In France, a bistro is a neighbourhood haunt that you can go to at any time of day to eat, drink, sip coffee and people watch. In Hong Kong, a bistro has no such connotation. Rather, it’s just another theme along the lines of a steakhouse or a coffee shop.
Eiffel, in Tai Koo, is more the Hong Kong bistro. Glass French doors open up on to the sidewalk and the no-tablecloth establishment prides itself on its traditional menu. We first select the homemade foie gras ($168). It arrives with a smooth apricot chutney. The fruit enhances the flavour of the liver like it should, but it’s nothing outstanding. Next up is the rib-eye steak ($288). The thin-cut beef is pleasantly pink but it’s too underseasoned and is only saved by a punchy béarnaise sauce. We end the meal with a lemon tart ($68). The curd is the perfect balance of creamy and tart, and a tangy bouquet is created as the whipped cream topping is sprinkled with lemon zest. But, alas, the crust is totally bland and offsets the dessert. You’d think it would be a cold day in hell when we complained there isn’t enough butter in a French dish but this crust is bare on the buerre.
Eiffel is hardly a tower of culinary delights and a destination restaurant it is not. But we can imagine Tai Koo residents dropping in for a glass of red over a charcuterie board for a tête-à-tête. Wait a minute. Isn’t that what a bistro should be all about?
Dinner for two $700.
BY: LISA CAM