Hearty, Authentic French Fine Dining at Louise

HONG KONG


Taking over the space which previously housed Aberdeen Street Social, Louise made its debut in 2019 and has already gained the likes of many—plus it’s already got a Michelin star to its name. The French fine-dining restaurant is helmed by Chef Julien Royer of Odette, the two-starred Michelin restaurant in Singapore, and pays tribute to home-cooked eats and international flavours. We visited the ambient eatery for a taste of the best dishes on the menu.

Image courtesy of Louise

The Space


The two-story establishment took a glamorous makeover from renowned Hong Kong-designer Andre Fu (also behind The Upper House and Artus K11) and presents a contemporary-chic atmosphere. Another eatery by JIA Group, the space used to be home to Aberdeen Street Social (which was also under the same reign), and is situated in the art hub PMQ. On the ground floor, guests can lounge in the open-air seating area or indoors for a pre-dinner drink with canapés. Head upstairs to the dining area (which opens at 6:30pm) and prepare for decadent French dining within a cosy space.

Image courtesy of Louise

Although Louise serves fine dining food (with a price and quality to match), the restaurant is in fact completely unpretentious and completely welcoming. Decked in colonial-style interiors—think deep wood and old-school barbershop chairs—the emerald green theme used throughout showcases an inviting atmosphere. After a couple of cocktails in the lounge area, we headed upstairs in time for dinner.


The Chef

Chef Julien Royer | Image courtesy of Louise

37-year-old French-born Julien Royer is an internationally-acclaimed chef with an impressive story. His Singaporean debut at Odette in 2015 earned two Michelin stars after only nine months of opening, whilst his Hong Kong outpost, Louise, received its first Michelin star within half a year since opening. Pretty impressive, one could say.

Executive Chef Franckelie Laloum | Image courtesy of Louise

Executive Chef at Louise Franckelie Laloum also has a long line of culinary applause. We were fortunate enough to meet Chef Laloum during our visit to Louise and he was nothing short of sweet and helpful throughout the meal—guiding us through each dish. Growing up as the son of bistro owners, Franckelie realised his passion for cooking when he turned 16 and has picked up his skills over the years working in Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo (where he earned the Ritz Carlton’s Azure 45’s first Michelin star), then Hong Kong. Close partners with Royer, the pair made the menu at Louise based on their shared upbringings in countryside France.

 

The Dishes


We left everything to order in Chef Laloum’s capable hands. Starting with a basket of fresh bread and French butter, we dove into the warm pre-meal starter—it’s so rare to get out-of-the-oven bread these days, after all.

Chilled Sweet Pea Veloute with Almond Tofu | Image courtesy of Cha Siu Papers

We then had the vegan Chilled Sweet Pea Veloute with Almond Tofu (HK$198) as a cold yet refreshing appetiser.

Homemade Louise Pate en Croute | Image courtesy of Louise

Next came the Homemade Louise Paté en Croûte (HK$238), a traditional French dish combining chicken, duck, and foie gras, pressed together with a golden pastry and subtle hints of olives for a sweet-meets-savoury taste reminiscent of authentic home-cooked regional cuisine.

Pertuis Green Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce and Kampot Pepper | Image courtesy of Cha Siu Papers

Another vegetarian dish on the menu, and whilst asparagus was in season at the time, the Pertuis Green Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce and Kampot Pepper (HK$298) was a delight—the sweetness from the asparagus complemented the savoury hollandaise for a satisfying match and tingle to the taste buds.

Image courtesy of Aiden Bradley

Now, the main dish which garnered the attention of many—the roast chicken—came next. A whole Roasted Yellow Chicken (HK$958) which must be ordered 50 minutes in advance, was the star of the show—but that shouldn’t come as a total surprise. The dish (which serves 2-4 people, us being a crowd of two) is a full chicken and a signature meal from the Louise menu. The roast chicken is cut just in front of the open kitchen, where we had front row seats (next to the cooking boards). After it was served fresh in front of us, Chef Laloum came out to express his anticipation for us to try it.

Roasted Yellow Chicken | Image courtesy of Louise

He explained the long cooking process behind the dish, and it’s a spectacular one. First, the chefs brine the chicken for 24 hours, then they sous vide it for three hours, before leaving it for four days to dry out. Next, the chefs roast it i