With all the restaurants that's always coming and going in our city, it's not quite so easy to find a place that you like and more importantly, will go back to. But among the small streets and wet market in Wanchai we seem to have managed to find a hidden gem that we just love to visit and revisit, especially when we are craving for some fantastic food and some wine to boot. If you've been to Le Bistro Winebeast, we're sure you'll agree with us too. Never been yet? Read on to see what's all the fuss about!
Just behind the grids of local street stalls and the ever-buzzing crowd of helpers and housewives lies Le Bistro Winebeast, the sister bistro to the wine shop... You guessed it, Winebeast. After just opening for a little close to a year, the cosy restaurant has already earned quite a fan base in our city, as well as a group of loyal diners that are always eager to taste their new items and signature classics on the menu. This time we dropped by to try out another set of their tasting menu (check out our first visit here), which changes every other month, making use of only the freshest and seasonal ingredients.
Their Beef Tartare ($79HKD for medium portion and $133HKD for large) has quite a reputation around town, and many would even say that it's the best one, so there was no way that we'd let this one go. Indeed, we can't really disagree with the people's voice. It was seasoned perfectly, with an amazingly looking and tasting gooey egg and the beef's texture was tender and moist without being chewy at all.
After the dose of addictive beef, we moved on to the tasting menu for the night with wine pairing to boot. We started off with a Sea Bass Ravioli in a frothy emulsion of chorizo and lemongrass. To put it crudely, this tasted rather similar to Chinese dumplings, but in no way would that be an insult to a dumpling lover! The ravioli's skin was not too think and the sea bass was well blended with the taste of coriander. Together with the sweetness of confit lemon and a glass of Côtes-du-Rhône "Tradition" 2013 Domaine de la Janasse, this was a dish that's easy to like.
Next came the Pan-Seared Snails drenched in parsley and wasabi cream and laying on top of a bed of Mascarpone cheese. The snails were heavy in garlic (which we loved) and the green pasley and wasabi cream not only looked but tasted great too. The Mascarpone was the cherry on top, adding a creamy touch to the whole dish. This dish was paired with a glass of Côtes-du-Jura Domaine Andre & Mireille Tissot 'Les Argiles du Lias' 2012.
The best part of the evening came in the form of this dish - the Iberico Pluma with red fuit jus, roasted peach, peach and ginger condiment. As we've mentioned before, pork isn't for everyone and definitely isn't easy to perfect. A big part depends on the kind of pork it is, and Le Bistro had that hammered down with the use of Iberico. It was seared to perfection with a touch of pink in the middle, and can you imagine, it just melts in your mouth. The peach and pear added a little acidity to the whole dish and the bed of mashed sweet potato completed it all. Of course, this was fittingly paired with a glass of red, specifically the Montsant L'Altre de Can Blau 2010.
Finally it's everybody favourite part, desserts. This month's special is a Caramelised Banana topped with caramel mousse and coconut ice cream, possibly the most tropical dessert ever. The banana was warm and not too sweet, and together with the coconut ice cream and slightly salted caramel mousse created the classic hot & cold texture that everyone loves, eventually fusing on your taste buds to become one amazing bite. But no final course is complete without a dessert wine, and so this course was paired with the Sauternes "Délicatesse D'Or" 2003 Domaine Rousset-Peyraguey.
If you only scrolled through the photos, we don't blame ya! Here's the important information all in one paragraph. For their delicious four course tasting menu with wine is $548HKD per person, and if you're allergic to wine or doesn't like to have fun, it's $448HKD per person. Of course, any bottle of wine you open will be the same retail price as sold at Winebeast, and they also have no service charge. What a gem!
P.S. The seasonal menu changes so you may not find these dishes on the regular menu anymore, but we assure you Le Bistro is definitely worth a visit anytime and all the time.
Le Bistro Winebeast
15 McGregor Street, Wanchai
Written by Karen Chiang