on tea and coffee. The pricing is similar to other fine dining establishments, but I think you get so much better a value here than at most. I totally envy C, who gets to come here almost every week, as she gets wined and dined by the sell-side. Would love to be in her shoes.

Unforgettably good - I feverishly hope that Caprice is one of the rare breeds that is able to maintain its quality over the years.

(Weird color of the pictures here again, from my experimentation with the camera)

Caprice, Podium 6, Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong
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