Priding itself on bringing more than a hint of the French Riviera to Hong Kong, LPM offers a famously warm welcome to any and all would-be diners who make their way to its upscale – yet distinctly friendly – Central locale. Clearly keen to emphasise the absolute freshness of all the produce deemed worthy of inclusion in any of its irrefutably fine fare, many of the ingredients-to-be are among the first things you’ll spot once you step inside – all lovingly showcased in a series of see through containers atop the marbled prep counter.
Beyond that, a light colour palette prevails throughout the interior, one that extends to the crockery, table linen and soft furnishings. All of this is deliciously – yet unobtrusively – soundtracked by a fine selection of jazz with a distinctly Mediterranean feel. All in all, it’s hard to summon a more authentic locale, whether for lunch, brunch or a leisurely dinner.
At the heart of all this Gallic gourmandry is Adriano Catttaneo, the establishment’s recently appointed Global Executive Chef. Clearly keen to make his mark, he views his reimagined brunch selection as a potential game-changer within the ever-competitive Hong Kong restaurant community. Thankfully, it is an assertion more than borne out by the quality of his able fusion of the best French-Mediterranean cuisine and several reinvented Italian flagship dishes.
Summing up what he sees as the eatery’s USP, he says: “What really makes us stand out is our unique approach to the concept of sharing. Beyond that, we’re all about lightness, something that is as evident in our dishes as in our overall ambience.”
As a testament to this, several delectably light dishes comprise the opening salvo of our sampling experience. Of particular note here is the Vegetable Terrine – an elegant composition of layered eggplant, zucchini, basil pesto, tomato fondue and mozzarella, all exquisitely wrapped in a fetching array of red Romano peppers.
It would, however, be remiss not to also give a shout-out to the Artichoke Salad, which alluringly marries a sliced globe artichoke heart with dried cherry tomatoes. The artful addition of basil leaves and basil oil takes things up a notch or two, while the final transcendent touch comes courtesy of a truly flawless truffle vinaigrette. How to follow such succulent sensations? Well, the Turbot with Fish Soup and Artichoke is certainly up to the challenge. Comprising a whole grilled turbot served in an intensely flavoured saffron fish soup, the dish comes lovingly garnished with fondue, charred baby artichoke, basil leaves and saffron mayo. An equally superb fish course is the Grilled Red Mullet, Sauce Vierge with Coriander, a dish replete with premium ingredients, most notably the mullet fillets, simply served on a bed of minty guacamole and coriander puree.
Next to the table is the King Crab and Tomato Tart, a sublime combination of king crab, creamy avocado, crunchy green apple, buttery gem lettuce, and herbaceous basil with a topping of tomato and chives. This is followed by one of Cattaneo’s signature seafood offerings – Langoustine Risotto with Mushrooms. While the sea-sweet, deliciously delicate lobster deservedly takes top billing here, its appeal is effortlessly enhanced by the subtle flavouring of the accompanying mushroom duxelles.
The main course then reaches an appropriately hearty climax with the arrival of an eminently carnivore-friendly Osso Bucco. Here the melt-in-the-mouth braised veal shin has been cooked to perfection and comes with an A-team supporting cast of premium fresh seasonal vegetables and a carrot and spring onion garnish,
After such a splendid repast, there is really only one thing left to do – dive into the dessert. Once again, LPM doesn’t disappoint, with its mouthwatering Mont Blanc featuring a melee of blackcurrant compote meringue, chestnut cream and, emphasising its hint of truly luxurious indulgence, a sprinkle of gold leaf.
From start to finish, entree to exit, the under-new management LPM is a pure joy to experience.
LPM Restaurant & Bar, H Queens 23-29 Stanley Street, Hong Kong
+852 3568 6834
(Text: Joseff Musa; Photos: LPM)