In our Taste Test feature on French restaurants, we try three of Hong Kong’s best French bistros and – unsurprisingly for one of the world’s great cuisines – walk away satisfied from all of them! Here, we sample the fare at Metropolitain Bistro de Paris restaurant in Sai Ying Pun.
The Pastis Group offers cosy neighbourhood restaurants that deliver affordable bistro fare in a stylish, relaxed atmosphere. Over in the little gem that is Sai Ying Pun’s High Street, Metropolitain Bistro de Paris, or Metro as the restaurant is more affectionately known, is a truly lovely dining spot.
With large open-fronted windows, banquette seating and timber-clad walls, Metro is both a bright and airy lunch venue and a cosy backstreet Parisian-chic bistro at night. Ours was an evening visit, and we were greeted with warm smiles, still mineral water, and, very promptly, our wine order.
What’s on the menu?
Into the starters and Gravlax de Saumon ($128) is a nice zingy intro to Metro: the freshest, most vibrant cured salmon with sour cream and sourdough. Terrine de Foie Gras ($218) is velvety smooth and the tangy fig chutney is the perfect mate.
Best of all is the Soupe À L’Oignon ($98) with a crisp gruyère crouton. This humble hors d’oeuvre may often get overlooked on menus but there is a reason it has stood the test of time. The broth is intense and the caramelised onions an absolute joy. Simply the best onion soup in Hong Kong.
Sharing platters of charcuterie and an array of salads, escargots and bone marrow make up the rest of our starters. Pasta to share would also work well, with linguine in lobster bisque, ravioli in truffle sauce and fresh tagliatelle with shiitake on offer.
We’d got chatting with the neighbouring table and they very kindly sent over some Grilled Beef Hanger ($248). Tender, juicy, perfectly charred, superb! Our mains soon arrived and we reciprocated. That’s the joy of Metro.
Confit de Canard ($228) is melt-in-the-mouth duck leg with beautifully crisp skin, a must-have. The girolles and gnocchi soaked up all the rich meaty juices. Poulet Fermier Façon Crapaudine ($228) is spring chicken butterflied and still on the bone, with a mustard crumb, rich jus and fries that were so good, we had to order more. Other tempting mains on the menu include seabass with pearl barley, and a spring stew of shoulder of lamb spring.
We contemplated the crème brûlée and tiramisu, however Tarte Tatin ($98) just said all the right things: indulgent caramelised apples, crisp pastry and smooth vanilla ice cream – such a crowd-pleaser.
Fromages ($208) is a big seller here with the after-work crowd, who love to sit at the big open window and people-watch. With its generous selection of classic French cheeses and a glass or two of really good red, it’s not hard to see why.
Why we loved it
Metropolitain Bistro is easy to spot coming up the escalator from Sai Ying Pun MTR. Once you do, you’ll find it hard to walk past. From the restaurant’s smiley service to the wonderful French cuisine, this Sai Ying Pun star will have you sighing for Paris.
This article first appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.