2/F, 90 Stanley Main St, Stanley
Visited 22nd September
Wandering along Stanley promenade isn't just about avoiding pathetic looking dogs dressed in human clothing (the pup who wears the silver bow-tie is one of the worse) it's also all about an alfresco lunch. Naomi and I, despite huge appetites, did a few laps accompanied by the old "you choose", "no I don't mind, you choose". Perhaps we were as pathetic as the owners of all those stupid looking dogs, but eventually we made decision and ascended the stairs to Cafe de Paris. Part of the Igor's Group, there are also branches of Cafe de Paris in SoHo and Discovery Bay; the Stanley one is above the Pickled Pelican pub, another member of Igor's little Empire. Climbing the stairs I was quietly impressed with the beautiful setting and enchanting views. We propped in a comfortable booth with excellent views of the ocean out, large, open windows.
The menu is small, simple and classically very French. There are only three permanent mains on the menu; steak, mussels and a sole fillet, plus a couple of daily specials. Naomi ordered the set lunch which included the daily soup, main and dessert, plus a glass of wine, while I went with a serve of mussels and helped myself to Naomi's wine. Her cauliflower and pear soup was superb; creamy, soft and subtle. My mussels came with a salad which was good, but simple and just the same as you get in every other Hong Kong restaurant. Naomi was very happy with the plate de jour; a tender chicken fillet in peppercorn sauce served with a potato gratin and spinach. My bowl of mussels were pretty tasty, though the serve was small. The dessert of the day was a beautifully presented mille-feuille layered with apricots; though not something I'm particularly fond of Naomi was more than happy, which is the whole point of dessert!
Our visit to Cafe de Paris was a pleasant affair; the decor, friendly service and great views all contribute to a classic - and I hate to say it - almost "romantic" ambiance. $168 for three courses and a glass of wine ($138 without the wine) for the set lunch is great value. On the other hand $162 for a smallish serve of mussels, even with a salad and fries, is pushing it; and looking over the menu coming for dinner and a few glasses of wine wouldn't be cheap. The service is slick and efficient; our water glasses were constantly re-filled and we were offered more bread several times. In many ways Cafe de Paris is a fantastic restaurant; we enjoyed the beautifully presented food, the lovely setting and authentic French atmosphere, yet I'm not sure if I'd so impressed if I'd paid the dangerously expensive prices you could be up for at dinner. Have the set lunch and enjoy the view.
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