While we at Coconuts delight in the finer things in life like caviar and champagne, I must admit that I didn’t give it too much thought when I received an invitation to HUSO.
Taking its name from one of the most widely celebrated breeds of caviar-producing sturgeon, HUSO is a French restaurant that recently opened in Central.
“Probably another of those high-end restaurants with lux ingredients,” I thought (not that I’m complaining).
Little did I know that my friend, who went with me to the tasting, and I were in for a pleasant surprise.
Nestled in the first storey of The Pottinger, we were greeted by a timeless and effortlessly elegant French design upon entering the restaurant.
We were seated further inside, which has great views of the busy Central district.
What particularly caught my eye was the artwork by local artist Yannes Choi, custom-made for the restaurant. Featuring a playful and sensual take on the stars of the restaurant — caviar and champagne, Choi’s artwork celebrates the human form and adds to the dining experience.
We started our tasting with three appetizers, which beautifully showcased the two stars.
My favorite was the Dior Egg. Champagne. Soft Boiled Egg (HK$258). Known to be a favorite of the late French fashion designer Christian Dior, the dish featured a soft boiled white egg encased in a bar of champagne jelly and topped with a generous serving of caviar. Not only was it a beauty to behold, the savory flavor of the caviar went well with the refreshing champagne jelly and the runny soft boiled egg.
Another appetizer was the Oyster. Champagne. Caviar (HK$198), which featured a full oyster from the coastal waters of Japan, drizzled in a cold champagne and chicken broth, and topped with caviar from France. Here, the champagne and caviar accentuated the freshness of the oyster.
The final appetizer we tasted was the Bottarga. Pickled Daikon. Caviar (HK$198). The dish featured a slice of mullet roe bottarga from Taiwan, placed over pickled Japanese daikon and topped with caviar. While the bottarga had a nice and subtle umami flavor, I found it a pity that it was mostly masked by the pickled daikon and caviar.
To complement the meal, we had a dry, medium-bodied champagne (HK$188 per glass) composed of 45 percent Pinot Noir, 30 percent Chardonnay and 25 percent Pinot Meunier. I like that it was not too strong on the taste buds and had hints of apple, citrus and peach.
For the mains, we had the Duck Leg Confit (HK$288) and the Picanha (HK$368).
The confit was beautifully seared with crispy skin and light but flavorful fats, as well as silky soft meat.
Meanwhile, the picanha, which featured a slow roasted USDA prime rump cap, was juicy and tender.
For desserts, we both had the Soft Serve Ice Cream (HK$188 each), which was served with caviar on top and champagne jelly at the bottom of the cone. While it featured some similar ingredients as the appetizers, it offered a completely different culinary experience. As the caviar burst and mixed with the luscious ice cream, there was a delicate melding of the savory and sweet flavors that was surprising and delightful.
Overall, HUSO offers a luxurious, yet cozy gastronomic experience that makes you see champagne and caviar in a new light. While it is not exactly affordable, for a fine dining restaurant located in the heart of Central, a meal here does not break the bank either, making it perfect for a date night or night out with your friends.
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