Bizou, American Brasserie: Full-flavoured dishes without the fuss

Admittedly, I walked into Bizou skeptical of how the evening would pan out. Primarily because I’m slightly skeptical of restaurants that are located inside malls (even really nice ones), Bizou’s claim to be an “American Brasserie” was confusing, and it’s yet another Dining Concepts venture. By the end of the evening, my wariness had long passed; the restaurant had a comfortable-sleek atmosphere, the majority of dishes were superb, and I would venture to say that Dining Concepts has certainly stepped up their game and attitude towards opening restaurants. Lesson learned: don’t judge a book (restaurant) by its cover.

Vibe at Bizou

Taking over the spot where Grappa’s used to be in Pacific Place, Bizou has spruced up the interior with a dark, minimal look through the wooden walls and sleek furniture. Bizou has also taken advantage of the large lobby space and used it to expand their “outdoor” dining area. Despite this, I still couldn’t help but feel a little odd sitting down to enjoy a nice dinner inside a mall (I’m sure the vibe during lunch is much more buzzy), so I’d recommend getting a table inside the actual restaurant and not out in the lobby area.

Starters

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Grilled Octopus (HK$158)
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Fried Camembert Cheese (HK$148)
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Brussel Sprout Salad (HK$108)

We were off to a good start when we ordered the Grilled Octopus (HK$158) with crispy potatoes and green Chile mint hummus. The octopus was firm, without being too chewy, and the hummus added a more complex flavour to the dish. Despite having every intention to have a healthy-ish dinner, I couldn’t resist ordering the Fried Camembert Cheese (HK$148), because who wouldn’t want to devour a block of oozing, warm cheese?! The unexpected addition of cloudberry preserves (still no clue what ‘cloudberry’ is) was the perfect slightly sweet pairing with the otherwise savoury cheese. To counteract the mega-calories in the fried Camembert, we ordered the Brussel Sprout Salad (HK$108), which wasn’t what we expected: the salad came out completely shredded (no whole brussel sprouts here). While I did enjoy the flavour combination of the parmigiano, lemon, olive oil, and oregano, I wished that the description on the menu was a little more clear.

Mains

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9 oz Aged Grass-fed Filet (HK$288)
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Organic Crispy Flat Iron Chicken Breast (HK$188)

We ordered two different meat selections from the menu, the first of which was the recommended 9 oz Aged Grass-fed Filet (HK$288) with red miso butter, an apricot grain mustard marmalade, and a baked purple yam on the side. I actually found this steak to be seasoned and cooked so well that it really didn’t need the addition of a marmalade or any other sauce. The cut melted in your mouth and was cooked to a beautiful bloody medium-rare. Moving away from the red meat, we tried the Organic Crispy Flat Iron Chicken Breast (HK$188) on top of a bed of potato puree.  I really liked the addition of gailan (a Chinese vegetable), which gave the dish a bit of a local flare. The chicken was tender and juicy, and had me wishing my stomach was a bit bigger (note to self: lay off all the starters).

Dessert

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Gooey Chocolate Cake (HK$98)
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Butterscotch Budino (HK$78)

Despite being utterly stuffed, the dishes on Bizou’s dessert menu looked far too good for us to pass up. We began with an indulgent Gooey Chocolate Cake (HK$98) with an interesting lemon-cumquat marmalade, whipped ricotta, and fried sage. These ingredients went surprisingly well together, helping to round out the richness of the chocolate. After seeing the Butterscotch Budino (HK$78) at another table, we had to try it. Though it looked quite small, the pudding was incredibly rich and creamy, and the salted caramel was absolute perfection; after only a few bites we were all completely satisfied.

Verdict

Though I had a few initial reservations about Bizou, I left the dinner absolutely stuffed and incredibly content. The atmosphere inside the restaurant was relaxed without being “mall casual”, and the complex and contrasting ingredients in each dish were executed with finesse and complimented each other surprisingly well.

Bizou
Shop 132, L1 Pacific Place,
88 Queensway
Admiralty 

Tel: 2871 0775

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