[Hong Kong] Contemporary French fine dining at 2-Michelin-starred Écriture
Updated: Oct 11, 2019
Located in the 26/F penthouse of arts and culture destination H Queen’s, Écriture is a contemporary French restaurant led by Maxime Gilbert, renowned for his previous role as Chef de Cuisine of Amber at The Landmark, Mandarin Oriental. Écriture opened a little over a year ago, but has already snapped up 2 stars – a true testament to the chef’s skills. I came here for the first time last week to try the chef’s free-hand menu, and was lucky enough to try a teeny preview of Écriture’s annual wild game menu.
The courses were surprisingly light and refreshing – nothing like you’d expect in the usually saucy and heavy French haute cuisine - and left me wanting more. Each dish was layered and so complex, yet executed with beautiful precision. If you’re a fan of French fine dining, but want none of the traditional tablecloth ambience, Écriture is the place to go. Really sleek and modern vibes, with a towering view over Central.
The chef’s tasting menu begins at HK$1,188 for 4 courses, then goes HK$1,388 for 5 courses and HK$1,688 for 7 courses (the one I had).
Tortellini like you’ve never had it – homemade kohlrabi tortellini is stuffed with kabu puree and green strawberries from Provence in France. On top, a crispy chrysanthemum flower with geranium oil. The dish is finished with a vibrant red bell pepper sauce.
This is the in-season “iwashi” raw sardine from Osaka Bay in Japan, served on a colourful bed of fresh raw green pea, pickled cucumber, elderflower light cream and lemon-olive dressing. Toppings include elderflower, elderflower oil and tagette leaves.
The most luscious Japanese rosey seabass, one of the best signature dishes at Ecriture. You will be hard-pressed to find a better akamutsu dish in Hong Kong, trust me! The delicate fatty fish is steamed for three minutes (timed with an hourglass) in Brittany seaweed without seasoning save for some sake, which enhances its sweet natural flavours. After the quick steam, the fillet is served with a collagen-rich white fish bone sauce.
Yet another show-stopper, this was the yin-and-yang style slow-cooked turbot and dashi-poached foie gras (akin to the colour and flavour of ankimo), finished with dashi bouillon and lime zest. This is wrapped in seaweed, which literally and metaphorically tied the whole dish together. Super impressive show of the chef’s technical skills.
Now just going from strength to strength, the next course was presented to us first in its entirety: Poularde de la Cour d’Armoise, a 90-100 day old French chicken. This would be served two different ways.
The oven-baked Poularde chicken is stuffed underneath the crisped skin with bread crumbs and mixed herbs, with cold anchovy puree and concentrated chicken jus. The meat was incredibly tender, bursting with juices, flavour and perfectly cooked. This is served with celery, celtuce, Okinawan sea grapes and baby French fennel on the side.
Obsessed with this one! The chicken leg meat was prepared in thin slices on top of fragrant Japanese rice cooked with girolles. So comforting and reminds me of my mum’s homemade takikomi gohan.
A celebration of the golden-yellow quince fruit, this eye-catching and delicious dessert is flavoured with hibiscus flower, plum marmalade and jasmine flower cream.
My favourite fruit of all-time is the Japanese nashi pear, something that is so hard to come by in Hong Kong. This dessert is a beautiful rendition of it. The bottom layer is a peanut feuilletine, the middle layer contains freshly diced pear, and the top layer is an almond tuile with white chocolate-infused flouve oil. It’s finished with pear sorbet, tonka beans, candied peanut and peanut praline on the side that I would 100% buy if they sold it in a jar.
We finished dinner with a unique petit-four, which included fresh melon from Shizuoka in Japan, tarte tropézienne (cream-filled brioche) and chocolate tart with cognac.
Ecriture Restaurant Details
Tel: +852 2795 5996 Address: 26/F H Queen's, 80 Queen's Road Central, Central Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 12pm-2pm, 6:30pm-10pm. Closed on Sundays & PH Online reservation: https://bit.ly/ecriturehk_booknow Instagram: @ecriturehk