Restaurant review: Esmé at Maison Eight in Tsim Sha Tsui – fine French fare
Esm might be difficult to find if you dont have the right address. The signage in the downstairs lift lobby and even when you step outside the elevator indicate Maison Eight and The Ballroom, but we couldnt see anything called Esm until we opened the menus. The said ballroom a large space adjacent to the small restaurant area where we were eventually seated really does look like a ballroom with its chandeliers, filigree ceiling, heavy curtains, long bar and cosy seating areas. The sound system was playing an eclectic mix of tunes, including Michael Jackson, hip hop, and a remixed Tom Tom Club. There were only a few drinkers in the Ballroom on the night of our visit, several more on the terrace (which has a great view), and only one other group of diners in the Esm restaurant area. The menu states that Esm is a place … for longer lunches, liaisons and unhurried evenings. Detailed and designed with inspiration from classic New York power lunch venues with French flair. The menu lists 10 starters and soups, and 10 main courses. Roasted pigeon with candied endive and lettuce leaves (HK$188 for a starter, HK$358 for main) had meat that was slightly overcooked (I like it rare) but still moist. The endive, though, was fantastic, with just a hint of bitterness. My guest enjoyed his appetiser of sauted wood mushrooms with chives and madeira jus (HK$178).
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