Bistro du Vin Hong Kong Restaurant Review | Delish Eats


Delish Eats: Bistro du Vin, A Neighbourhood Mainstay Bringing Paris to HK

Restaurant history: Originally cropping up on Davis Street, this French-food haven has spent the past five years serving as a draw to the sleepy neighbourhood of Kennedy Town, now tucked away on the much more low key ‘rue’ Cadogan. Transplanting the quaint charm of an authentic Parisian greasy spoon, their fare is sophisticated, yet simplistic and hearty.

Chef story: Hailing from Chantilly, up north from Paris, Chef Romain Appolonus comes from a family that has loved food since previous generations. Infusing his cooking with a touch of familial fuelled warmth, the rustic-around-the-edges flavours of the Bistro’s menu really comes to life amidst each skilfully crafted dish.

What’s the vibe and venue like: A chatty, amicable atmosphere rings through the modestly sized restaurant, with groups of young professionals shuffling onto the couches and around tables with a sense of ease. The décor is peppered with unique, kitsch pieces that place you in a well-defined French-inspired space, enveloping you in a fictive interpretation of a bistro that feels ripped straight from a movie scene.

Facebook/Bistro du Vin.HK

How much does it cost: We ordered a selection of a-la-carte dishes to share between two people. The meal averaged at a little under HK$700 per head, totalling at around HK$1300 or so.

What is the menu about: Scrawled out on a chalkboard display are a mix of seasonal or limited-time specials and signature main dishes, alongside a well-curated wine list. Set meals are also available for the lunch rush, though we were attending for dinner and instead had a selection of a-la-carte options.

What did we order: Clams Basque, Sea Bream Carpaccio, Beef Tartare, Duck Leg Confit, Lobster Linguine Signature, Tarte au Citron Meringue.

Clams Basque: There is a strong marriage of flavours that tie together harmoniously. Bringing out the savoury notes of the marine-salted clams are the contrasting sweet-and-sour tints of sundried tomato. Red pepper and chorizo sharpen the savoury tones of the dish, elevating it above the common home-chef stew.

Sea Bream Carpaccio: Jewelled emulsions of lemon and orange give an extra dimension, both in terms of visuals and taste. The fresh fragrance unique to fish comes out beautifully, with the seasonings giving the bream a ‘meatier’ feel than what I expected from white meat, especially when coupled with the impact of umami in the form of fish roe droplets that burst to the bite.

Beef Tartare: A markedly French version of this appetizer, the beef shreds are roughly torn and offer a robust texture, compared to the typically more finely minced Italian style. Depth is presented in the marinade evenly seeped into each morsel, offering a smoky fragrance that’s extra rich on the tongue when combined with the emulsion of quail egg. Anchovy, chive, capers, and fried shallots are also folded into the mix.

Duck Leg Confit: Served on a bed of caramelized shallots and beetroots, the smell seduces before you are even in reach of digging in. The meat is not dry, which is a feat, as most roasted duck seems to flake away in so-so bites, unlike this plate which retains its full-bodied succulence.

Lobster Linguine Signature: Pasta traditionalists may feel a little torn on this one, as the linguini noodles were cooked longer than al dente, yet the result is a soft and buttery mouthful that just about swims in the sauce as you snake the noodles between your lips with a slurp. It makes for a different kind of experience. There is still something to sink your teeth into, and that is sectioned off pieces of lobster tail that is ever-so voluptuous and collagenic.

Tarte au Citron Meringue: A treat for the eyes and a sweet finish to a stunning meal. The meringue balances the citric sour that many lemon tarts try to overcompensate for with sugar (usually to the detriment of my enjoyment), mellowing out the usual zing of the recipe for a smooth finisher to the feast.

Facebook/Bistro du Vin.HK

What we liked: The bistro demonstrates the classic simplicity of French cuisine, with it being clear that Chef Romain wears his heart on his apron as each dish has been infused with great care and a touch of that ‘je ne sais quoi’ to conjure up the warming nostalgia borrowed from his lived imprint. It was a joy to delight in such a tapestry of flavours in a comfortable, unpretentious setting.

What we didn’t like: To be absolutely nitpicky, the ratio of portions to the amount of people we had for the main courses resulted in some amount of food unfortunately being left unfinished. As variety in items ranks high in my personal scale for what makes a good meal, I feel that I would have to be a little strategic in inviting a group and placing our orders upon a return.

What you should order: Sea Bream Carpaccio, Beef Tartare, Duck Leg Confit, House wine (to your liking)

Location: Bistro du Vin, G/F, 39 Cadogan Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong

Contact details: +852 2824 3010

This food review is based on a complimentary media tasting provided by Bistro du Vin in exchange for a truthful review and no compensation. The opinions expressed within represent the views of the author.

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