In France, we love food; food is a pleasure.Mireille Guiliana
In central, just off Pottinger, the “Stone Slab” Street, you’ll find the H Code skyscraper, an artsy destination devoted to a “creative, work and play experience”. On the 25th floor and fitting right into the creative vibe of the building and the street, you’ll find the restaurant, CLARENCE. It is a new endeavour by the famed Chef Olivier Elzer who for years has helmed the high-end French restaurant, L’Envol in the St Regis Hotel.
More contemporary, and a touch more casual than L’Envol, Clarence continues to celebrate French cuisine, but with a light touch and with a commitment to blending the basics of classical European cooking with Asian cooking methods. The result is a new take on the tastes and aromas of the finest French cuisine with a nod to its Hong Kong home.
Overlooking the bright lights and frenetic activity of Tai Kwun, Clarence is divided into four distinct dining areas, Clarence is a large, wide-open space that conveys an ambience of modernity and fluid functionality. As diners enter Clarence, the Main Dining Room is a welcoming site. Bare wood, rust-coloured upholstery, and soft, flattering lighting give the room a certain intimacy even though it is a large room. Should you arrive early or just want to stop in for a drink and a bite, the Raw & Wine Bar is your ticket. A perfect place in which to explore the unique creations of the chef and crew, the bar features wines of distinct carefully-chosen pedigrees and couples them with seafood selections from recent catches that are often served raw, as you might have guessed. For serious wine lovers or just for those seriously interested in wines and the best tastes to accompany them, the Sommelier Room offers a varied selection of fine wines and professional help in choosing and pairing them. After your meal, or if you are just stopping for refreshers, the LOUNGE is a classic bar with a great view of Tai Kwun. It’s the spot to cement a business deal, chat up a new friend, or do a solo chill with a memorable drink and a unique bite.
You must try Yakifrenchy, a creative combination of French classics served on skewers and grilled robatayaki-style over hot coals. With veggie, fish, meat, and cheese options, you’ll find one to surprise your taste buds. Fish and meat cooked on the bone is a speciality of Clarence’s plat principal menus. The menu is extensive and includes bread and sides to complete your enjoyment.
And then there are cheese and desserts. “Cream Choux / Pop Corn / Chocolate Sauce” for the adventurous? How about “Poached Fresh Pear / Red wine / Cinnamon / Whipped Cream / Milk Ice Cream”? Tempted? Just be aware that the selections are multitudinous and varied. You’ll spend some quality time just poring over the menu.
If you are in Hong Kong or planning to visit there soon, be sure to block our time in your schedule for Clarence or L’envol.
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