It’s Valentine’s Eve. Here at Admiralty, business and politics continue to boom. Prestigious in brand names, luxurious in price tags, the city’s rich and elite gather at the one and only Pacific Place for the highest quality goods this city has to offer. Discover Bizou, brain child of the renowned Michelin starred Chef Magnus Hansson, serving only the most exquisite tastes of American cuisine at Hong Kong’s busiest front.
Expertly curated by Chef Hansson, Bizou’s menu features a range of French-inspired dishes-- but with a distinctly American twist. At $398 per person, their dinner menu is a filling two-course meal with a delicious dessert to go with. As always I’ve brought along a guinea pig colleague to dig in all flavours, and Bizou-- with their wide range of options and generous helpings-- did not disappoint.
For our starter course, we’ve had a choice between Boston Style Crab Cake and Butternut Squash Soup. Easily one of East Coast’s most popular dishes, crab cakes are must-haves for every fan of American cuisine, and for good reason. Crunchy around the edges but heavenly soft at its core, Bizou’s crab cake is a mesmerizing match of textures that you cannot afford to miss. Without going over the top, the natural allure of fresh crabmeat in this dish stands out above all else-- accentuated only by a dribble of spicy red pepper sauce, cilantro, and chipotle aioli. As most crab cake lovers would claim, there’s no better way to prepare crabmeat than the old-fashioned way, for the fat, fluffy chunk with no fillers whatsoever already has its own deathly appeal. Free of fancy accompaniments, Bizou’s Boston Style Crab Cake is nothing short of delicious, and easily lives up to the expectations of two hardcore crab meat lovers.
Hong Kong’s winter days can get unforgivingly cold. I’m always on the lookout for something warm and creamy in the chilling weather, so it’s wondrous news that Bizou’s Butternut Squash Soup can cure the worst of soup cravings. Silky smooth and intensely flavoursome, Bizou’s interpretation of America’s signature starter course is about as tasty as it gets. The masterful blend of butternut squash will melt in your mouth as it did mine; being so marvellously sweet, it’s hard to believe just how light the soup gets on your tongue. But don’t get too overwhelmed just yet, the soup will spoil your sense of smell even more than your taste buds. You might just recognize the tantalizing aroma of winter black truffles-- Bizou’s secret ingredient to making these Butternut Squash Soups so addictively delectable. Better yet, butternut squash is an excellent source of Vitamins A and E. The dish is as good for your health as it is for your guilty pleasures-- so there’s no excuse for you to skip this delight!
The main course is a choice between Oven-Roasted Norwegian Salmon and Aged Grass-fed NY Strip. Being a self-proclaimed meat connoisseur, I’m all for Bizou’s renowned sirloin steak. I chose and ate with no regrets. But a word of advice to the indecisive: the dish at Bizou was so generous, I couldn’t finish it. (My eyes watered as I watched the waitress retrieve my half-finished steak, and no, I’m no small eater-- I always double my money’s worth at buffets!) So future guests be wary, choose what your appetite allows for and reserve plenty of space for Bizou’s most exquisite dessert!
That said, Bizou’s Aged Grass-fed NY Strip is no joke. I’ve had plenty of premium beef in my lifetime. Many of which do the meat justice, but few have come close to elevating it to a taste that’s simply otherworldly. Here the steak is inherently flavoursome, and incredibly tender in every bite, but what makes Bizou’s steak sing is their magical Cafe de Paris Butter. Salty, sweet, and tangy altogether, only God (and Bizou’s ingenious culinary team) knows how many herbs and spices have been mixed into this brilliant sauce. To this day Bizou’s secret recipe to their magnificent compound butter remains a mystery, but as a restaurant-goer I’m content drenching every last bite of beef and fried lemon potatoes into their secret sauce. It’s a filling dish-- rendering me full before dessert time is a crime-- but I’m more than satisfied. Bizou offers quite possibly the tastiest, tenderest beef in Hong Kong; it would be a real shame if we diehard carnivores missed out!
For anyone whose preference lies in seafood, Bizou’s Norwegian Salmon will be your cup of tea. Unashamedly Team Steak myself, even I have to admit that Bizou’s salmon is excellent. Paired with fresh herbs, lemon brown butter, Brussels sprout leaves, and Cerignola olives, the fillet on the dish may look astonishingly easy, but it certainly tastes like a million bucks. The quality of the salmon is superb, and roasted just right it’s flaky, juicy, and incredibly flavoursome. Like their crab cake, Bizou seems plenty wary of overdoing classic dishes. It’s clear to see a lot of thought has gone into making sure that the accompaniments do not take away from the star of the show. Even after the meal I can’t decide which dish was better-- Bizou’s NY Strip or their Norwegian Salmon-- both were drool-worthy, and both were gorgeously presented. I guess it all comes down to appetite, because the former was definitely heavier than the latter. As always, save space for dessert!
For dessert we’ve had a choice between American Cheesecake and Coconut Chocolate Bread pudding. Here I am for Bizou’s famous bread pudding, no question. Expecting little else than traditional pudding (which I am not particularly fond of), imagine my surprise seeing the fluffy brownie arrive at my table. Apparently this mouth-watering delight is soft, juicy, multi-layered bread pudding in disguise (you are not getting a complaint out of me), and every mouthful of warm chocolate is a trip to heaven and back. Add to that the ingenious match of sweet and salty caramel ice cream, and a handful of coconut crunch that adds so much to the texture-- my mind is completely blown. This is easily the perfect ending to a feast fit for a king, and no wonder Bizou’s bread pudding is one of their proudest dishes.
On the other hand, Bizou’s American Cheesecake with Cherry Compote is, for me, a classic that ticks all the boxes but doesn’t offer many surprises. Like all other dishes in Bizou, the presentation is beautiful (keeps me wondering if the culinary team has an art background). The signature cream cheese filling isn’t as heavy as it looks-- in fact, it’s smooth and light, which was a blessing considering how full I was by the end of this meal. The crunchy golden crust is its match made in heaven, and together with the sweet and sour cherry compote, Bizou’s American Cheesecake is made to become dessert fans’ guilty obsession. It’s no chocolate bread pudding, but this dish is still much higher quality than most cheesecakes in Hong Kong. Fans of cheese, fans of cakes, and fans of cheesecakes-- you know where your next favorite restaurant is, next time you head into the heart of the city.
It’s a shame that our beloved Grappa’s had to move, but for you all frequenters of Pacific Place, the new Bizou is more than fit to take Grappa’s place. Come around next lunch or dinner-- or any time your stomach starts growling-- for a most exquisite dining experience; hopefully you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I was!
Address: Shop 132, L1, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty
Phone No.: 2871 0775
Opening Hours: 11:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. (lunch and dinner daily)
Written by Vivien Au