Wandering around Causeway Bay without a dinner destination, we found ourselves on Sunning Road on a Saturday evening , and I thought of agnes b le pain grille – the notoriously difficult to book little bistro nestling on the corner of Leighton and Sunning Road. We decided to try our luck anyway and were pleasantly surprised that a table was available. In celebration we ordered a carafe of house red.
The grilled ciabatta with yoghurt was very promising – the yoghurt spread tasted almost cheese like and served as a good start to the meal. Not the same could be said for the French baguettes that were served next – odd especially since the bakery is meant to be their forte here.
The onion soup and soupe de poisson both redeemed themselves – the former heavenly rich and cheesy with plenty of onion flavor and the latter done just right – with the grated cheese and croutons and sauce served on the side.
Since neither of us were that hungry – we just ordered a croque madame to share – which came with fries and a green salad.
As you know croquet monsieur is the classic French grilled ham and cheese sandwich snack and croquet madame, the female version, has a fried egg on top. Must appreciate the French humor of representing female with an egg! Interesting how they put this poor man’s lunch on the main course menu. This was yummy and cheesy (in a good way), and the tiny fries were delicious.
We decided to go light on the mains for a reason not only was the dessert menu long, we were seated very close to the cake counter – where many scrumptious pastries and cake slices were on display.
My friend was eyeing the chestnut cake the whole night, but in the end succumbed to the chocolate soufflé. I settled on the crepe with chocolate and banana, as I wanted to try their crepes, given we were in a French bistro after all. As it turned out the crepe was only average, slightly cold and the crepe was a bit hard.
The soufflé stole the show when it finally arrived – light and fluffy and full of chocolate flavor – and not sickening sweet. To illustrate how good this was, I was only given the chance to try one spoonful, and while I was still licking my spoon, the soufflé vanished right before my eyes as my friend hogged the huge ramekin...
Overall we liked the food – although T gave it a rather bad review – not sure if it was the difference in expectation. I think the creator was ingenious by devising a menu that’s heavy on appetizers and desserts and very reasonably priced, this reinforced the concept of a stylish and chic informal café that’s perfect for girlie gatherings. Dinner for two was only HK$500 when we shared one mains but had a carafe of wine. This place reminded me of the old bistro in PP that had closed down and being replaced by La Fourchette, the place where my friends used to love and hang out. While this could stay the first agnes b café in the world, doubt it would be the only one for long.
PS – pics taken using my mobile phone, which doesn’t really know how to adjust for the incandescent lighting, even though it says it does…
Le Pain Grill (agnes b cafe) - 111 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay