Good croissant is a French croissant

Updated: 2012-10-14 15:22

By Donna Mah (China Daily)

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Good croissant is a French croissant

Beef bourguignon tastes incredibly tender and flavorful. Provided to China Daily

Good croissant is a French croissant

Flaky and crispy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, a good croissant is all these and more at Le Salon et Croissanterie at Hysan Place in Causeway Bay. This is the latest from restaurateur and celebrity chef Tony Cheng, who just three years ago, debuted in Hong Kong with his Michelin-honored The Drawing Room, also in Causeway Bay.

Le Salon is fine dining on French cuisine in the newest upscale mall in the center of the busiest shopping district in Hong Kong. After a slightly confusing ride on the elevator and a few "express" escalators, potential diners will reach the upper floors where dining options spread out. Le Salon is the only French restaurant and is on the 13th floor.

White table cloths are "framed" to the table, dark sofas and cool grays, and dim lighting provide a very romantic setting for your meal. The food is traditional French with a few creative touches from the culinary masterminds, Cheng and his mentor, chef Roland Schuller.

We started with a basket of the much talked about croissants. Four flavors were served: chocolate, tiramisu, caramel and chestnut. All formed in the classic crescent shape, and made with top quality French butter and flour, the croissants are considered a highlight for many diners.

The ratio of flour to butter is 2:1, giving the croissants a flaky exterior and a warm buttery aroma.

The chocolate croissant is made using Valrhona chocolate cream topped with salted-caramelized hazelnuts. The tiramisu croissant is filled with coffee mascarpone cream and sprinkled with cocoa powder. The caramel croissant is made with caramel cream with a light sprinkling of crunchy Maldon sea salt. But the overall favorite at our table was the chestnut croissant filled with chestnut cream and garnished with candied chestnuts.

All the croissants are baked in-house and served fresh from the oven. A limited number is baked each day, making them much sought after.

We dined on a few well-loved classic French dishes that were all beautifully prepared and presented.

The beef bourguignon was slow cooked for about 30 hours and made with M5 Wagyu beef cheek. It was incredibly tender and flavorful. The coq au vin, chicken cooked in burgundy wine, was made with earthy, woody mushrooms and the duck leg confit with pommes sarladaises was served with an orange salad that was the perfect complement to this rich dish.

For dessert, there was the brulee waffle with strawberries and fresh cream - a marriage of a fairly large waffle and creme brulee, which was baked into the little waffle pockets. It was a sweet and creative way to end the meal.

The more casual Croissanterie outside of Le Salon has a few small tables in front for customers to sit and enjoy a pastry with a steaming cup of coffee, or order items for take away.

A two-course set lunch menu is offered for HK$188 ($24) and a three-course set is available for HK$268. Prices for entrees start from HK$138 and $398 for mains.

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