Restaurants Wine & Dine

French restaurants in Soho: We review Bouchon Bistro Francais

By: Brooke Chenoweth

Having just spent some time in Paris, I was sceptical that I’d be able to find an authentic French experience here in Hong Kong. But Bouchon – Bistro Francais was a pleasant surprise. It has the feel of a traditional bistro, and, with seating for only 45 diners, it’s cosy and intimate.

We sat on a leather banquette at a high table overlooking the front end of the restaurant; it was quiet when we got there but soon filled up, which is always a good sign. Our spot between the open kitchen and the front of house was a good vantage point for watching the chefs at work and scoping out what everyone else was eating.

Dive into Bouchon – Bistro Francaise above

The wine list is impressive, and a good place to start. We shared an entrée, the camembert de campagne: baked camembert served with garlic bread and baked potatoes wrapped in bacon. It was an indulgent mix of salty and creamy, and we enjoyed it very much.

When our mains arrived soon after, we were overwhelmed by the generous portions – a Dining Concepts trademark. The bouillabaisse was rich and full of flavour, and the seafood was fresh and of very high quality. The boeuf bourguignon came in its own little casserole dish, which held the promise of a rustic and hearty meal within. Again I was not disappointed; the beef was tender and well seasoned and complemented nicely by perfectly cooked vegetables and sauce, with creamy mashed potato on the side offering a nice contrast. The haricots verts almondine, or green beans with almonds, was the only dish that let the meal down, being far too salty.

We forced ourselves to contemplate the dessert menu and chose the profiteroletwo pastry cases filled with vanilla ice cream and covered in chocolate sauce – and the crème brûlée with mixed berries. Both were very good, and a fitting end to a great meal.

Head chef Jerome Billot brings a little taste of France to Elgin Street with an unpretentious and traditional menu, for those nights when you want to feel like you’re somewhere else. Très bon!

Must-Try Dish: Camembert de campagne

Bouchon – Bistro Francais, 49 Elgin Street, SoHo, Central, 2525 9300