When entering the room at Caprice, you immediately know that this kind of place could only exist in China. It is a charmingly weird combination of a cat-walk that goes all the way through the restaurant, quite a bit of glitter and some art nouveau paintings on the walls. Whilst that sounds more than bizarre, in reality it looks quite agreeable and beautiful.
Equally beautiful is the way the service here works. It is superbly well
orchestrated by Jérémy Evrard and is quite extraordinary. Every single wish
will be directly obliged in an unobstrusive, polite and warm manner. The
brigade here seems to do its job in a effortless and pretty perfect way.
This Leitmotiv of being close to perfection also goes for the wine list and the wine service. Sébastian Allano, who just like the chef Thierry Vincent and Jérémy Evrard was previously at the Cinq in Paris, has put together a list that has pretty much anything you could possibly wish to drink. From the great clarets to more obscure wines such as Gourt de Mautens for instance, you can find anything you could possibly want to drink.
So, once you sit down here, you can just
let the show begin, sit back and enjoy the hours slowly passing by. The kitchen is run
with a precision that would not seem out of place in any three-star in Paris,
and turns out dishes that are classical in their flavour-profiles, but somewhat
lighter in terms of calories and presentations. It is this kind of timeless
cooking, that is delicious, but not extremely memorable. An example of this is an open langoustine and sweetbread raviolo. Served with sautéed
girolles and a rich langoustine emulsion, it is a dish that will make you want
to eat at least ten portions. It is so delicious and tasty that you nearly
don't notice the quality of the langoustines and sweetbreads, nor would you
notice how well prepared everything is. All that remains is the memory of
textures, flavours and the composition itself. It is a truly delicious plate of food!
Whilst this dish will certainly stay in your memory for a little while, others are less unique. A scallop carpaccio for instance is again very tasty. It's a picture on a plate, with a balanced play of acidity, salinity and a few drops of curry mayonnaise. Yet, it will not live in your memory forever as it is fairly pedestrian.
The same goes for a duck with a pastilla of its leg and carrots. It is hard to argue with this dish, which like all others features good produce, perfect technique and a simple, but effective composition.
Don't worry though, it are not only the wine list, room, service and raviolo that would will remember from your meal here. The cheese, is probably as good as it gets. Coming from the famed Bernard Antony, Jérémy takes great pleasure in pushing the affinage of his comtés or mimolettes even further, making this the only place in the world that serves (occasionally) five-year old comté!
In some ways this restaurant is so enjoyable, pleasant and relaxing that it is nearly too much. One looks for rough edges, and mistakes, which simply do not appear. Instead, you get a meal that is quite close to being perfect, if not entirely memorable. However, a Hong Kong visit without a stop-over here would be a heresy, as you will have trouble getting better cheeses, service, wines and so much more in other places. Thus, the beauty of Caprice lies in its ephemeral character. You eat, drink, enjoy your time, and then memory fades away slowly...