The steak-frites trend is taking Hong Kong by storm, and we couldn’t be more excited. Steak and fries? What’s not to love?! Loosen up your belt buckle, mamas, because this carnivorous, fat-fried trend shows no signs of slowing down, and we definitely recommend trying it for your next date night (trust us, the hubby will thank you again and again).
We popped on down to le Relais de L’Entrecôte in Wan Chai recently to test out whether their classic steak-frites dish measures up to the original version of this reputable Paris institution… the verdict? Well, it’s almost indistinguishable from the original version, and whether the differentiating factor is due to eating in busy Wan Chai versus the romantic backdrop of Parie… well, that’s a definite possibility.
Nevertheless, the le Relais de L’Entrecôte group has done an amazing job of creating the real French bistro feel despite rather unromantic surroundings. You’re transported as soon as you step into the corridor leading up to the dining room, which is infused with warm lighting and lined with mirrors and an assortment of French posters.
The dining room is spacious yet cosy, and once we were ushered to our candlelit, checkered cloth-covered corner table, I settled in quite comfortably looking forward to the meal ahead and some quiet, intimate conversation.
There’s really no need to look at the menu here – you simply let the waitress know how you prefer your steak to be cooked and wait to be served! We ordered a glass of vino each and snacked on some bread to start (crisp on the outside and chewy inside- the mark of a fresh baguette!).Before the main course, diners are served a small salad as a starter. Like the steak, there’s only one option here – but it definitely hits the spot as a precursor to the meaty feast to follow. The crisp leaves are slathered in a Dijon mustard dressing, sprinkled with walnuts for a crunchy contrast. The fresh and tangy salad was just enough to whet the appetite and we eagerly looked forward to our steaks once the starter plates were cleared.
If you only serve one thing on the menu, you better make sure it’s done to perfection, right? Well, the steak-frites at L’Entrecôte is the type of dish you will come back for again and again as it hits all the right notes: taste, texture, quality and portion-size.
The fully-trimmed sirloin steak was cooked to a perfect medium-rare, sliced table-side and slathered in L’Entrecôte’s “secret sauce” which has been passed down from generation to generation for 50 years! Sorry mamas, you can’t DIY this at home, but suffice to say the sauce is creamy, garlicky and downright delectable! I loved it even better as a dipping sauce with the generous serving of home fries served alongside the steak. In fact, I had to stop myself from mopping up every last bite, especially as I was already bursting at the seams…
The best part of the steak-frites experience at L’Entrecôte is that once you’re done with your first plate, a second helping of steak and fries magically arrives on your table, piping hot, so that you don’t have the experience of munching on cold fries when you’re nearing the end of your meal. This attention to detail and dining experience is what has made the restaurant stand the test of time.
If you’d like a sweet bite to end the meal, there’s an extensive dessert menu featuring over 15 bistro-style desserts, including chocolate profiteroles, crème brûlée, raspberry or strawberry tartlets and an ice cream trio, to name a few. We opted for the signature le Vacherin du Relais, which is a massive tower of ice cream layered with meringue, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and drowned in a tangy raspberry sauce (there’s a chocolate option of this too, if you prefer). Needless to say, by the end of the meal, we were completely stuffed and satisfied. For $288 for the set dinner, you really can’t beat this for the value/quality of steak in Hong Kong, and I would highly recommend this for meat-lovers in your family. Enjoy a romantic evening away for your next date night, or bring the kids along – just be warned, the fries and secret sauce combo is highly addictive!
le Relais de L’Entrecôte is open from 12-2pm for lunch and 6:30-10pm for dinner. The set menu including salad and steak-frites is $288 per person, subject to a 10% surcharge. Only walk-ins accepted.
le Relais de L’Entrecôte, 222 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2891 9080, www.relaisentrecote.hk