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Jan 24, 2012 01:40 PM

Caprice, yung kee, Joy Hing , Mak Kee

My trip a few months ago
Caprice doesnt make it for me,
Regarding the service - 1 of the french staff( i assume is the maitre d), not the wine sommelier(who had rather good service), looked at me from head to toe when i entered the restaurant, i dont know if this is what u call a 3 star michelin service? I was late for lunch and i assume they were closing for lunch, I was in a jacket , and wore chinos and boat shoes. The rest of the servers were fine and good, except for that particular person.
Food wise, the ingredients didnt match up for me, for the lunch menu. not quite the same standards in tokyo where the ingredients were top class.. the food ingredients here tasted like restaurants in singapore, all these french techniques and skill is useless if the ingredients dont speak for themselves. Only the fish with the sea snails was slightly better, the sea snails are good but i can feel some of the taste is somewhat lost during the course of time and transportation. Maybe dinner is different, i dont know. but the sunday lunch menu wines are great thou. these are included in the sets. desserts are pedestrian, thou they offered me 1 more dessert)

also i tried yung kee, relatively expensive for hong kong standards , goose is relatively fat , but skin is not really crisp, my partner prefers this to joy hing. Dishes like fried calamari are not acceptable to my standards, soggy and all.

Joy hing, i liked the goose here quite abit ( imo better than yung kee ), there is a slight charcoal roasted taste to these goose.. and the price is very cheap, although u have to share tables in the very packed environment. the partner did not like the food here, she says yung kee is better and this style of roast goose is common in hk, also maybe because it didnt have her roasted pork ( siu yok) , the rice here is pretty bland.

Mak Kee, the broth is good but not mind blowing spectacular, but at that price it is very expensive, will not do it again.

tried tim ho wan famous baked char siew bao at the ifc mall.. not bad, they were freshly baked, but i felt it needed more time in the oven. the bun is pillowly soft, and has a sugary crust

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  1. I'd never regarded Caprice as a 3-Michelin-star standard restaurant, and that snooty attitude is definitely a no-no. Michelin inspectors in the old days would also rate a restaurant by the way its restaurant manager approached you as you enter the door - his/her enthusiasm, friendliness and general demeanour/disposition. Nowadays, Michelin standards seemed to have eroded, especially in their zeal to capture the Asian market to sell their guides. Shame on them.

    Yung Kee - sadly, its food is a pale shadow of it used to serve in the old days: a combination of laxity in cooking standards and over-commercialization: they have so many customers waiting to get in, they do not need to cater to more discerning palates anymore. In fact, a client with with poor taste and a fat wallet would be Yung Kee's ideal market segment.

    Tim Ho Wan, with its queues, harried service and cramped quarters, would not have seen a Michelin inspector's shadow within a mile in the old days - but these days, it's even been given a star! Unbelievable!

    Re: Man Kee - are you referring to Mak An Kee, the wanton noodle spot?

    1. I find it truly amazing that Caprice got 3 Michelin Stars. I already gave my review on this site:
      In fact to me it is a bit of an insult towards Robuchon in Macau, as they are clearly better and many may now decide to skip a 'voyage' to Macau and stay in HK for Caprice.
      Anyhow rumour has it that Caprice simply pays for their 3 Stars. Normally I would not believe in these conspiracies, but honestly everyone I talk to says that Caprice does not deserve the 3!

      8 Replies
      1. re: tkamp

        Well, based on my personal experiences and comparing to all the 3* that I have been to around the world. All I can say about Caprice is that ' sometimes they do deserve it, some times NOT!! '

        However, at least its not as ridiculous as HK's L'Atelier de Robuchon becoming the world's first 3* L'Atelier!! There are others L'atelierS such as the ones in Paris, NYC and Tokyo which, IMHO is as good if not better than their HK brethen!! ( especially the Tokyo one, which IMO executed the food more immaculately and provides better service! )

        1. re: Charles Yu

          Charles, Michelin has been very inconsistent in their ratings of restaurants around the world.

          As for L'Atelier Hong Kong - strictly food-wise, I actually liked theirs more than Caprice - which can be cloyingly rich and overly-heavy. But the meal I enjoyed most in last Dec's HK trip was 2-Michelin-star Petrus at the Island Shangri-la. Interesting to see how top restaurants in HK fight it out to gain Michelin's nod.

          1. re: Charles Yu

            My two cents based on a single a la carte meal at Caprice (review to be posted soon)...

            I felt Caprice was miles ahead of Lung King Heen and 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo, two other restaurants in Hong Kong that have been awarded three Michelin stars.

            I can certainly appreciate the argument about whether three Michelin stars in Hong Kong can be compared to three, or even two, Michelin stars elsewhere. However, the food and service I experienced at Caprice easily matched that of Le Cinq, Michel Rostang and Pierre Gagnaire in Paris. On that basis, and having eaten at a number of other two and three Michelin-starred restaurants around the world, I do not believe Caprice's rating to be unacceptable, especially given its price point.

            1. re: namor

              Hm, interesting comment you have there, namor. If you've been following Charles Yu and Klyeoh's postings, I'm sure you'd know that between them, they'd covered pretty much every three Michelin starred restaurants (and many One and Two Michelin starred ones) in France, UK and US in the past.

              1. re: M_Gomez

                I think the gripe with Caprice would be that for its michelin rating, you expect to be totally wowed by the food which i think has disappointed a lot of people here in the forum. It certainly has the great view, ambience, wine list and a great cheese board and certainly a very good restaurant. But to be hailed as the restaurant in its class in HK according to Michelin , I personally have come away from a meal there feeling somewhat underwhelmed. Just my thoughts

                1. re: greedyb

                  Based on my experiences, I think it would be unrealistic to have expectation of being ' TOTALLY WOWED by the food' when eating in a 3*. Even meals executed by Grand Master Chefs like Robuchon, Ducasse, Adria or Keller have mis-steps!
                  I recall having a tasting menu at Robuchon's Parisian flagship 'Jamin' a few years back. The appetizer. was chicken wings with some type of a sweet and sour syrupy glaze!! Yes! chicken wings!! Believe it or not, even the Chinese restaurant down the road from my house can do a better job!! ( without using Bresse chicken too! ) The rest of the meal, including an unbelievably creamy sea urchin soup and a gorgeous Tarte fin aux truffle was amazing though!
                  Then, there was a 'beet' creation by Ferran Adria that tasted awful not to mention the almost raw pig's liver with sweet dark chocolate sauce by Alan Senderens at Lucas Carton or the over-cooked and dry pheasant at Pierre Gagnaire.......!!!
                  Nowadays, I have learned to lower my expectation and try looking at the 'whole package' of food, wine, service, ambience....instead! This way, hopefully some of the misses might be offset by some of the hits!

                2. re: M_Gomez

                  Hello M_Gomez!
                  Klyeoh is the real master!!! I have ways to go to catch up!!

                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    ROFL, far from it, Charles ;-)
                    Long, long way to go for me before I can reach the level of expertise of those *REAL* Chowhounds like Melanie Wong (SF Bay Area), Limster and Howler (UK/Ireland) boards. These are first-generation CHs and buddies of CH founder, Jim Leff. They live by the Chowhound credo ot looking for "new", undiscovered eateries serving simply great food, way before the rest of the world (and accompanying commercialization) come following in their wake.