TOP OF THE CLASS
TAKE IN SUPERB VIEWS OF VICTORIA HARBOR AND THE KOWLOON PENINSULA FROM THE 70-SEAT CAPRICE RESTAURANT, FOUR SEASONS HOTEL HONG KONG’S SIXTH-FLOOR CULINARY GEM AND RECENT FORBES FIVE-STAR AWARD-WINNER.
Earlier this spring, Caprice had a delicious reason to celebrate as it was deemed one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna and organized by William Reed Business Media. The winners of this inaugural event and first ever list were lauded at a grand ceremony in Singapore. Caprice and Lung King Heen, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong’s signature Chinese restaurant, were listed 12th and 13th respectively with both Chef Vincent Thierry and Chef Chan Yan Tak in attendance. Both Chefs – who have each held the prestigious three Michelin-star accolade for four successive years – were honored to be a part of the ceremony and see their peers and Asia’s restaurants recognized on the world stage.
“Europe has long been the home of great cuisine, but so much of its diversity today comes from chefs traveling to this part of the world, and the incredible ingredients and practices to be found here. It is a true reward to see this great continent have a moment to shine in all its culinary glory,” says Chef Thierry.
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong remains the only hotel in the world to house two Michelin three-star restaurants, glittering accolades that neither restaurant ever takes for granted. Each year, the team at Caprice works tirelessly to maintain a superior level of cuisine that is consistent for each guest on every visit. Regional Vice President and General Manager William Mackay says, “We could not be more proud. The determination and commitment in both kitchens are undoubtedly integral to the success achieved, but more, what we have is two passionate professionals who command respect and the right to be followed because of whåo and how they are. They develop and cultivate their staff and in response their staff bond in a team that deserves this envied recognition.”
The first French restaurant in Hong Kong to receive three prestigious Michelin stars, Chef Thierry’s contemporary French cuisine takes inspiration from the seasons of his homeland, with produce flown in daily from across France, as well as an increasing variety of seasonal ingredients produced locally. Chef Thierry grew up as the youngest of three boys in a small town 100 kilometers southwest of Paris. Having studied his craft at Michelin-starred restaurants across the country and with a short stint in the U.S., Thierry was picked from the celebrated Le Cinq at Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, to move to Hong Kong and open Caprice in 2005.
Prior to July of that year, the 33-year-old Thierry had not set foot on Hong Kong soil, but he says it was not a difficult choice to make. “When you are offered an opportunity like this, there is just no question. It was an easy decision.” Sous chef at the time, Vincent spoke little English and had no prior knowledge of the market place or conviction that French cuisine would be of interest to the guests, but he had great confidence in Four Seasons and the Hong Kong restaurant’s concept. As he arrived with his wife and two children, Chef Thierry began to set up his team and establish his suppliers. Caprice was to serve authentic French contemporary cuisine using the finest and freshest produce on the market, bringing together culinary influences from regions all over France. Supported by his eventual team of 25 chefs, all born and raised locally except his pastry chef, a talented Dutch woman named Marike van Beurden, Thierry retains a fantastic relationship with his suppliers in France from his time at Le Cinq, something he says has been a fundamental part of the restaurant’s success: “You have to be very close with your suppliers. I have to be able to tell them when what they send is not good enough, or text them tomorrow because I need two wild salmon for the next day.”
Together with his team, Thierry creates innovative menus with dishes that are light and refreshing yet rich in taste and flavor. To accompany his menu is an extensive selection of fine wines selected by Head Sommelier Sebastien Allano and to complete the experience, Hong Kong’s widest selection of artisanal French cheeses are available at the newly opened Caprice Bar, run by masterful cheese connoisseur Jeremy Evrard. With an open kitchen that provides a show of chefs at work, take a minute to relax and watch the best of Hong Kong at work, as you chose a fine wine from the restaurant’s private cellar. Sommelier Sebastien doesn’t only provide guests with an extensive collection of French wines, but also with other European and New World wines from renowned vineyards.
From Monday through Friday, Caprice is the eatery of choice for Hong Kong’s ‘ladies who lunch’. Offering a two- or three-course set lunch, appetizers range from light and healthy to quite decadent. House favorites include the Eggplant Consomme and Vegetable Panache, Organic Salmon Tartare accompanied by Smoked Herring Espuma and Vegetable a la Grecque and the Pyrenean Lamb Rillettes with Aromatic Jelly and Sourdough Toast. Leaning toward the Mediterranean, the Iberico Pork Fillet and Carbonara Lasagne in Yellow Wine Sauce is as indulgent as it sounds, yet surprisingly leaves just enough room to try one of Chef Marike’s irresistible temptations. Expect the unexpected and try something new and different: her Tahiti Vanilla Mousseux with Crispy Granny Smith, Arugula and Green Apple Sorbet will surely give you something to tweet about.
If lunch turns into an all-afternoon affair, you may want to consider lingering at the chic Caprice Bar, the place to be and be seen for Hong Kong’s young executives. Featuring intimate seating for up to 31 guests, it’s the perfect place to host a small get together to celebrate an award of your own including a promotion or engagement. The experienced bartenders are more than happy to recommend an unusual wine or Champagne by bottle or glass to toast the good news.